tv U.S. Senate Sens. Duckworth Cornyn Durbin on Abortion CSPAN May 11, 2022 6:57am-7:34am EDT
choice. either go to protect the rights of women to exercise freedom over their own bodies or stand with the supreme court, 50 years of women's rights reduced to rubble for our very eyes. the vote tomorrow will tell. >> president, my older daughter abigail, abigail adams who urged her husband to remember the ladies, is seven. she's generous, silly and so smart. she called herself a maker kid and dreams of being an engineer or army nurse but definitely not a helicopter pilot. my younger daughter maggie just turned four, her laugh is contagious and early on during the pandemic when i was mostly working from home, she proved she was truly her mother started by starting to pull pranks
including grabbing my phone and oops, hanging up on whoever was on the line when trying to conduct the zoom meeting or review legislation instead of playing with her but abigail and miley not be here today if it weren't for the basic reproductive rights americans have relied on for nearly 50 years. when rope was decided in 1973, it changed the lives of so many women, save the lives of 14 -year-olds who are the victims of rape or incest who otherwise would have had to turn to back alleys and back rooms. it chang it changed the lives of women who desperately wanted to be moms but found out her pregnancies weren't viable but they would have to go through the pain-and-suffering of the trauma of a fool term only to stillborn at the end of 9 months and personally for me it gave me my chance to be a mom. i never would have had my crazy kids if rohan paved the way for women to make their own
healthcare decisions as i was only able to get pregnant through ibs, infertility process that role lays the foundation for. because of ivs i got to experience all the joys of motherhood. because reproductive rights, my husband and i are not just tammy and o'brien, we are mommy and daddy. because of roe and the rights and laws it protects, we are a family. the supreme court could be weeks from overturning roe v wade and planned parenthood versus casey. a decision that if made final would strip away reproductive rights for millions of women forcing them to potentially live through the horrors and indignities their grandmothers bore if they needed reproductive care and this would just be the start. the anti-choice movement has been working for years, decades to get to the moment of overturning roe is not there end goal. they want a national ban on abortion, something republican
senate leaders said was a possibility last week. they want to undermine contraception. in some state legislation has been introduced that would make ibf a crime. and oklahoma one woman was convicted of manslaughter for having a miscarriage. a miscarriage. criminalized for having a miscarriage. i have had a miscarriage which there are no words to describe what mothers feel in that moment. i was overcome with the most painful emotion i ever experienced. losing my baby felt more searing than anything i felt in my life. the gop had its way women may have to live in fear that that worst moment of our lives may send them to prison. if they get what they are
seeking, loss of pregnancy might be at risk of going to jail too. after my own miscarriage conducted the dnc to clear out my uterus, with ibf by desperately wish for second child, my beautiful rainbow baby. let's be honest, what is happening is not about protecting life, the anti-choice movement truly wanted to protect life, they try to strip away americans health care. putting all their efforts into addressing the growing maternal mortality crisis the chapter tragic number of black mothers lives. they would be pushing for desperately needed policies that support parents like affordable childcare and paid parental leave. if republicans actually cared about being pro-life they would do something, anything, to
stand up to the national rifle association. this isn't about saving lives. this is not about looking out for families. it is about getting a slap on the back from their base and exerting more control over women's bodies. it is about deepening divides between the haves and have nots, making it harder to undo centuries of harm unleashed by systemic racism and economic injustice, systems under which women of color have suffered the most. i know that a lot are tired from the seemingly endless fights to protect our most basic human rights but we can do more, we have to do more. congress has the power, we have the ability to pass women's health protection act which would codify roe versus wade once and for all. let me be clear, women seeking care should not be ashamed. of the people who should feel
shame are those forcing those women who lived through unnecessary pain and suffering. people who should feel shame, would let a mother die in childbirth for on viable pregnancy, who refused to expand medicaid, who believe it should be easier to get basic healthcare impossible to find. these are the people who should be shamed. these are the people who have no shame at i will be damned if i let my daughters grow up in a country that gives them fewer rights than their mom had. here i am today fighting for tomorrow the doesn't look like our yesterday because in that yesterday those of us uteruses were treated as second-class citizens. i didn't learn to fly black hawk helicopters, go to war for this nation, nearly lose my life fighting for the rights enshrined in the constitution i protected only to come back home and have the same rights stripped away from the next generation of girls who simply want to follow their own dreams
like i did mine. it comes down to this, women should be allowed to make their health tell decisions without mitch mcconnell's voice taunting them at their ob/gyn appointment. shame on those who want to take us back to the pre-roll back alleys, shame on those who don't dare regulate guns but want to regulate our uteruses which i will fight with everything i've got to keep us out of the back alleys. and an up with the mounting hypocrisy, misogyny, enough with some men and hallowed halls arguing they know better than women in illinois or arizona or missouri. we can and must do better. not just one sunday in may. that means codifying roe now, let's vote.
>> mr. president. >> senator from texas. >> mister president, over the last several days, the radical left has taken the debate about abortion to dangerous ends. last week a liberal group launched an intimidation campaign against 6 members of the supreme court. posted a map online with their home addresses and encouraged protesters to take their complaints straight to the justice's doorsteps. no surprise, the swarms of protesters heated their call, they showed up at some of the justices's homes this weekend even though this plan was in the works for several days the white house remained silent and refused to condemn this
clear-cut example of the old xing. after it concluded the white house press secretary said the justices should be able to do their jobs without fearing for their personal safety or the safety of their families. that wasn't the only alarming update from the weekend. of pro-life group in wisconsin was vandalized and set on fire on sunday morning. the person or persons responsible smashed windows and attempted to use a mall out of cocktail, molotov cocktail, if abortions aren't safe then you aren't either. threats of violence are never acceptable. doesn't matter who is making the threat or who was on the receiving end. there is a world of difference between legitimate public discourse protected under the first amendment of the united
states constitution, and threats or acts of violence which are not. every person in this chamber especially our democratic colleagues should affirm that any demonstrations about this heated issue cannot threaten the safety of anyone. supreme court justices, pro-life advocates or otherwise. this past weekend's events highlighted the need to better protect justices and their families, they deserve the protection that at this moment the supreme court police are not able to provide. last week senator kunz, senator from delaware, and i introduced a bill to increase protection for all tween 9 justices and their families, this basically would be the same sort of authority given to the capital police in protecting members of congress, the events of this
week and underscored how important this is. this legislation was at the request of the chief justice who wants to ensure members of the court and their families have the security and protection they need at this tense time when justices aren't facing enhanced threats. we currently have two justices with school age children and in the coming months that number will increase to three. once judge jackson takes her place on the supreme court bench. i'm glad this bill passed the senate and i hope colleagues will take it up and pass it in the coming days. this week the issue at the center of this turmoil will be a topic of debate in the united states senate. the democratic leader promised the senate will vote on a radical abortion bill that goes far, far beyond codifying roe versus wade.
this radical pro-abortion bill senator schumer has set for a vote on tomorrow allows for abortions at any point during a woman's pregnancy up until the time of delivery. it does this by prohibiting states from protecting an unborn child's right to life as long as one healthcare provider signs off that her pregnancy would pose a risk to the woman's physical or mental health. it is not hard to see that this is a blank check for abortion providers like emmett goznell, who was a physician in philadelphia, pennsylvania, who ran something called the woman's medical society clinic, but which was dubbed a house of
horrors during his subsequent trial. he was also a prolific prescriber of oxycontin. in 2011, he and his wife, and tweeight employees, 32 felonies and 226 misdemeanors in connection with the deaths, illegal medical services and regulatory violations at his abortion clinic. in 2011, he pleaded not guilty and sought a jury trial. after that trial, he was convicted of first-degree murder in the deaths of three infants and involuntary manslaughter in the deaths of an adult patient at the clinic following an abortion procedure.
he was also convicted of 20 one felony counts of illegal late term abortions, 2011 counts of violating pennsylvania's 24 hour informed consent law. after his conviction he waived his right to appeal in exchange for an agreement from prosecutors not to seek the death penalty. he was sentenced to life in prison without parole. not only does the radical abortion bill vat senator schumer has teed up a vote on tomorrow usurp the constitutional role reserved to the states, it would allow a child born after 21 weeks of gestation to be aborted. next month the baby who was born at 21 weeks and two days will celebrate his second
birthday but this extreme legislation would invalidate all state laws that limit abortions after 20 weeks of gestation. this wouldn't just impact pro-life red states, this change is so radical it would invalidate existing laws in blue states as well. massachusetts, nevada, abortions are restricted after 24 weeks. california, washington, and illinois, abortions are restricted after viability. this legislation were to become law, those laws would be preempted under the supremacy clause of the federal constitution. this radical lurch, knee-jerk reaction to a draft open you illegally leaked by somebody at the supreme court, this is way out of step with the views of most americans when it comes to
the sensitive and emotional issue of abortion. the poll last summer found 65% of americans believe abortion should be illegal in the second trimester. opposition to the third trimester abortion is even stronger, and overwhelming 80% of americans opposed to late trimester term abortions but under this legislation states would have no power to stop the radical procedure known as partial-birth abortions as long as one provider signs off that the mother's mental health might be affected. but that is not defined and left to the imagination. just when you think it is bad it gets worse. this bill would invalidate laws that prevent abortion from being used as a method of sex
selection. other words this legislation allows a parent who is hoping for a son to abort a baby girl. this is the type of practice that became common in china during the era of the one child policy, not something that should happen in america. not only that, this will undermine state efforts to protect unborn babies with disabilities like down syndrome. unborn children being killed based on gender or disabilities is a devastating problem in other countries. we cannot allow such grotesque practices to become mainstream in america. america is better than that. this bill the majority leader has teed off a vote on tomorrow would invalidate conscience laws which protect healthcare providers who have deeply held
objections to abortion. conscience laws are extremely common. 46 states allow individual healthcare providers to refuse to provide abortion services. this law that will be voting on tomorrow would wipe away all of those existing state laws. they would really require by federal law to provide them anyway. any provider, on the receiving end, this radical pro-abortion legislation, common sense protections that increase in states across the country, does away with state laws that limit abortions to licensed physicians meaning
nonphysicians could perform and prescribe abortions and provides no protection for babies who survive a botched abortion, invalidate informed consent laws that require healthcare providers to share information about the baby with the mother such as whether the child was capable of feeling pain and gives the attorney general of the united states sweeping authority to block state laws protecting the right to life. this legislation would overturn existing laws and allow abortions on a scale our country has never seen before. it is a sad commentary that the conscience of america on the conscience of america when all but a handful of our democratic colleagues are fighting to implement these radical policies. as it stands today the united states was only one of a handful of countries that
allows elective abortions after 20 weeks. other countries on that list of 7 include the people's republic of china ruled by the chinese communist party in north korea. this should be a massive red flag for our colleagues across the aisle that our compassion for the unborn ranks right up there with the peoples republic of china and north korea but unfortunately they don't see the inherent humanity of these lost innocent lives. the extent to which the democratic party continues to embrace such radical policies never ceases to amaze me. as shocking as this legislation is, it is not entirely new. it failed to pass the senate once this year, couldn't earn the support of all 50 democratic senators who failed anna 46-48 line vote.
democrats haven't made any changes that will move the needle in their direction in this bill that we will vote on tomorrow. i simply do not agree that the american people want abortion laws in our country that put us on par with the chinese communist party in north korea, two of the world's most aggressive human rights abusers. america cannot be it's best if we do not value the lives of our most vulnerable. i believe babies, fellow human beings with heartbeats, fingerprints, just like the rest of us, deserve to have protection under the law. under state laws that would if in the event role were overturned be the ultimate arbiter of what the laws would be in those individual states. the declaration of independence itself guarantees the right to
life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. i believe that right to life extends to the unborn just as it does to every other american. i have always believed in defending the right of the unborn to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and i will continue to fight this bill no matter how many times the majority leader brings it to the floor. mr. president, i yield the floor. >> mr. president. last week, americans woke up to the news that was perhaps not unexpected but still stunning. it appears in a matter of weeks, we may soon live in a country where women have fewer constitutional rights than
their parents or grandparents. in one bold move the ultra conservative activist majority on the supreme court appears poised to erase the constitutional right to choose whether or not to carry a pregnancy to term. i want to be clear. the leak of the majority draft opinion is an unprecedented breach of the court's confidential deliberations. it may harm the trust the justices have in one another as well as the public's trust in the court. still, one must wonder why is our republican colleagues have been focused so exclusively on the leak of the draft open you and rather than the substance of the opinion itself and why do we here in the last few days continuing reference to the security of supreme court
justices without a real discussion of where the proposed opinion will take us? let's make it clear, unequivocally clear in a bipartisan fashion, violence is never acceptable. violence is never acceptable against supreme court justices, their families, staff or anyone associated with that branch of government, nor is violence acceptable on january 6, 2021, in this chamber when the insurrectionist mob leaving the trump rally came and tried to stop the business of the united states senate and house of representatives. we left as fast as we could move out the back door to escape them. that was violence which led to five death and the assault on one hundred 50 members of law enforcement. that violence is an acceptable and i hope my friends on the other side of the aisle who vetoed an effort for a bipartisan commission to investigate the violence of january 6th will step up and
say they were one wrong, violence against supreme court justice, violence against members of the house and bumpers of the senate, none of those are acceptable period. unequivocally period. i'm in favor of protecting the justices. i have been party to efforts in my home state of illinois after a tragic incident over ten years ago when a disgruntled client ended up killing a federal judge's mother and husband in their home. since then i called for more security and tried to add my name to this effort to provide security to this court and all the members of the court, their families and staff who were involved. it is not acceptable, violence and is building or across the street is unacceptable. i would like to speak to the
substance of the statement made by the senator from texas. he recalled the case of emmett goznell , a case where a doctor in philadelphia was convicted virtually of infanticide, repeated cases of infanticide and was sentenced ultimately to life in prison where he still spends his time serving that out with no chance of parole nor should he ever have a chance of parole. i struggle to get the connection between the crime of infanticide and the debate we are having because there is nothing in the bill coming to the floor by democrats which is going to change the basic finding in the case in pennsylvania. that doctor, now removed from this profession was guilty of a crime, the bill before us in the florida senate will not change that reality at all. i know that was the inference but i took it to mean that.
i hope that i was wrong. we need to acknowledge the basics that, critical constitutional right be removed by the supreme court. i'm an amateur historian, studying the history of this country, can't think of another time when a constitutionally guaranteed right by supreme court opinion over 50 years has been removed by the court but that is what we face now. on the right of americans to make the most basic decisions about their health, their lives, and their future. sadly many republicans are desperately trying to deflect from this ruling is what it means for every single american. if the legal reason in the cornets draft opinion becomes final that decision will siegel half a century guarantee the right to abortion is protected under the constitution.
republicans know that overturning roe versus wade, a limiting access to woman's health care is extremely unpopular. when asked point blank whether we should do it only 28% of americans say that they agree. in a world without roe americans would not only be denied healthcare services they are entitled to, it is possible, it is possible some will be prosecuted. far right lawmakers have been feverishly anticipating this moment. over the past week some of the same officials have introduced legislation around the country designed to punish women for making basic decisions about reproductive health. state legislators in louisiana introduced a bill to allow prosecutors to bring murder charges against a woman who undergoes or anyone who provides an abortion. the same louisiana bill would call into question the legality
of in vitro fertilization as well as iuds, the morning after pill and other forms of emergency contraception. i'm glad it was on the floor a few minutes ago. my colleague senator duckworth talked about her two little girls. the cutest kids you can imagine. i remember those kids come the earliest time, i was in a car in the state of illinois driving to an event in bloomington, the phone rang and it was tammy duckworth, she was my colleague in the united states senate and she was going to be my colleague in the united states senate, she was a member of the house of representatives and she told me she was going to have a baby. i couldn't believe it. we have known one another since a few weeks after her fatal crash, terrible crash of a helicopter, i had known what she had gone through, surgery, recovery, i was the one who encouraged her to run for office and i'm glad i did. she has become the voice of the
military, the voice of veterans and one of the most powerful voices in the united states senate and when she told the story of those two little girls born through the process of in vitro fertilization it struck home as a grandfathered have two in vitro grand babies, love them to pieces, glad there was a science achievement available to help my daughter deliver those beautiful kids. republican lawmaker in idaho said he is open to banning certain forms of birth control if this decision goes forward in the supreme court, including plan b emergency contraception, think about that. state-by-state legislator by legislator will decide what is acceptable when it comes to contraception. some people are going to think you are exaggerating, democrats are at it again exaggerating but i am old enough to remember
before griswold the regulation of contraception in those days when it was virtually in many states even illegal to buy a condom. you think i am exaggerating? we lived at that time. not until griswold versus connecticut decided by the supreme court to establish a right of privacy under the constitution which led to roe versus wade, that was america. in america which many republican lawmakers - a lawmaker in missouri introduced a bill to deputize as bounty hunters to sue anyone who helps a woman seeking abortion outside the state, i wanted to remind my colleague from texas who spoke before me it was the texas bounty hunter's law that started this conversation in earnest. in texas they discovered there would be a civil penalty charged against those who engaged in an abortion and the person could claim the penalty
once they disclosed that to the public. a few weeks ago a republican leader in this body said that a national ban on abortion could be, quote, possible, a national ban if roe is overturned and republicans take control of the senate. leaving it up to each state to decide a woman's reproductive rights has created a patchwork quilt of uncertainty. the constitutional rights would depend on your zip code. that is the future we are facing. democratic state legislatures will continue to protect access to abortion unless republicans in congress and act a national ban senator mcconnell said was possible. if you can afford to travel you will have access reproductive care in states like illinois and connecticut but what about anyone else? if the right to have an
abortion becomes where you live or how much money you make millions from historically marginalized communities will face greater hurdles in obtaining an abortion. america already has one of the worst maternal mortality rates in the developed world drastically restricting access to abortion or banning abortion altogether, republicans and anti-choice activists are trying to minimize the impact this would have. they talk about other times the supreme court overturned precedent and argue disingenuously, i think, this is how the court has always worked, it corrects its own past mistakes. they claim overturning roe is no different than the supreme court overturning plessy versus ferguson, a decision that gave the odious fiction of separate but equal. it was later overturned by brown versus the board of education. there is a profound difference, it appears never before in the history of america has the
supreme court decision abandoned lot made americans less free, never. in the past when the court has taken a serious step of overturning some law it has done so to expand opportunity, not aluminate it. the activist anti-choice majority in this court would do is unprecedented, radical and dangerous. here's another fact republican lawmakers hope you won't notice, it is not just the right to abortion that is in jeopardy. justice alito's draft opinion questions the very existence of the right to privacy, argues enumerated rights, rights not expressly mentioned in the constitution, not expressly mentioned in the constitution must be deeply rooted in us history and tradition to be recognized as a constitutional right. who decides what is deeply rooted in history and tradition?
the hodges decision established marriage equality only twee 7 years ago, will the court's reaction all majority put that on the chopping block? what about the right to contraception as i mentioned before? established by griswold versus connecticut 11 years before roe, a republican member of this body recently criticized that decision establishing for privacy right of every individual to choose contraception's right for their family, described as constitutionally unsound. rather than settling the debate on abortion the draft opinion would further divide our fractious nation, set the stage for a radical majority in the court to erase even more constitutional rights, give government the power to dictate your rights and dictate your future. that is why we must take action to protect women's productive rights. tomorrow the senate will vote on the women's health protection act. this bill will codify the right
to obtain an abortion free from medically unnecessary restrictions. the american people deserve to know where there senators stand, especially the women of america to have these rights as established for over 50 years. for years the republicans claim they are the party of families, the party of family values yet they spent decades ignoring the needs of working families. republicans are willing to force women to carry unwanted or unexpected or dangerous pregnancies to term but are not willing to help them raise their children. there are aspects that make clear when it comes to helping families, basics like tax credits for children, making sure families have paid medical leave for newborns or other family members, all of these things