A person who lies while testifying before Congress could wind up in prison for five years on a perjury charge. I was thinking about that as I sat in the gallery of the House of Representatives last week, an eyewitness to the many lies told by Democrats.
To my eyes, these elected representatives were testifying before Congress. To my ears, they were lying.
I was in Washington the day the House debated and voted on the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, so I decided to see for myself who would vote against a measure that mandates emergency lifesaving care for newborns who survive an abortionist’s best attempt to end his or her life.
What happens on the House floor is not truly a debate. Members who wish to speak rise and are recognized, then given a proscribed number of minutes to make their points.
You’re not allowed to call someone a liar from the gallery, so rather than face ejection, I held my tongue. I’m an opinionated Brooklyn native with a loud voice, so staying quiet wasn’t so easy.
A fellow Brooklynite, Rep. Jerold Nadler, stood up to make the argument that the Born-Alive bill could actually be harmful to a baby who has just survived an attempt on his or her life.
“The problem with this bill is that it endangers some infants by stating that that infant must immediately be brought to the hospital where in any other circumstance that might be the right thing to do for the health and survival of that infant or it may not,” Mr. Nadler said, somehow maintaining a straight face through that convoluted and false statement.
In his warped universe, is the right thing to do for the survival of the infant to leave it in the hands of the person who tried to kill the baby and is now annoyed by having to deal with a newborn? No, even a committed abortion ideologue like Mr. Nadler knows abortionists are not to be trusted around infants. His testimony was a lie or at least a grotesque exaggeration.
Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., agreed with Mr. Nadler and amplified the falsehood.
“The law that you have provided on the Republican side actually could create more harm. It requires immediately taking a struggling baby to a hospital. That hospital could be hours away and could be detrimental to the life of that baby. This is nothing more than the part of the effort to make abortion illegal nationally in this country.”
Are there communities in the U.S. that are hours away from a hospital? Maybe, but my guess is there’s not an abortion business in those communities. And if there is an abortion business hundreds of miles from a hospital aborting babies in the sixth month of pregnancy and beyond, that’s something we need to look at. Late-term abortions are sometimes deadly for the mother as well.
But Ms. Schakowsky piled on after that, suggesting the bill will in some way lead to restricting abortion. That’s a lie. It’s no secret that abortion foes do want to make abortion illegal, but this bill is not about abortion.
This bill was inspired by the heartbreak abortion opponents feel — as should every person of conscience — when we hear of a baby born alive and left to die. We know this happens. It happened in Florida. It happened in Illinois. It happened in New Jersey. It happened to Melissa Ohden and to every member of her Abortion Survivors Network.
Some Democrats pointed out that a Born-Alive law was enacted in 2002, which is true. What they did not point out was that law simply acknowledges that all newborns, regardless of the circumstances of their birth, are to be recognized as persons from the moment of their birth if they show any sign of life. It does not provide specific actions for an abortionist to take or penalties for failing to take them.
Advocates of abortion access like to say babies rarely survive abortion, but the truth is it happens more than we know. Now, with more states making abortion unrestricted until birth, it will happen more often. That’s why we need the federal Born-Alive bill. Unlike the bill passed in 2002, it has real teeth and should, at the very least, make abortionists think twice about allowing a newborn baby to die.
* Janet Morana is executive director of Priests for Life and a co-founder of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign. She is the author of “Recall Abortion,” “Shockwaves: Abortion’s Wider Circle of Victims” and “Everything You Need to Know About Abortion — for Teens.”