Chris Smith Comments on Controversial Planned Parenthood Testimony on “After-Birth” Abortions

Editor’s note. The following was provided to NRL News Friday by the office of pro-life Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ).

Pro-Life Congressman Chris Smith

Pro-Life Congressman Chris Smith

WASHINGTON, DC – The eye-opening testimony of a Planned Parenthood lobbyist in Florida before Florida state legislators asserting that abortionists should be allowed to let a baby born alive after a botched abortion die are alarming, said Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ), Co-Chairman of the House Bipartisan Congressional Pro-Life Caucus, and a sign of Planned Parenthood’s extreme and evolving positions on abortion.

In an interview that aired Friday with Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) and radio show host of  Jay Sekulow Live, Smith said what Planned Parenthood is promoting is a severe form of child abuse.

There is a reckless disregard for the unborn child,” Smith told Sekulow. “There is a reckless disregard for the newborn child. We’ve seen that. They were against legislation on partial birth abortion.”

Smith referenced his 2012 floor speech decrying the notion of killing babies even after birth, a proposition offered within some European pro-abortion circles. European bioethicists argued that the killing of children immediately after their births and up to weeks later could be justified if a newly born child poses an economic burden, is disabled or unwanted.

“Madam Speaker, they’ve just coined a brand-new phrase, `after-birth abortion,’’ which is the killing of newborns, the killing of little children–boys and girls–immediately after their births and up to weeks later,” Smith said in his March 2012 floor speech. “These bioethicists argue that if a newly born child poses an economic burden on a family or is disabled or is unwanted that that child can be murdered in cold blood because the baby lacks intrinsic value.”

Planned Parenthood lobbyist Alisa LaPolt Snow said in testimony before Florida state legislators that abortionists should be allowed to let a baby born-alive after a botched abortion die. The comments were made during a committee hearing on a Born-Alive Infant Protection Act. The bill, HB 1129, ultimately cleared the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee, and would require that medical care be given to newborns, likely to be premature, who survive botched abortions. The care would be given at a hospital and not at the abortion clinic.


Excerpts of Remarks from House Floor of Rep. Chris Smith March 8, 2013 :

Mr. SMITH of New Jersey. Thank you very much, Madam Speaker.

Late last month, two bioethicists–Dr. Alberto Giubilini and Francesca Minerva–published an outrageous paper in the Journal of Medical Ethics, justifying the deliberate, premeditated murder of new-born babies during the first days and even weeks after birth.

Giubilini and Minerva wrote: “When circumstances occur after birth that would have justified abortion, what we call after-birth abortion should be permissible.”

Madam Speaker, they’ve just coined a brand-new phrase, “after-birth abortion,” which is the killing of newborns, the killing of little children–boys and girls–immediately after their births and up to weeks later. These bioethicists argue that if a newly born child poses an economic burden on a family or is disabled or is unwanted that that child can be murdered in cold blood because the baby lacks intrinsic value, and according to Giubilini and Minerva, it is simply not a person.

Giubilini and Minerva write: “Actual people’s well-being–” and you and I, Madam Speaker, are actual people; adults are actual people according to them —“could be threatened by a new-born, even if healthy child, requiring energy, money and care which the family might happen to be in short supply of.”

As any parents–especially moms–will tell you, children in general, and newborns in particular, require an enormous amount of energy, money, and boatloads of love. If any of those things, however, are lacking or pose what Giubilini and Minerva call a “threat,” does that justify a death sentence? Are the lives of new-born children and new-born babies so cheap? So expendable?

The murder of newly born children is further justified by Giubilini and Minerva in this renowned journal’s article–why they carried it is certainly suspect–because new-born infants, like their slightly younger sisters and brothers in the womb, “cannot have formed any aim that she is prevented from accomplishing.” In other words, no dreams, no plans for the future, no “aims” that can be discerned, recognized or understood by adults equal no life at all.

This preposterous, arbitrary, and evil prerequisite for the attainment of legal personhood is not only bizarre; it is inhumane in the extreme. Stripped of its pseudo-intellectual underpinnings, the Giubilini and Minerva rationale for murdering newborns in the nursery is indistinguishable from any other child predator wielding a knife or a gun.

Giubilini and Minerva say the devaluation of new-born babies is inextricably linked to the devaluation of unborn children. Let me say that again. The devaluation of new-born babies, even into weeks of their lives outside their mothers’ wombs, is inextricably linked to the devaluation of unborn children and is, indeed, the logical extension of the abortion culture. They also write this: that they “propose to call the practice after-birth abortion rather than infanticide in order to emphasize that the moral status of the individual killed–” that is to say the baby—“is comparable to that of a fetus ….. Whether she will exist is exactly what our choice is about.”

So let’s again get this right because the unborn child has been deemed to be a nonperson and can be killed at will. For the new-born child, who is very, very similar in almost every aspect except dependency and its not being a little bit more mature, the choice is, if it is unwanted, that the parents can order the killing, the execution, of that child.

Madam Speaker, these anti-child, pro-murder rationalizations remind me of other equally disturbing rants from highly credentialed individuals over the years. Princeton’s Peter Singer suggested a couple of years ago–and I quote him in pertinent part:

There are various things you can say that are sufficient to give moral status to a child after a few months, maybe 6 months or something like that, and you get perhaps a full moral status, really, only after 2 years.

Break that down. Only after 2 years, Madam Speaker, should we really confer a sense of personhood to a child who is no longer a baby anymore because of this particular intellectual’s perspective.

Dr. James Watson, the Nobel Laureate for unraveling the mystery of DNA many, many years ago, wrote in Prism Magazine:

“If a child were not declared alive until 3 days after birth, then all parents could be allowed the choice only a few have under the present system. The doctor could allow the child to die if the parents so choose and save a lot of misery and suffering. I believe this view is the only rational, compassionate attitude to have.”

Compassionate to allow a newborn to die? I think not.

In like manner, Dr. Francis Crick, who received the Nobel Prize along with Watson said:

“No new-born infant should be declared human until it has passed certain tests regarding its genetic endowment and that if it fails these tests it forfeits the right to live.”

Madam Speaker, the dehumanization of unborn children has been going on for decades. What is less understood and appreciated is the dehumanization of new-born and very young infants. That too has been going on for years, but it has gotten in the last few years demonstrably worse.

Giubilini and Minerva’s article must serve as a wake-up call. The lives of young children who are truly the most unprotected class of individuals in our society are under assault. Hard questions need to be asked and answered and defenders of life must be mobilized. I truly believe we have a duty to protect the weakest and the most vulnerable from violence; and now even the hospital nursery is not a place of refuge or sanctuary.

Madam Speaker, we must strive for consistency. I have been hearing about it for 32 years, and I’ve worked every single day of my congressional life on human rights issues, from human trafficking to religious freedom. I’ve written the Trafficking Victims Protection Act back in 2000 to combat modern-day slavery. I work against torture all over the world, wherever and whenever it rears its horrific head. That is especially in places like China, North Korea, and elsewhere.

But I am left to wonder why so many who claim to be proponents of human rights systematically dehumanize and exclude the weakest and the most vulnerable human beings from legal protection.

Why the modern-day surge in prejudice and ugly bias against unborn children and now, by logical extension, new-born children? Why the policy of exclusion rather than inclusion? They are indeed part of the human family. We should embrace them, love them, and protect them. Why is lethal violence against children, abortion, and premeditated killing of new-born infants marketed and sold as somehow benign or progressive, enlightened, and compassionate? Why have so many good people turned a blind eye and looked askance as mothers are wounded by abortion and their babies in the womb pulverized by suction machines 20 to 30 times more powerful than household vacuum cleaners or dismembered with surgical knives or poisoned with chemicals? Looking back, how could anyone in the House or the Senate or President Clinton justify the hideous procedure called “partial birth abortion”?

Madam Speaker, since 1973, well over 54 million babies have had abortion forced upon them. Some of those children have been exterminated in the second and third trimester. These are known as pain-capable babies. Those kids have suffered excruciating pain as the abortionist committed his violence upon him or her. Why are some surprised that now the emerging class of victims, new-born kids, new-born children, are being slaughtered in Holland and elsewhere while a perverse proposal to murder any new-born children, sick or healthy, is advanced in an otherwise serious and respected ethics journal?

I urge Members to read this article. It will make you sick. It certainly is the opening salvo in an assault on new-born children.

In conclusion, Madam Speaker, children born and unborn are precious. Children sick, disabled, or healthy possess fundamental human rights that no sane or compassionate society can abridge. The premeditated murder of new-born babies, those who are 1 day old after birth, 2 weeks, 3 weeks old is now being justified as being morally equivalent to abortion.

I respectfully submit, Madam Speaker, that the Congress, the courts, the President, and society at large have a sacred duty to protect all children from violence, murder, and exploitation. We don’t have a moment to lose. The child predators are working overtime to create more victims.

Madam Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.