Editor’s note. On May 11, the Senate defeated a motion to invoke cloture (end debate) on the motion to proceed to H.R. 4132, the Women’s Health Protection Act better described as the Abortion on Demand Until Birth Act. The vote was 49-51. Over the next week, we will reprint statements from pro-life senators. The first are the remarks delivered by Sen. Roger Marshall (R-Ks.).
This bill [the Women’s Health Protection Act] is the most egregious, the most horrific attack on the lives of unborn children and the health of moms in American history. If Democrats had their way, these babies— these twin babies I delivered more than a decade ago—could have been aborted the moment prior to the C-section. The overturning of Roe v. Wade simply returns this emotional issue back to the States, to the elected voices of the people—no more, no less. The Mississippi Dobbs case simply protects life after 15 weeks, when a baby can feel pain, when a baby can recognize its mom’s voice, when a baby can recognize the voice of its sibling.
But let me tell you exactly what the Democrats’ extreme ‘‘Abortion on Demand Act’’ would do. It goes far beyond Roe v. Wade. This bill invalidates any and all State laws that protect not just the unborn child but the health and wellbeing of the mom as well. It likely leads to American taxpayer dollars funding abortions at home and around the world.
Next, it is truly an attack on our faith. This bill will tie up faith-based hospitals in courts for not offering abortion services. This bill allows sex-based abortions. It eliminates the requirement for informed consent of the patient or parental consent. This bill eliminates conscience protections. As an obstetrician myself, this hits near and dear to my heart. This bill is an attack on my faith and an attack on the faith of many doctors and nurses who refuse to take part in abortions. They would be forced out of their professions. They would be forced out of medical schools, out of residency programs. So many aspiring students would decide not to go into medicine.
This bill is a total disregard to the mother’s health by placing no value on the mom’s life and well-being. This radical bill eliminates the health standards of a surgery center for this procedure to be performed in a surgery center. In fact, this bill would allow these services to be offered in a garage or a back-room apartment. Shockingly, it provides the right to provide abortions to any healthcare provider—not necessarily a physician but to certified nurse-midwives, nurse practitioners, a physician assistant. This bill will lead to the death and infertility of many, many women.
This procedure is not a simple procedure. It should not be placed in the hands of inexperienced people. This type of procedure is only done after 4 years of undergraduate, 4 years of medical school, and probably 2 or 3 years of residency. In the most skilled of hands, this type of procedure can lead to serious loss of life.
Finally and more specifically, this bill strikes down State laws that restrict telehealth abortions. These are chemical abortions, and they would become a common means of birth control—again, leading to many, many more visits to the emergency rooms for these women who are taking medicines unsupervised. Finally, I have to correct something one of my friends across the aisle said. He stated that we from the pro-life community would not treat women with ectopic pregnancies. Nothing is further from the truth. This case of Roe v. Wade has nothing to do with treating ectopic pregnancies. I personally have treated hundreds of women with ectopic pregnancies. I believe that life begins at conception, but treating an ectopic pregnancy is a life-threatening situation for the mom. And the Catholic Church supports the treatment of ectopic pregnancies.
But that is the type of scare tactic my colleagues across the aisle want to use. Finally, let me just conclude with this: I never imagined I would be fighting harder to save the lives of moms and babies on the floor of the Senate than I did in the emergency room or the delivery room in my obstetrics practice for some 30 years.