By Laura Echevarria, Director of Communications and Press Secretary
Editor’s note. This appears in the May digital issue of National Right to Life News. Please share with your pro-life family and friends.
Last week, the Senate Judiciary Committee under the chairmanship of pro-abortion Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) held a hearing using the loaded title “The Assault on Reproductive Rights in a Post-Dobbs America.” The hearing, of course, was just another opportunity for pro-abortion groups and their sympathizers to spread misinformation and engage in Chicken-Little-the-sky-is-falling antics.
In in his introductory remarks, Sen. Durbin championed the Women’s Health Protection Act with would go far beyond Roe v. Wade and allows abortions for any reason, at any time, up until birth.
During the hearing, one of the most notable exchanges was between pro-life Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) and Prof. Michele Goodwin, a witness who was brought in by the Democrats.
Prof. Goodwin is a professor of law at the University of California and visiting professor of law at Harvard University. She is a well-known apologist for abortion and her questioning by Sen. Kennedy was very revealing (this, despite the lack of answers and evasions on Professor Goodwin’s part).
Sen. Kennedy asked Prof. Goodwin, “Do you support it being legal to abort an unborn child up to the moment of birth?”
Prof. Goodwin replied, “Senator Kennedy, it is not a yes or no question.”
Sen. Kennedy responded by saying, “No, ma’am, no ma’am, I don’t–I think it is a yes or no question.”
This went on for some time. Sen. Kennedy at one point asked, “I’m just trying to understand your perspective, and I’m not accusing you of this, but, you know, people sort of talk around this issue.”
And he also asked during the same exchange, “If there were a bill that said that a woman has an unfettered right to abort an unborn baby for any reason up to the moment of birth, do you vote yes or would you vote no?”
Prof. Goodwin responded with “Senator Kennedy, I refuse to be shackled by your question. What I have answered is that there are conditions that occur during—”
Sen. Kennedy tried to summarize, “You don’t know whether you’d vote yes or no.”
But Prof. Goodwin wouldn’t allow for Sen. Kennedy’s summary of her position. She referenced “conditions during pregnancy” and then talked over Sen. Kennedy. Prof. Goodwin then said, referring to another witness, she would “support her life. I would support her personhood.”
Sen. Kennedy tried again. “You would support, you would support–you’re here advocating, you’re advocating a law that says that an unborn baby can be aborted up to the moment of birth for any reason, are you not?”
But by this time it was growing obvious Prof. Goodwin was not going to answer a yes or no question with a yes or no answer. Prof. Goodwin responded, “Let me clarify what the 14th amendment says in the first sentence. That citizens of this United States are individuals that are born” which, of course, did not clarify anything.
She then asked the senator, “Do you support the constitution?”
Sen. Kennedy said, “I’m not trying to argue, I just want to understand what your position is, and I think you’re afraid to say that you do support that. If you do support it, I think–just for the purposes of an intellectual discussion–you ought to just say so.”
Prof. Goodwin, once again, did not answer the question. “For the purposes of an intellectual discussion, I’m happy to have that with you.”
Sen. Kennedy asked again, “Could you answer my question, do you support…Do you support making it legal to abort an unborn baby for any reason, any reason, up to the moment before birth.”
Prof. Goodwin replied, “Senator, let’s have that intellectual discussion that you want.”
Sen. Kennedy responded, “We could start if you answered my question. I can’t go to my next question until you answer that question.”
“Well, I want you to be able to go to your second and your third questions, I do,” replied Goodwin. “But I as I already explained, there were many different conditions…”
Sen. Kennedy cut in, “No, I said unfettered discretion, no conditions, I’m making it easy for you.”
But once again, Prof. Goodwin refused to answer a direct question. No one should be surprised at Prof. Goodwin’s lack of response. It’s the way the abortion industry and its apologists always respond—with obfuscation, misinformation, and bold-faced lies