Floor Speech

Date: May 10, 2022
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. CORNYN. Mr. 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 six members of the Supreme Court. They posted a map online with their home addresses and encouraged protesters to take their complaints straight to the Justices' doorsteps. No surprise as swarms of protesters heeded their call. They showed up at some of the Justices' homes this weekend.

Even though this plan was in the works for several days, the White House remained silent and refused to condemn this clearcut example of doxing.

It wasn't until yesterday morning, once the weekend's protest had concluded, that 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. And that wasn't the only alarming update from the weekend.

A 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 Molotov cocktail. They left graffiti on the exterior wall of the building that read, ``If abortions aren't safe, then you aren't either.''

Threats of violence are never acceptable. It doesn't matter who is making the threat or who is on the receiving end. There is a world of difference between legitimate public discourse protected under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and threats or acts of violence which are not.

Every single 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 have highlighted the need to better protect the Justices and their families. They deserve the protection that, at this moment, the Supreme Court Police are not able to provide. Last week, Senator Coons, the Senator from Delaware, and I introduced a bill to increase protection for all nine Justices and their families. This basically would be the same sort of authorities given to the Capitol Police in protecting Members of Congress.

The events of this weekend have underscored just how important this is. This legislation was at the request of the Chief Justice, who wants to ensure that members of the Court and their families have the security and protection they need, especially at this tense time when Justices are 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 am glad this bill passed the Senate last night, and I hope our colleagues in the House 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 here in the U.S. Senate. The Democratic leader has promised that the Senate will vote on a radical abortion bill that goes far, far beyond codifying Roe v. Wade.

This radical pro-abortion bill that 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 a pregnancy would pose a risk to the woman's physical or mental health.

It isn't hard to see that this is a blank check for abortion providers like Kermit Gosnell. You may remember that Dr. Gosnell was a physician in Philadelphia, PA, who ran something called the Women's Medical Society Clinic but which was dubbed a ``house of horrors'' during his subsequent trial.

He was also a prolific prescriber of OxyContin, but in 2011 Dr. Gosnell and his wife Pearl and eight employees were charged with a total of 32 felonies and 227 misdemeanors in connection with the deaths, illegal medical services, and regulatory violations at his abortion clinic.

Pearl and the eight employees pleaded guilty to various charges in 2011, while Dr. Gosnell pleaded not guilty and sought a jury trial. After that trial, Dr. Gosnell was convicted of first-degree murder in the deaths of three infants and involuntary manslaughter in the death of Karnamaya Mongar, an adult patient at the clinic following an abortion procedure.

Gosnell was also convicted of 21 felony counts of illegal late-term abortions and 211 counts of violating Pennsylvania's 24-hour informed consent law.

After his conviction, Gosnell waived his right to appeal, and in an 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 that 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, a baby who was born at 21 weeks and 2 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 that it would invalidate existing laws in blue States as well. In Massachusetts and Nevada, for example, abortions are restricted after 24 weeks. In California, Washington, and Illinois, abortions are restricted after viability.

If this legislation were to become law, those laws would be preempted under the supremacy clause of the Federal Constitution.

Now, this sort of radical lurch and knee-jerk reaction to a draft opinion illegally leaked by somebody at the Supreme Court--this reaction is way out of step with the views of most Americans when it comes to the sensitive and emotional issue of abortion.

A poll last summer found that 65 percent of Americans believe abortion should be illegal in the second trimester. Opposition to third trimester abortion is even stronger--an overwhelming 80 percent of Americans are opposed to late third trimester term abortions.

But under this legislation, States would have no power to stop the radical procedure known as partial birth abortion as long as one provider signed off that the mother's mental health might be affected.

What that is, is not defined and is left to the imagination. But just when you think it is bad, it gets worse. This bill would also invalidate laws that prevent abortion from being used as a method of sex selection. In other words, this legislation allows a parent who is hoping for a son to abort a baby girl.

This is a type of practice that sadly became common in China during the era of the one-child policy. It is not something that should happen in America.

Not only that, this bill undermines State efforts to protect unborn babies with disabilities, like Down syndrome. Unborn children being killed based solely on gender or disabilities is a devastating problem in other countries.

We cannot allow such grotesque practices to become mainstream here in America. America is better than that.

This bill that the majority leader has teed up a vote on tomorrow would also 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 we will be voting on tomorrow would wipe away all of those existing State laws. Any healthcare provider who had a deeply held religious or moral objection to abortion would be required by Federal law to provide them anyway. Any healthcare provider who refused to do so could find themselves on the receiving end of a lawsuit.

This radical pro-abortion legislation removes a range of commonsense protections that exist in States across the country. It does away with State laws that limit the performance of abortions to licensed physicians, meaning nonphysicians could perform and prescribe abortions; and it provides no protection for babies who survive a botched abortion.

It invalidates informed consent laws, which require healthcare providers to share information about the baby with the mother, such as whether the child is capable of feeling pain.

And it 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 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 is only one of a handful of countries that allows elective abortions after 20 weeks. Other countries on that list of seven include the People's Republic of China, ruled by the Chinese Communist Party, and 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 People's 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 already failed to pass the Senate once this year. It couldn't even earn the support of all 50 Democratic Senators. It failed on a 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 and North Korea--two of the world's most aggressive human rights abusers.

America cannot be its 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 Roe 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, and 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.