Abortion is Not Healthcare

Floor Speech

Date: May 12, 2022
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. KELLY of Pennsylvania. Madam Speaker, tonight we are going to be taking some time to talk about life. I know today on the floor of the people's House we observed the one millionth death from COVID.

When I came to work today, I saw that the flags were at half-mast, and I didn't know why they were at half-mast, and then I found out why. It was because we were observing the loss of life during the time of COVID-19. Loss of life is always a critical issue in the people's House and in the United States of America.

Madam Speaker, I yield to the gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. Keller), my good friend from the 12th Congressional District and the young man who I stood with today as we did take that moment to observe the one millionth death.

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Mr. KELLY of Pennsylvania. Madam Speaker, I thank my friend from Pennsylvania. I think today as we look at this, and I know it has become such a horrible thing to even talk about, so when we enter this floor, the people's floor, the people's House, and we are not willing to talk about an issue like this and do it civilly, but it erupts in some type of anger that just, quite frankly, is not understandable.

Madam Speaker, I am sure many of the folks watching at home know the Supreme Court is in the midst of one of the most important cases in American history, but many folks might not fully understand the issue before the Court. So I wanted to take a moment to lay out the facts.

In 2018, the State of Mississippi passed a law protecting life after 15 weeks in the womb. After this law was passed, the Jackson Women's Health Organization, the last remaining abortion place in the State of Mississippi, filed suit against the State, alleging the 15-week protection was unconstitutional.

The Jackson Women's Health Organization believed there is a constitutional right to an abortion, a right legal experts have said for years that doesn't really exist. But despite this, the Jackson Women's Health Organization has persisted in arguing their case. So after years of trials and multiple rounds in the Federal courts, the Supreme Court decided to step in and settle the question once and for all, which brings us to today.

Now, the question before the Court fundamentally is whether there exists a constitutional right to an abortion. We believe the answer is clear, and Justice Alito and his colleagues appear to agree.

The Declaration of Independence affirmed our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Nowhere in the Constitution is there a right to abortion. I know there are times in our lives that it is inconvenient for the birth of a child, but the right to life is fundamental.

One last thing I think is worth noting about this Supreme Court: The case was brought by the Jackson Women's Health Organization, which is the last abortion clinic remaining in Mississippi. The organization, which has devoted itself to aborting lives, unborn lives, chooses to call itself a women's health organization despite the fact that more than half of all the lives they end each day are female. Little boys and little girls are aborted each day within those walls, yet abortionists who work there continue to fight for their right to abort.

That is a point we must never forget. Abortion is not healthcare. It is the only medical procedure, as my friend Mr. Keller just pointed out, where at least one of the patients always dies.

Ultimately, the leak at the Supreme Court was unacceptable, and we need to get to the bottom of it, but we shouldn't let that leak distract us from the real issue here. That is the victory, the possible victory for the unborn.

The truth is, we don't really know how many babies die each year from abortion, but the best estimates are that 906,000 babies will die in the United States this year alone. That is nearly two babies per minute.

We are engaged in this great observation of what is taking place in Ukraine, and we talk every day about the loss of lives, and we talk about how could the Russians be so cruel to bomb a hospital where there are expectant mothers and end the life not only of the expectant mother but also of the unborn child. But that is what we worry about. So we turn our eyes to Ukraine, and we shade our eyes from what is happening in the United States of America. Because if we don't see it, we don't have to admit that it is happening.

Look, about 870,000 babies are estimated to have been aborted last year, and that number keeps getting higher and higher, but this statistic doesn't capture the true numbers. Some States don't report accurate information or require abortionists to collect data. The CDC doesn't properly catalog this information, either.

Chemical abortions further complicate the picture because these are drugs that can be taken at home with no doctor's oversight and no data reporting at all.

Totally unrecognized, totally uncounted, totally ignored. All of this results in an incomplete patchwork of abortion data that hides the true number of deaths.

Contrary to the claims of the abortion industry, chemical abortion drugs are not safer or easier for expecting mothers. Women experience severe pains, heavy and prolonged bleeding, vomiting, and infections that can become as severe as sepsis. These complications can be deadly for expecting mothers.

One study found that one-fifth of all chemical abortions results in complications. It also found that chemical abortions are even more deadly than regular abortions. So chemical abortions are not safe, they are not safer. Yet, the abortion industry keeps promoting them to women as an easier alternative to eliminate the life of an unborn baby. Isn't it great to put it as an ``easier alternative''?

Now, despite this evidence, in December 2021, the Biden administration announced it was removing the requirement that the chemical abortion drug, mifepristone, be dispensed to a pregnant woman by a healthcare provider. Look, this change does possess a serious threat to women across America and has serious implications for the unborn. So many on this side have always been champions of life, all life, from its conception to its natural end.

I have a piece of legislation called the Heartbeat Act, which was introduced by former Representative, Steve King. And this is a very simple bill. No abortion can be performed if a heartbeat is detected, except in cases where a mother's life is directly in danger.

And I hear people tell me, Listen, you shouldn't be using that as an indicator. Yet, any time I have ever gone in for my medical procedure, either the doctor or whomever is there helping them, the first thing they do is grab my wrist and try to see if my heart is beating through the number of pulses, or they put a stethoscope on. And I am assuming they are trying to find out, is this guy still alive. The way they do it is by listening to my heart through a medical device.

We worry so much about life. We worry so much about protecting life. We worry so much about this horrible type of activity that is taking place all over our globe, and we are more concerned about what the Russians are doing in Ukraine than what we are doing right here in the United States of America. The numbers pale in comparison to what we are doing.

Now, we can continue to ignore this, and we can continue to argue over this, but we can't defy the one basic fact: That we are eliminating a life. It is undebatable.

Now, I think as Republicans, we always believe in the sanctity of life. And I will guarantee you there are people on the other side of the aisle, many of them feel the same way, they are just limited on that which they can speak. And it goes back to the old adage, There are no secrets in our house. There are just a lot of things we don't talk about.

Now, we can never compromise on this. I tell people all the time, Look, I know there are times in your life where this is an inconvenient pregnancy, and that the birth of this child could be an inconvenient burden on the family. That is why we have the adoption option. That is why we have foster care.

We have thousands upon thousands upon thousands of loving families that would love to take in this new, little baby girl or this new, little baby boy; it isn't that there is not a home for them. And while it may be inconvenient at the time, there is nothing more precious than life.

Mr. Keller referred to this board that we brought in that said: Abortions as of May 12, 2022, 327,649.

Now, we went a little step further. We are talking about deaths by decision. Since we started this talk, 17 more lives have been ended. So the 327,649 more accurately should read 327,666.

Madam Speaker, I would ask all of our colleagues to stop and think about what we have done. Some of us fight for life and others of us fight for another issue. I'm not sure I ever understood it, because usually where it ends up is a screaming match as opposed to a debate in saying, What in the world are you thinking? Why do we allow the slaughter of these innocents?

Now, I know people don't like it because they say, I don't like you describing me as that and I don't like being accused of that, and so what I would rather do is not talk about it at all.

Madam Speaker, I had the honor when I first got elected to Congress to have lunch with Justice Scalia. We talked about the life issue. Justice Scalia looked at me and said, You know what, Mr. Kelly, I find it abominable that 50 States who have the responsibility and the jurisdiction choose to give the issue to nine former lawyers to make a decision for them.

On this issue, we should never, ever cower away from it. We should never, ever deny that it is happening. We should never, ever say that my personal preference is for life. But the Supreme Court deemed that it was their responsibility.

The real test will take place if the decision goes back to the States and the States and their elected officials make the decision. At that point, I would expect those who say, Well, my personal preference would be to stand up and defend life because the Supreme Court is no longer your barrier, no longer your excuse, and won't be taken into consideration.

Madam Speaker, we have these conversations from time to time, and we find them very uncomfortable, and we talk about things like, well, words matter, words hurt. Can't we just avoid this?

By doing so, we are ignoring the fact that we are ending a human life. I just tell all the Members that I come in contact, Aren't you glad that your parents were pro-life, and you had the chance to actually weigh in on it in your time and make a difference?

It is an issue I don't think should ever go away, and I think it is the most important issue that faces us today. I am very concerned about what is going on in Ukraine. I am more concerned with what is happening in the United States of America and our fellow citizens looking at us to say: You need to make a decision. And we are saying to them, your individual States with the people you elected should have that debate and they should make that decision for you.

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

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