[Congressional Record Volume 142, Number 130 (Thursday, September 19, 1996)]
[Pages H10621-H10642]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]

[[Page H10621]]

               OF THE UNITED STATES (H. DOC. NO. 104-198)

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. (Mr. LaHood). The unfinished business is the 
further consideration of the veto message of the President of the 
United States on the bill (H.R. 1833) to amend title 18, United States 
Code, to ban partial-birth abortions.
  The question is, Will the House, on reconsideration, pass the bill, 
the objections of the President to the contrary notwithstanding?
  The gentleman from Florida [Mr. Canady] is recognized for 1 hour.
  Mr. CANADY of Florida. Mr. Speaker, I yield the customary 30 minutes 
to the gentlewoman from Colorado [Mrs. Schroeder].

                             general leave

  Mr. CANADY of Florida. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all 
Members may have 5 legislative days within which to revise and extend 
their remarks on the legislation under consideration.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from Florida?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. CANADY of Florida. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes and 30 seconds 
to the gentleman from Oklahoma [Mr. Coburn].
  Mr. COBURN. Mr. Speaker, I have thought a lot about how to best 
convey what my thoughts are on this subject. I stand here today, not as 
a member of one party or another, not as somebody who readily admits 
that they are pro-life. I am. But I stand here today as a doctor.
  Mr. Speaker, I have spent the last 18 years of my life, including a 
great deal of the time of the last 2 years while I have been in this 
Congress, caring for women who deliver babies. I have personally been 
involved in over 3,000 births that I have attended. I have seen every 
complication and every anomaly that has been mentioned in this debate 
on partial-birth abortion.
  I am not standing here as somebody who is pro-life, I am not standing 
here as somebody that is a freshman Republican. I stand here today to 
make known to Members that they can vote against an override for only 
two reasons on this bill. One is that they are totally misinformed of 
the true medical facts, or that they are pro-abortion at any stage, for 
any reason. The facts will bear that out.
  That is not meant to offend anybody. If somebody feels that way, they 
should stand up and speak that truth. But this procedure, this 
procedure is designed to aid and abet the abortionist. There is no 
truth to the fact that this procedure protects the lives of women. 
There is no truth to the fact that this procedure preserves fertility. 
There is no truth to the fact that this procedure in fact is used on 
complicated, anomalous conceptions. This procedure is used to terminate 
mid and late second trimester pregnancies at the elective request of 
women who so desire it.
  This has nothing to do with women's emotional health. This has to do 
with termination of oftentimes viable children by a gruesome and 
heinous procedure.
  What we should hear from those who are going to vote against 
overriding this is that they agree, that they agree that this procedure 
is an adequate and expected procedure that should be used, and that it 
is all right to terminate the life of a 26-week fetus that otherwise 
the physicians would be held liable under the courts in every State to 
not save its life, should it be born spontaneously.
  So this debate is not about health of women. This debate is about 
whether or not true facts are going to be discussed in this Chamber on 
the basis of knowledge and sound science, rather than a political 
endpoint that sacrifices children in this country.

                              {time}  1245

  Mr. Speaker, this vote is about untruth tied to emotion. We should be 
willing in our country if we are going to heal our country, if we are 
going to repair our country, to stand and speak honestly about what 
this procedure is. I have the experience. There is no one else in this 
body that has handled all these complications. This procedure never 
needs to be done again in this United States.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. COBURN. If I have time, I would be happy to yield.
  Mr. CONYERS. Have you performed this procedure?
  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. LaHood). The time of the gentleman from 
Oklahoma has expired.
  Mrs. SCHROEDER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentlewoman 
from New York [Mrs. Lowey].
  Mrs. LOWEY. Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to the bill and in 
support of the President's veto.
  Mr. Speaker, I do not speak as a doctor. I speak as a woman with 
three beautiful grown children. And, Mr. Speaker, and my colleagues, 
let us be very clear that this debate is all about.
  President Clinton stated very clearly that he would sign this bill if 
it contained a narrow exception to protect the lives and health of 
American women. The President does not believe that this procedure 
should be commonly available, he does not believe it should be 
available on demand, but that it must remain an option for women facing 
serious risk to life and death and health. In cases where a woman faces 
a serious health risk like kidney failure, cancer, or diabetes, the 
decision of how to proceed must be left to the women and the doctor, 
not this Congress.
  So I say to my friends on the other side, let us sit down together, 
as we offered several times, and write a bill that we could all accept 
and that the President could sign. In fact, we went to the Republican 
leadership 3 times, asked to craft a narrow health exception to this 
bill. Three times we were refused. Why? Because this Republican 
Congress does not want to ban, it wants an issue, and that is so 
unfortunate. This is not about abortion. It is about politics, 
election-year politics, plain and simple.
  Mr. Speaker, today's debate is a fitting way to end the most anti-
choice Congress in history. This vote is the 52d taken in just the past 
2 years to restrict the right to choose, a new record. Bob Dole and 
Newt Gingrich have spent the last 2 years trying to eliminate abortion 
rights completely, and American women know it.
  Thankfully, President Clinton has used his veto pen to protect 
American women from the back alley. He has stood with American women by 
protecting the right to choose. He has stood with women like Claudia 
Ades and Coreen Costello who have had this procedure to save their 
lives and protect their health when they wanted pregnancy, they wanted 
a child, but this pregnancy went wrong. President Clinton recognizes 
that Congress has no place in the operating room during a crisis 
  The President, Mr. Speaker, will sign a bill if it contains a narrow 
exception to protect the lives and health of women like Claudia Ades 
and Coreen Costello. This is not too much to ask. I urge my colleagues 
to support the President's veto.
  Mr. CANADY of Florida. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the 
gentleman from Michigan [Mr. Barcia].
  Mr. BARCIA. Mr. Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to 
share an eloquent and touching letter that I received from a 
constituent who lives in my hometown of Bay City, MI. It reads:

       Daniel John was diagnosed very early as being far less than 
     perfect, according to acclaimed scientific researchers. We 
     were counseled to abort him as our life would be much easier; 
     he would be a difficult child to raise. However, rather than 
     terminating Daniel's life, we ``chose'' to let God do the 
       After a very difficult pregnancy, Daniel was brought forth 
     into this world alive. He was grossly disfigured, but he was 
     beautiful. The pregnancy wasn't convenient, but he was worth 
     the wait. According to some, he was expendable; to me, he was 
     a priceless jewel.
       Daniel lived for about four hours before leaving us. What I 
     have today is the precious memory of holding my living, 
     breathing son for a few short moments until he died in my 
     arms. He wasn't a burden, he wasn't a tragedy. He was a 
     blessing, and I loved him.

  Mr. Speaker, a baby does not have a voice. I ask my colleagues who 
voted against H.R. 1833 to carefully and closely reconsider their 
position. A baby, sick or healthy, should not be thought of as an 
inconvenience, but as a miracle. Please vote ``yes'' to override the 
veto of H.R. 1833.
  Mrs. SCHROEDER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from

[[Page H10622]]

Michigan [Mr. Conyers], the distinguished ranking member of our 
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I say to Mr. Barcia, my dear colleague from 
Michigan, nobody, no doctor would have forced you to have the procedure 
that is being debated today. Nobody would have recommended it to you 
without allowing you and your wife to make the choice. So why not let 
everybody else have that same privilege--that same choice--that you 
  Why is it that we as Members of Congress, have now become doctors, 
Mr. Canady? Who gave us the right, for the first time in American 
history, to determine what procedures doctors will employ? Where do you 
think that inures to you as a humble Member of Congress? What medical 
background do you bring to this debate that is greater than the 
knowledge of the members of the American College of Obstetricians and 
Gynecologists? By what right do you tell people they cannot have this 
often medically necessary procedure? If Mr. and Mrs. Barcia do not want 
to undergo the procedure, they don't have to do it. They can choose not 
  Now, let me turn to Dr. Coburn from Oklahoma. Dr. Coburn from 
Oklahoma, I am not totally misinformed. I am seeking information. I do 
not have a violent position on this. The fact that I am not supporting 
you, but instead am supporting most of the doctors in your profession, 
does not make me totally misinformed. Nor does it make me totally pro-
abortion. Let us be fair, doctor.
  Mr. CANADY of Florida. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the 
gentlewoman from Washington [Mrs. Smith].
  Mrs. SMITH of Washington. Mr. Speaker, this afternoon the House will 
be debating a procedure called partial-birth abortion. I think we need 
to look at the words that are in this. Notice it said birth. This is 
the clue.
  As a woman, I want you to understand that I would be put into labor, 
I would go through hours of labor, when the baby dropped and the little 
body started coming out, they would turn it first, take it out feet-
first, which is absolutely damaging to a woman, and then right before 
the little head came through, they would puncture the head.
  There are late-term abortions. I was actually pro-abortion for many 
years. I was never late-term abortion supporting. But even we that 
might have supported abortion and you that might support late-term 
abortion need to think about this. This is not for the woman. This is 
for the abortionist. There are other humane ways, if you believe in 
late-term abortion, for both the mother and the baby. But this tells us 
something clear, folks. We have gone a long way from abortion as a rare 
circumstances to abortion on demand. A long way.
  Mrs. SCHROEDER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the distinguished 
gentlewoman from Connecticut [Ms. DeLauro].
  Ms. DeLAURO. Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong opposition to the motion 
to override the veto of the late-term medical abortion ban, and I urge 
my colleagues to vote to sustain this veto.
  Today's vote is not about abortion. It is about voting to ban a 
medical procedure that can save the life of a mother. It is about 
voting to ban a medical procedure that would allow a mother to have 
  It is about voting against the medical procedure that Vikki Stella 
had to have to save her life, to see her children grow up and go to 
school and then to give birth to her son Nicholas.
  Vikki wrote to me about the pain that she went through when she and 
her family discovered that her son was diagnosed with nine major 
anomalies, including a fluid-filled cranium with no brain tissue at 
all, compacted, flattened vertebrae, and skeletal dysplasia in the 
third trimester of her pregnancy. Her doctors told here that the baby 
would never live outside of her womb.
  She wrote:

       My options were extremely limited because I am diabetic and 
     don't heal as well as other people. Waiting for normal labor 
     to occur, inducing labor early, or having a C-section would 
     have put my life at risk. The only option that would ensure 
     that my daughters would not grow up without their mother was 
     a highly specialized, surgical abortion procedure developed 
     for women with similar difficult conditions. Though we were 
     distraught over losing our son, we knew the procedure was the 
     right option . . . and, as promised, the surgery preserved my 
     fertility. Our darling Nicholas was born in December of 1995.

  This procedure that we seek to ban today is the procedure that saved 
Vikki's life and preserved here family. Vikki's situation was heart 
wrenching. But mothers and fathers need to be able to make medical 
decisions like that with their doctors, not with religious 
organizations and not with political organizations, and certainly, and 
most of all, not with the Congress.
  The situation that these families are in is already difficult enough. 
Overriding this veto will only make it worse. I call on my colleagues, 
I plead with my colleagues, to vote no on the motion to override the 
  Mr. CANADY of Florida. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the 
gentlewoman from Nevada [Mrs. Vucanovich].
  Mrs. VUCANOVICH. Mr. Speaker, we have twice voted--by an overwhelming 
majority--to outlaw the partial birth abortion procedure. However, this 
procedure is still done on a daily basis in this country because the 
President ill-advisedly chose to veto this bill.
  It makes me shudder to think that right now somewhere in this country 
there are little pre-born human beings in their mother's womb who are 
going to be subject to this brutal procedure.
  I am only one of many who find this procedure horrifying. The 
American Medical Association's legislative council unanimously decided 
that this procedure was not a recognized medical technique and that 
this procedure is basically repulsive.
  I have also received a multitude of postcards from my constituents in 
Nevada. They overwhelmingly object to this repugnant procedure, 
especially in light of the fact that 80 percent of these types of 
abortion are purely elective.
  Regardless of whether you are prolife or pro-choice, it is obvious 
given the horrible nature of this type of abortion that it must be 
  It is inhuman to begin the birthing process and nearly complete the 
delivery of the baby, only to suck the life out of the child.
  What does it say about us as a nation when we allow our unborn 
children to be legally killed in this manner? It is imperative that 
this stop now.
  I strongly urge my colleagues to override the veto of H.R. 1833, 
which would ban partial birth abortions.

                              {time}  1300

  Mrs. SCHROEDER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from 
California [Mr. Becerra], a distinguished member of the Committee on 
the Judiciary.
  Mr. BECERRA. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentlewoman for yielding me 
this time.
  I want to ask each and every Member who is somewhat in doubt to 
please vote to sustain the President's veto of H.R. 1833, and let me 
relate it to something very personal.
  My legislative director, Deirdre Martinez, right now is at the 
hospital. She is at the hospital because she is being induced in her 
delivery of her baby. She is in good hands, and I know she is in good 
hands because my wife happens to be her ob-gyn.
  My wife, as I have mentioned in the past, is an ob-gyn, and she is a 
high-risk specialist. She deals with the type of issues we are 
discussing on the floor right now.
  Deirdre is fortunate. My wife says her baby seems to be perfectly 
normal, good weight, and probably will be born very healthy. There are, 
unfortunately, too many women sometimes in this country who do not have 
the good fortune of Deirdre, and it is in time of need that some of 
these women ask doctors to help them out.
  There are late-term abortions that are performed that are not pretty 
because--by the way, no abortion is pretty; and no woman, I suspect, 
can stand up here and say they like to see what may happen to that 
pregnancy. But there are cases where a late-term abortion must be 
performed. We are not talking about a healthy 8- or 9-month-old baby 
being extracted from the womb; we are talking about a child that will 
never have a chance to see the light of day because, for whatever 
reason, it will never become a child within the womb.
  Sometimes there is a need, for the woman's health, for the woman's 
safety and her life, to perform an abortion,

[[Page H10623]]

which we may not like. And as my wife has said, this is not a procedure 
that is done electively. A woman does not go into a hospital in her 
eighth month of pregnancy and ask that that fetus be extracted. No 
doctor in good conscience would do that. What we are talking about is 
preserving for this woman the opportunity to get past a very difficult 
  Why we would want to ban that for this woman, I do not understand. 
How 435 Members who do not practice the profession nor live through 
that experience, how they can say that this is the best thing to 
legislate for the entire country, I do not understand, nor does my 
wife, and I suspect, nor does Deirdre, who I hope will have a healthy 
baby by today.
  What I do understand is this: That we have politicized an issue 
because we have waited 6 months to take up the issue. If there was so 
much concern on the part of those who were for this bill to get this on 
the move so we would protect the lives of all these so-called unborn 
babies, why did we not try to overturn the President's veto right away?
  It is unfortunate, because we know there is an election coming up and 
there is a point to be made. It is unfortunate because there are a lot 
of women who are suffering very traumatic times as a result of having 
these late-term abortions performed. And the saddest part about it is 
that we have decided to take this issue and politicize it, when it has 
become a very, very emotional and private issue for that woman.
  I hope all those who have been able to watch this debate will learn 
something from this and take away that the experience is tough for 
them, but they should not have to worry about the politics of this 
particular procedure.
  Mr. CANADY of Florida. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman 
from Tennessee [Mr. Bryant].
  (Mr. BRYANT of Tennessee asked and was given permission to revise and 
extend his remarks.)
  Mr. BRYANT of Tennessee. Mr. Speaker, my remarks are directed to the 
people who might be trying to decide right now whether to vote to 
override this veto or not. I strongly support the override of the veto.
  This is not an issue of choice, of privacy, of not even medical 
necessity. This bill provides that we will abolish this very gruesome 
procedure, we have all seen pictures of it today, but it still allows 
the exception that if the mother's life is at issue and if there is no 
other procedure available, it can be done under those circumstances.
  So this is not even an issue of medical necessity. This is an issue 
that says ``no'' to this type of terrible procedure.
  We are a country, and we are debating this issue. I cannot believe we 
are standing here. We are a country that spends years of due process on 
convicted killers, murderers who commit the most heinous of crimes, and 
we would not dare think about executing those types of people by this 
gruesome procedure. Yet we are talking on this floor today about 
maintaining the legality of this type of terrible procedure when there 
are alternatives available.
  I just cannot believe that. Is this an upside-down world or is it 
  Mrs. SCHROEDER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentlewoman 
from California [Ms. Waters], a distinguished member of the Committee 
on the Judiciary.
  (Ms. WATERS asked and was given permission to revise and extend her 
  Ms. WATERS. Mr. Speaker, today I rise in support of the President's 
veto of a misguided bill, H.R. 1833.
  This bill would instruct doctors on medical procedures that 
politicians know little about. It would put women at risk who deserve 
the safest, most effective treatment available under any circumstance.
  Let me share with you the words of Erica Fox from Los Angeles, a 
woman who was told that there was something ``seriously wrong'' with 
her fetus during her sixth month of pregnancy. The outcome at best was 
very, very poor.
  When she got the news, she explains, ``I had my whole family with me, 
and at least 5 of them are M.D.'s. They had discussed everything with 
the doctors and they, too, felt there was no other option * * *.''
  Her father, Dr. Walter E. Fox, shared these words.

       As a doctor, I must say that it worries me greatly that 
     those that represent me in Washington would think to take 
     away my ability to care for my patients and their health to 
     the best of my ability. And, as I see it, H.R. 1833 does just 

  He continues,

       You are not doctors and most of you have not had a daughter 
     or a sister or a wife or a patient who has been in this 
     situation. But for those of us who find ourselves there, we 
     need to have every medical advancement working for us, and 
     the choice to use it.

  ``I feel that [my doctor] saved my life,'' said Erika Fox.
  ``And that my fetus was spared any pain * * *.
  She continues,

       My husband and I are now trying again. . . . There is hope 
     that we will have a healthy baby sometime in the not to 
     distant future. Hope is all you have left when your dreams 
     are dashed the way ours were last October.
       Don't override Clinton's veto of 1833,

  She says:

       Don't let the government take away our hope. . . .

  I think Mrs. and Dr. Fox's words best explain why Congress must not 
outlaw a medical procedure. If this woman were your daughter, wife, 
sister--you would want as many medical options as possible, you would 
want the best doctor, and you would want her to be able to have 
children in the future. This bill would take away these options.
  Let us leave this issue to people who know the facts. Let us support 
women, their safety, and their families. Doctors, women, and their 
families--not politicians--must make these decisions.
  Oppose the veto override of H.R. 1833.
  Mr. CANADY of Florida. Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may 
consume to the gentleman from Kentucky [Mr. Bunning].
  (Mr. BUNNING of Kentucky asked and was given permission to revise and 
extend his remarks.)
  Mr. BUNNING of Kentucky. Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of the 
override of the Presidential veto on H.R. 1833.
  Mr. Speaker, late last year, the House of Representatives took a very 
moderate step toward eliminating one, specific and particularly 
horrible method of abortion--the partial birth abortion.
  No one can reasonably justify this kind of abortion. It is grotesque. 
It is repulsive.
  Unfortunately, the President of the United States has caved into the 
pressure of pro-abortion extremists and vetoed this ban of one, single, 
indefensible procedure. Hopefully, today, the House of Representatives, 
guided by the voice of moderation and common decency will see fit to 
override that veto.
  There are those who try to argue that this procedure is necessary to 
protect the life of some mothers. That is not true. Former Surgeon 
General C. Everett Koop says that partial birth abortion is unnecessary 
and in no way protects a woman's life.
  There are those who say that this procedure is necessary to prevent 
the birth of children plagued with defects and deformity. As a 
grandfather of a disabled child, I am outraged that this argument is 
used to defend such a heinous practice.
  Only an extremist could justify or defend partial birth abortion. I 
urge my colleagues to support moderation and decency, support the ban 
on partial birth abortions and override the President's veto.
  Mr. CANADY of Florida. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman 
from Texas [Mr. Hall].
  Mr. HALL of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I, of course, rise to urge the 
override of the very ill-advised veto of the ban on partial-birth 
  Back, oh, earlier in the year, one of the most widely respected and 
politically moderate physicians I suppose ever to hold the office of 
Surgeon General, Dr. C. Everett Koop, criticized this practice. And as 
recently as August of this year, Dr. Koop granted an interview to an 
American Medical Association publication on this issue.
  He states quite simply that he believes, ``that the President was 
misled by his medical advisers on what is fact and what is fiction in 
reference to late-term abortion,'' going on to say that ``In no way can 
he twist his mind to see that this late-term abortion technique is a 
necessity for the mother, and certainly can't be a necessity for the 
  So I guess we are left to ask the question, why? Why would we even 
consider condoning a procedure like this when no medical necessity for 
it can actually be shown?
  No acceptable answer can be given to this question because partial-

[[Page H10624]]

abortion is completely unacceptable, unnecessary, and a cruel procedure 
that should not be permitted in our policy. I urge the override.
  Mr. CANADY of Florida. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman 
from Oklahoma [Mr. Largent].
  Mr. LARGENT. Mr. Speaker, in this age of high technology and medical 
wonders, there still are many things that are a mystery to the human 
mind and an awesome reminder of the work of the Creator.
  We see it when longtime rivals drop their weapons and come together 
as friends. We see it when those struggling against oppression and 
adversity succeed and claim the human dignity that is theirs as 
children of God. And most often we see the fingerprint of the Almighty 
and his glorious majesty when we look into the bright eyes of our 
newborn son or daughter.
  It defies logic and the experience of human history then to think 
that that which grows inside of the womb is not a part of us, not 
human, and not alive. Whether by technological means, pharmaceutical 
means, or surgical means, it is outside of our moral and ethical 
prerogative to snuff out that which was sown by the Creator.
  The unborn child is precisely that, an unborn child, and deserves the 
chance to grasps as much life as Divine Providence will allow. It is up 
to us as legislators to uphold our sacred duty to protect the lives of 
the innocent.
  Mrs. SCHROEDER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the distinguished 
gentlewoman from New York [Mrs. Maloney].
  Mrs. MALONEY. Mr. Speaker, today marks the 52d antichoice vote taken 
on the floor of Congress during the 104th Congress. As one of my 
colleagues in the new majority has said, ``We intend to repeal choice 
procedure by procedure.'' And they are doing it.
  This is merely another effort to antagonize and terrorize young women 
like Becky Bruce of Ohio. At 22 weeks, doctors determined a lethal 
abnormality in her fetus. She and her husband decided to seek an 
abortion. Much like the abortion protesters who screamed and pointed at 
her, frightening her at the clinic, this legislation instills the same 
kind of fear.
  This bill is an effort to chip away at the overall law of the land. 
Abortion is legal and safe. We cannot begin to make exceptions now. The 
antichoice supporters of this bill would love to start here, today, 
moving from their positions as lawmakers to become personal physicians. 
When women seek medical care, Congress has no place in their choices 
and no place in their tragedies. Apparently the supporters of this bill 
believe that it is more important to save a doomed fetus than to save 
the life and the health of its mother.
  Had my colleagues in the majority allowed an amendment with an 
appropriate exception for the life or physical health of the mother, I 
would have supported this bill.
  There have been many distortions put before Congress today. One is 
that this procedure is performed all the time. This procedure is 
performed rarely and only to save the life, health, and the ability to 
have children, of women. I urge a ``no'' vote.

                              {time}  1315

  Mr. CANADY of Florida. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the 
gentleman from Virginia [Mr. Moran].
  Mr. MORAN. Mr. Speaker, I am very hesitant to speak on this issue. 
For one thing, I have been associated with the pro-choice side 
throughout my legislative career, and I do believe that when the issue 
of abortion is concerned, it really ought not be a legislative issue; 
it ought to be a personal decision determined by a woman with the 
advice of her physician, within the context of her religion and family. 
I do not believe that this issue falls within that rubric, within that 
context of decisionmaking.
  I do agree with the Roe versus Wade decision which attempted to apply 
our human values, human judgment, to an issue on which none of us can 
ever be sure: at which point human life begins. And so we decided in 
Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decided that in the first 3 months, the 
woman should be fully free to exercise her judgment; and in the second 
trimester, the democratic process through State legislatures should 
apply restrictions; and in the third trimester, we should try to make 
it as difficult as possible.
  What we are talking about now, though, goes beyond that third 
trimester. We are talking about the delivery of a fetus clearly in the 
shape and with the functions of a human being. And when that human 
being is delivered in the birth canal, it cannot be masked as anything 
but a human being.
  We should not act in any legislative way that sanctions the 
termination of that life. And that is why I urge my colleagues to vote 
to override the President's veto of this legislation.
  Mr. Speaker, I wish that the pro-choice groups, when they saw this 
issue, would have simply agreed, said, ``You are right. We are not 
going to get involved in this because there are extremes on every one 
of these issues.'' This is an extreme that we ought not support.
  Mr. CANADY of Florida. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mrs. SCHROEDER. Mr. Speaker, could the chair please tell us what the 
time difference is?
  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. LaHood). The gentleman from Florida [Mr. 
Canady] has 17 minutes remaining, and the gentlewoman from Colorado 
[Mrs. Schroeder] has 14 minutes remaining.
  Mrs. SCHROEDER. Mr. Speaker, would the gentleman from Florida prefer 
to use more of his time so it is more even?
  Mr. CANADY of Florida. Mr. Speaker, I would inform the gentlewoman 
that I only have about two or three remaining speakers, so I would 
reserve the balance of my time.
  Mrs. SCHROEDER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 4 minutes to the distinguished 
gentleman from North Carolina [Mr. Watt], a member of the Committee on 
the Judiciary.
  Mr. WATT of North Carolina. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentlewoman from 
Colorado for yielding time. I rise in support of sustaining the veto of 
the President on this bill.
  Mr. Speaker there is a tendency on the part of some of my colleagues 
to try to divide folks into groups, based on their vote on this issue, 
of whether they support life or do not support life. I respectfully 
submit that no Member of this body supports death over life; that there 
are always difficult choices on a number of these votes.
  But we heard evidence submitted at hearings in the Committee on the 
Judiciary that indicated and confirmed that serious medical jeopardy 
can result to women, and that in some cases this procedure is the only 
procedure that is available in late-term abortion to save the life of 
the mother, to preserve the ability of the mother to have children in 
the future, to protect the health of a prospective mother in those 
  And when that occurs, to put the doctor and that mother in the 
position of saying, ``You will be a criminal if you exercise your right 
to protect yourself from serious health conditions, or to protect your 
reproductive capacity in the future, or protect even your life,'' I 
think is irresponsible.
  This is not, as some folks would suggest, an easy decision. It is 
always a difficult decision. And the very people who are always talking 
about keeping the Government out of our personal lives it seems to me 
are the ones that are on the opposite side of this issue, because I do 
want the Government to leave some personal decisions to the individual 
American women and citizens of this country. And one of those decisions 
is when it is proper to save one's own life to, save the ability to 
have children in the future. That ought to be a personal decision made 
by the woman and her physician.
  I want to make one final point that suggests, in the closing days of 
this Congress, that this is really not about this bill at all; it is 
really about politics.
  The President vetoed this bill quite some time ago. It has been 
sitting over there in the Committee on the Judiciary, waiting. Well, 
what has it been waiting for? It could have come out in 2 days to have 
this vote. It could have come out in 2 weeks to have this vote. But it 
just sat there.
  Mr. Speaker, when does it come out? Right before the election, so 
that somebody can inject the politics of the moment into a serious 
public policy discussion. This is about politics, my colleagues. It is 
about choice of a woman to protect her own health and

[[Page H10625]]

safety and her own life. It is about keeping the Government out of our 
own personal lives, and I think we ought to sustain the President's 
veto on this bill.

  Mr. CANADY of Florida. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman 
from Ohio [Mr. Chabot].
  Mr. CHABOT. Mr. Speaker, we cast hundreds of votes in this body every 
year. Very rarely do we vote on an issue as important as this one.
  I hope that my colleagues will do the right thing today and 
overwhelmingly vote to override the President's veto of the Partial-
Birth Abortion Ban Act. We have debated this issue for quite some time 
now. We have listened to the experts, and Americans from all across 
this Nation, both prolife and prochoice, have spoken out against this 
particularly gruesome procedure. I have had people who are prochoice 
call my office and agree that there is no place for a procedure that is 
as barbaric, as gruesome as this in a civilized society.
  Mr. Speaker, I cannot urge my colleagues in strong enough terms to do 
the right thing: Vote to override the President's veto.
  Mr. CANADY of Florida. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman 
from Colorado [Mr. McInnis].
  Mr. McINNIS. Mr. Speaker, this is the most barbaric procedure I have 
ever come across. There is never, ever, ever a reason that makes this 
  The previous speaker says we are attempting to divide. We are 
attempting to protect.
  This body today, Republicans and Democrats, will vote overwhelmingly 
to ban this procedure. Let me quote from the Wall Street Journal, Nancy 
Romer, today in an article, Partial-birth Abortion Is Bad Medicine:

       Consider the dangers inherent in partial-birth abortion, 
     which usually occurs after the fifth month of pregnancy. A 
     woman's cervix is forcibly dilated over several days, which 
     risks creating an ``incompetent cervix,'' the leading cause 
     of premature deliveries. It is also an invitation to 
     infection, a major cause of infertility. The abortionist then 
     reaches into the womb to pull the child feet first out of the 
     mother, but leaves the head inside. Under normal 
     circumstances, physicians avoid breech births whenever 
     possible; in this case the doctor intentionally causes one--
     and risks tearing the uterus in the process.
       He then forces scissors through the base of the baby's 
     scull, which remains lodged just within the birth canal. This 
     is a partially ``blind'' procedure, done by feel, risking 
     direct scissor injury to the uterus and laceration of the 
     cervix or lower uterine segment, resulting in immediate and 
     massive bleeding and the threat of shock or even death to the 
     mother. None of this risk is ever necessary for any reason.

  This is never, ever necessary, and I urge a ``yes'' vote to override 
the President's veto.
  Mrs. SCHROEDER. The Speaker, I yield 2\1/2\ minutes to the 
distinguished gentlewoman from California [Ms. Woolsey].
  (Ms. WOOLSEY asked and was given permission to revise and extend her 
  Ms. WOOLSEY. Mr. Speaker, this veto override is a cruel attempt to 
make a political point. Make no mistake about it, this debate, with all 
the emotional rhetoric and exaggerated testimony on the other side of 
the aisle, is a frontal attack on Roe versus Wade, plain and simple.
  The Gingrich majority wants to do away with Roe, the radical right 
wants to do away with Roe, and H.R. 1833 is the first step. So let us 
be honest about what this veto override is really about.
  This bill, which the President courageously vetoed, will outlaw a 
medical procedure which is rarely used but sometimes required in 
extreme and tragic cases when the life or the future fertility of the 
mother is in danger or when a fetus is so malformed that it has no 
chance of survival.
  Like when the fetus has no brain or the fetus is missing organs. Or 
the spine has grown outside of the body. When the fetus has zero chance 
of life.
  When women are forced to carry a malformed fetus to term, there is 
danger of chronic hemorrhaging, danger of permanent infertility or 
  Let me read a brief list of organizations that oppose H.R. 1833: The 
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists; the American 
Public Health Association; the American Nurses Association; the 
American Medical Women's Association. The list goes on and on.
  These medical professionals oppose this bill because they know that 
H.R. 1833 will cost women their lives or their reproductive health.
  Mr. Speaker, the Gingrich majority has proven time and again its 
resolve to make Roe versus Wade ring hollow for most American women. Do 
not let this happen. Protect women's lives and women's health. Protect 
a woman's right to decide with her doctor what is the best medical 
procedure during very tragic times. Vote ``no'' on the veto override. 
But if you cannot vote ``no,'' just vote ``present.''
  Mrs. SCHROEDER. Mr. Speaker, we only have one remaining speaker, and 
I want to be sure the gentleman from Florida only has one remaining 
speaker, because they have double the time. Does the gentleman from 
Florida only have one remaining speaker?
  Mr. CANADY of Florida. Mr. Speaker, I have one remaining speaker, as 
I indicated earlier. I reserve the balance of my time for closing.
  Mrs. SCHROEDER. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself the balance of my time.

                              {time}  1330

  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. LaHood). The gentlewoman from Colorado 
[Mrs. Schroeder] is recognized for 7\1/2\ minutes.
  Mrs. SCHROEDER. Mr. Speaker, I must say in the time crunch, I felt 
terrible in having to cut off the distinguished gentlewoman from 
California who is a member of the committee. I really want her to stand 
up and finish what she was talking about. The gentlewoman from 
California [Ms. Lofgren] was talking about her mother's best friend and 
her mother's best friend who was Catholic, going to church and being 
asked to organize on this issue.
  I yield to the gentlewoman from California [Ms. Lofgren] because I 
had to cut her off.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I did talk to the gentlewoman about my 
friends, the Wilsons, and the real truth, not the rhetoric, not the 
misinformation, and the comment is that good Catholics and good 
Christians do not want to hurt good mothers. If we could keep that in 
our minds, put aside the politics, I think we would do a far more 
decent job here today.
  Mrs. SCHROEDER. Mr. Speaker, I wanted this body to hear what the 
gentlewoman said because that has been our position all along. We do 
not wish to hurt good mothers. That was the President's position. That 
is still our position.
  I was the one who went to the Committee on Rules and went everywhere 
trying to get an amendment to deal with the serious health issues of a 
mother. Nobody wants this for vanity purposes. My skin crawls as I hear 
Members on this floor talking about thousands of women get these late 
term abortions for vanity purposes, like all women have such dark 
hearts they would wait to postviability and then suddenly decide, I 
changed my mind.
  There may be some of those cases, I do not know. But I must tell you, 
all of us are willing to ban those cases. We are talking about the 
cases where women desperately want to have a family and something goes 
terribly wrong.
  Many of my colleagues have heard about our friend here, have seen 
this picture before, but the real good news was after she had that 
procedure, look what she got. She got little Tucker. We really ought to 
say, this is what this is about, because this women was able to have 
this procedure late in her term in a very, very sad pregnancy that went 
very, very wrong. She was able to preserve her reproductive ability and 
go on to add to this happy American family.
  Do we want the Congress of the United States saying no to that? I 
certainly do not. I certainly do not. I do not think we want the 
Congress of the United States standing in the same room with this woman 
and her husband and her doctor and probably her whole family in tears 
but the Congress says, but if your doctor tries to help you on this, 
after we pass this, he goes to jail. I do not think that is the 
American way.
  If you really believe that women are running out and having these and 
this is a vanity issue and is about fitting into a prom dress or 
something, we are willing to do that. But you would not let us have the 
amendment. You would not let us have a serious health amendment. And 
every time we say health,

[[Page H10626]]

you say, you mean headaches. We were talking about serious health. You 
know how to write it; we know how to write it. Let us not kid 
ourselves. That is what the President said. The President said, serious 
health amendment.
  I find this a very sad day because I really find this is not about 
whether or not there are thousands of these going on and how awful this 
is. I think this is all about politics. The President vetoed this bill 
in April. Let me tell you, in early April he vetoed this bill. It has 
being sitting in the committee and it could have come to the floor any 
day thereafter. So if you really thought that this was going on, this 
is an epidemic, women are losing their minds and running in in late 
term, if you thought that, you should have stopped it right away. If 
you thought this was so grisly and horrible, that is when you should 
have done it. But no, we decided to let it wait until election eve, 
where we could let it bubble and burn and all of this stuff. So that we 
could build a huge issue and this is our 52d vote on choice. This is 
really an attempt to undo choice, this extreme, extreme Congress that 
we have.
  You see the charts that are drawn over there. They are drawn and they 
eat at your heart and they eat at my heart because they show a perfect, 
beautiful child, a perfect, beautiful child like Tucker. But let me 
tell you, the child that came before Tucker that would have prevented 
Tucker from being born, had there not been this procedure, did not look 
like Tucker and did not look like those pretty little drawings.
  These are seriously deformed children that we are talking about, very 
seriously deformed, or the mother has a very serious condition.
  Do you know what is wrong in this debate? We have been so caught up 
in this choice/anti-choice debate that we have made pregnancy sound 
like it is a 9-month cruise and that absolutely nothing can go wrong 
during that 9-month cruise and the only thing that would ever happen is 
if they do that, the mother must be some selfish, terrible person with 
a dark heart. But let me tell you, my colleagues, many things can go 
  Do you know by statistics today 25 percent of the vaginal and 
caesarean births in this country have serious maternal complications, 
25 percent? Do you know if a woman has a baby over the age of 40, she 
is nine times more apt to die in this country. There are serious safe 
motherhood issues. We have had Members so engaged with their pictures 
and charts and screaming and playing politics with women's uteruses 
that we have not really dealt with the safe motherhood issue.
  So I find this a very sad vote to end my career on. I thank the 
President of the United States, who listened to those families. Those 
families have been in this Congress pushing their strollers around with 
their babies and their husbands, trying to get Members of Congress to 
listen. Many of them are right-to-life families who never in the world 
thought they would ever need this procedure. Yet their world collapsed 
on them, and they did not want this to be like Russian roulette. This 
would be like pregnancy Russian roulette. You get one shot at it and, 
if it does not work, you have blown your chance forever to have a baby. 
Is that what this Congress is trying to say?
  Let me read the words of Coreen Costello. She goes on to say:

       I still do not believe in abortion. I have anguished over 
     supporting an abortion procedure. However, I have chosen to 
     come forward, despite my beliefs, because I believe that this 
     bill does not protect women and families.

  Coreen was the mother of Tucker. This is Coreen. She never thought 
she would be there.
  Please do not make this happen to everybody before you realize it. Do 
not take this right away from America's families. And please, please, 
please, preserve serious health conditions of mothers.
  In today's debate, the picture of the American woman that will emerge 
from the other side is that she is a frivolous and shallow person who 
would lightly terminate a late-term pregnancy. The supporters of this 
bill would have you believe that Congress must deprive women of the 
right to make their own reproductive decisions, because American women 
and their families cannot be trusted to be responsible decisionmakers.
  I have this picture of Coreen Costello and her family beside me as I 
speak, because I don't want any one to forget that this debate is not 
about political sound bites or the politics of pitting Americans 
against each other. This debate is about real American families and the 
agonizing decisions they have to make when wanted pregnancies go 
terribly wrong, when serious fetal anomalies or serious threats to the 
woman's health arise during the pregnancy.
  I came to Congress 24 years ago determined to make sure that the 
Federal Government treats women as responsible adults who are the best 
decisionmakers with respect to their reproductive health. The bill 
before us today says that your Member of Congress is somehow better 
able to make decisions about your reproductive health than you are. For 
Congress to usurp the power of the American family in this way is not 
only unconstitutional, it is also an affront to our fundamental 
commitment to the integrity of the family, and the right that Americans 
have to be able to make significant medical decisions for themselves.
  You may hear, during the course of this debate, allegations that some 
women have obtained late-term abortions for reasons other than their 
life or health. Remember this: the individual States as well as the 
Federal Government, have the power, under the Constitution and Roe 
versus Wade, to ban all post-viability, late-term abortions except 
those that are necessary to preserve the woman's life or to avoid 
serious health consequences to her. The President has made it clear 
that he would sign such a bill. But every attempt we made to amend this 
bill to provide an exception for life or serious health consequences 
was flatly rejected by the other side. Not once did the majority permit 
this body to vote on an exception to preserve women's health or their 
future fertility. Not once.
  The majority has chosen to have a political campaign issue instead of 
having a bill that would pass constitutional muster and ban late-term 
abortions except when the women's life or health is at stake.
  I want to show you another picture of Coreen Costello and her family. 
Look closely, and note that since the time that we first debated this 
bill, the Costellos have had joyous occasion to sit for a new family 
picture, because their family has changed. Baby Tucker is the newest 
member of this family, and his birth was made possible because Coreen 
Costello and her family were able to use the procedure this bill bans. 
Let me close with Coreen Costello's own words. She wrote me yesterday 
and said this about her tragic pregnancy:

       My daughter's stiff and rigid body as well as her unusual 
     contorted position in my womb gave my team of doctors deep 
     concern for my health and well-being * * *. With their 
     knowledge and expertise and data from extensive diagnostic 
     testing, my medical experts believed the safest option was an 
     intact D&E, performed by specialist Dr. James McMahon. 
     Reluctantly, my husband and I agreed.

  She goes on to say:

       I still do not believe in abortion, and I have anguished 
     over supporting an abortion procedure. However, I have chosen 
     to come forward, despite my beliefs, as H.R. 1833 does not 
     protect women and families like mine. President Clinton and 
     Members of Congress asked for an amendment to allow 
     exceptions for serious health consequences. Proponents of 
     this extreme bill refused to allow such a vote. They do not 
     want to believe stories like mine. My baby girl is gone. Not 
     because of an abortion procedure, but because of a terrible 
     disease. Please do not confuse this. It was hard enough for 
     my husband and children to lose Katherine. I thank God they 
     did not lose me, too.
       Not a day goes by that my heart doesn't ache for my 
     daughter. Fortunately, my pain has been eased with the joyous 
     birth of our healthy baby boy, Tucker. This would not have 
     been possible without this procedure. It is time for my 
     family to put the pieces of our lives back together. Please, 
     please, give other women and their families this chance. Let 
     us deal with our personal tragedies without any unnecessary 
     interference from our government. Leave us with our God, our 
     families, and our trusted medical experts. Sincerely, Coreen 

  Vote with these families. Vote against extremism that would make 
Congress the decisionmaker for your most intimate and difficult medical 
decisions. Vote no.
  Mr. CARDIN. Mr. Speaker, will the gentlewoman yield?
  Mrs. SCHROEDER. I yield to the gentleman from Maryland.
  (Mr. CARDIN asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
  Mr. CARDIN. Mr. Speaker, the issue presented by H.R. 1833, the 
partial birth abortion bill, is one that requires careful thought and 
consideration. The medical procedure that is addressed by this 
legislation is, in my judgment and in the judgment of hundreds of my 
constituents, gruesome. My vote today to sustain the President's veto 
in no way indicates my support for that procedure.

[[Page H10627]]

  The fact is, however, that it is a medical procedure. With no medical 
training, I am not qualified, and I do not think this Congress is 
qualified, to rule on the necessity of specific medical decisions. This 
is a medical question, not a political one. If this bill were to become 
law, it would establish the precedent of Congress placing in our 
criminal statutes specific medical procedures. That would be a mistake.
  It would a different matter to have a straight-forward debate about 
the circumstances under which late-term abortions are medically 
justified. However, that is not what we're doing today. Instead, we are 
debating whether to outlaw a specific medical procedure.
  I am dismayed that the American Medical Association, or other 
appropriate governing bodies of medical professionals, has not stepped 
forward on this issue. They have the expertise and the responsibility 
to rule on the necessity of this procedure, and I have urged them, in 
writing, to do so. I hope they will yet act to guide their members on 
whether this hideous procedure is, in fact, in some cases the only 
medically safe option to preserve the life and future health of the 
  I have always defended the right of each woman to make her own 
decisions about her reproductive rights. The bill before us raises the 
question whether a particular medical procedure is ever appropriate for 
any woman. According to many doctors, there are horrific instances 
where this procedure is the best option for protecting the woman's life 
and/or health and her ability to have children in the future. I will 
vote against this bill because, for all the emotion of this issue, I do 
not believe Congress knows enough to tell doctors how to act in certain 
  Mr. CANADY of Florida. Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may 
consume to the gentleman from Pennsylvania [Mr. Weldon].
  (Mr. WELDON of Pennsylvania asked and was given permission to revise 
and extend his remarks.)
  Mr. WELDON of Pennsylvania. Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of 
the motion to override.
  On March 27, this House passed the conference report on H.R. 1833, 
the ban on partial birth abortions and sent it to our President for his 
signature. Sticking to his proabortion agenda, the President chose to 
distance himself from the American people and veto the ban on the most 
brutal form of infanticide. Following the President's decision, we set 
out to override his veto and to protect the life of the unborn childn. 
We have come far and are in sight of our destination.
  Today, with the bipartisan support of 285 Members of Congress, this 
House was able to successfully override the veto. Today, with the 
support of 285 Members of Congress, this House was able to respond to 
the millions of Americans who are outraged by this brutal form of 
abortion. Today, with the support of 285 Members of Congress, this 
House was able to send the message of the American people to a 
President who doesn't really seem to care what they think.
  Those of us who believe in the life of the unborn, those of us who 
fight against the crime of partial birth abortion cheer today for our 
success, but regret the lives and futures that have been lost since the 
27th of March, since the hour that we first passed the ban. Let us 
delay no more, let us be resolute, and let us complete our task in 
overriding President Clinton's unjust and unjustified veto, that no 
other child may perish.
  We have advanced confidently in the direction of our hopes, and we 
await the Senate to join us in the completion of our task.
  Mr. CANADY of Florida. Mr. Speaker, I yield the balance of my time to 
the gentleman from Illinois [Mr. Hyde], chairman of the Committee on 
the Judiciary.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from Illinois [Mr. Hyde] is 
recognized for 15 minutes.
  (Mr. HYDE asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
  Mr. HYDE. Mr. Speaker, I beg the indulgence of my colleagues not to 
ask me to yield because I cannot and will not and I would appreciate 
their courtesy. I also want to say briefly that those who have charge 
us with politics, invidious politics, for delaying this debate ought to 
understand that Americans cannot believe this practice exists and it 
has taken months to educate the American people and it will take many 
more months to educate them as to the nature and extent of this 
horrible practice. That is one reason it has taken so long.
  The law exists to protect the weak from the strong. That is why we 
are here.
  Mr. Speaker, in his classic novel ``Crime and Punishment,'' 
Dostoyevsky has his murderous protagonist Raskolnikov complain that 
``Man can get used to anything, the beast!''
  That we are even debating this issue, that we have to argue about the 
legality of an abortionist plunging a pair of scissors into the back of 
the tiny neck of a little child whose trunk, arms and legs have already 
been delivered, and then suctioning out his brains only confirms 
Dostoyevsky's harsh truth.
  We were told in committee by an attending nurse that the little arms 
and legs stop flailing and suddenly stiffen as the scissors is plunged 
in. People who say ``I feel your pain'' are not referring to that 
little infant.
  What kind of people have we become that this procedure is even a 
matter for debate? Can we not draw the line at torture, and baby 
torture at that? If we cannot, what has become of us? We are all 
incensed about ethnic cleansing. What about infant cleansing? There is 
no argument here about when human life begins. The child who is 
destroyed is unmistakably alive, unmistakably human and unmistakably 
brutally destroyed.
  The justification for abortion has always been the claim that a women 
can do with her own body what she will. If you still believe that this 
four-fifths delivered little baby is a part of the woman's body, then I 
am afraid your ignorance is invincible.
  I finally figured out why supporters of abortion on demand fight this 
infacticide ban tooth and claw, because for the first time since Roe v. 
Wade the focus is on the baby, not the mother, not the woman but the 
baby, and the harm that abortion inflicts on an unborn child, or in 
this instance a four-fifths born child. That child whom the advocates 
of abortion on demand have done everything in their power to make us 
ignore, to dehumznize, is as much a bearer of human rights as any 
Member of this House. To deny those rights is more than the betrayal of 
a powerless individual. It betrays the central promise of America, that 
there is, in this land, justice for all.
  The supporters of abortion on demand have exercised an amazing 
capacity for self-deception by detaching themselves from any sympathy 
whatsoever for the unborn child, and in doing so they separate 
themselves from the instinct for justice that gave birth to this 
  The President, reacting angrily to this challenge to his veto, claims 
not to understand why the morality of those who support a ban on 
partial birth abortions is superior to the morality of ``compassion'' 
that he insists informed his decision to reject Congress' ban on what 
Senator Moynihan has said is ``too close to infanticide.''
  Let me explain, Mr. President. There is no moral nor, for that 
matter, medical justification for this barbaric assault on a partially 
born infant. Dr. Pamela Smith, director of medical education in the 
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Chicago's Mount Sinai 
Hospital, testified to that, as have many other doctors.
  Dr. C. Everett Koop, the last credible Surgeon General we had, was 
interviewed by the American Medical Association on August 19, and he 
was asked:
  Question: ``President Clinton just vetoed a bill on partial birth 
abortions. In so doing, he cited several cases in which women were told 
these procedures were necessary to preserve their health and their 
ability to have future pregnancies. How would you characterize the 
claims being made in favor of the medical need for this procedure?''
  Answer: Quoting Dr. Koop, ``I believe that Mr. Clinton was misled by 
his medical advisors on what is fact and what is fiction in reference 
to late term abortions.''
  Question: ``In your practice as a pediatric surgeon, have you ever 
treated children with any of the disabilities cited in this debate? 
Have you operated on children born with organs outside of their 
  Answer: ``Oh, yes, indeed. I've done that many times. The prognosis 
usually is good. There are two common ways that children are born with 
organs outside of their body. One is an omphalocele, where the organs 
are out but still contained in the sac composed of the tissues of the 
umbilical cord. I have been repairing those since 1946. The other is 
when the sac has ruptured. That makes it a little more difficult. I 
don't know what the national mortality would be, but certainly more 
than half of those babies survive after surgery.

[[Page H10628]]

  ``Now every once in a while, you have other peculiar things, such as 
the chest being wide open and the heart being outside the body. And I 
have even replaced hearts back in the body and had children grow to 

                              {time}  1345

  Question: And live normal lives?
  Answer: Living normal lives. In fact, the first child I ever did with 
a huge omphalocele much bigger than her head went on to develop well 
and become the head nurse in my intensive care unit many years later.''
  The abortionist who is a principal perpetrator of these atrocities, 
Dr. Martin Haskell, has conceded that at least 80 percent of the 
partial-birth abortions he performs are entirely elective; 80 percent 
are elective. And he admits to over a thousands of these abortions, and 
that is some years ago.
  We are told about some extreme cases of malformed babies as though 
life is only for the privileged, the planned and the perfect. Dr. James 
McMahon, the late Dr. James McMahon, listed nine such abortions he 
performed because the baby had a cleft lip.
  Many other physicians who care both about the mother and the unborn 
child have made it clear this is never a medical necessity, but it is a 
convenience for the abortionist. It is a convenience for those who 
choose to abort late in pregnancy when it becomes difficult to 
dismember the unborn child in the womb.
  Well, the President claims he wants to solve a problem by adding a 
health exception to the partial-birth abortion ban. That is spurious, 
as anyone who has spent 10 minutes studying the Federal law, 
understands. Health exceptions are so broadly construed by the court, 
as to make any ban utterly meaningless.

  If there is no consistent commitment that has survived the twists and 
the turns in policy during this administration, it is an unshakable 
commitment to a legal regime of abortion on demand. Nothing is or will 
be done to make abortion rare. No legislative or regulatory act will be 
allowed to impede the most permissive abortion license in the 
democratic world.
  The President would do us all a favor and make a modest contribution 
to the health of our democratic process if he would simply concede this 
obvious fact.
  In his memoirs Dwight Eisenhower wrote about the loss of 1.2 million 
lives in World War II, and he said:
  ``The loss of lives that might have otherwise been creatively lived 
scars the mind of the civilized world.''
  Mr. Speaker, our souls have been scarred by one and a half million 
abortions every year in this country. Our souls have so much scar 
tissue there is not room for any more.
  And say, what do we mean by human dignity if we subject innocent 
children to brutal execution when they are almost born? We all hope and 
pray for death with dignity. Tell me what is dignified about a death 
caused by having a scissors stabbed into your neck so your brains can 
be sucked out.
  We have had long and bitter debates in this House about assault 
weapons. Those scissors and that suction machine are assault weapons 
worse than any AK-47. One might miss with an AK-47; the doctor never 
misses with his assault weapon, I can assure my colleagues.
  It is not just the babies that are dying for the lethal sin of being 
unwanted or being handicapped or malformed. We are dying, and not from 
the darkness, but from the cold, the coldness of self-brutalization 
that chills our sensibilities, deadens our conscience and allows us to 
think of this unspeakable act as an act of compassion.
  If my colleagues vote to uphold this veto, if they vote to maintain 
the legality of a procedure that is revolting even to the most hardened 
heart, then please do not ever use the word compassion again.
  A word about anesthesia. Advocates of partial-birth abortions tried 
to tell us the baby does not feel pain; the mother's anesthesia is 
transmitted to the baby. We took testimony from five of the country's 
top anesthesiologists, and they said it is impossible, that result will 
take so much anesthesia it would kill the mother.
  By upholding this tragic veto, those colleagues join the network of 
complicity in supporting what is essentially a crime against humanity, 
for that little, almost born infant struggling to live is a member of 
the human family, and partial-birth abortion is a lethal assault 
against the very idea of human rights and destroys, along with a 
defenseless little baby, the moral foundation of our democracy because 
democracy is not, after all, a mere process. It assigns fundamental 
rights and values to each human being, the first of which is the 
inalienable right to life.
  One of the great errors of modern politics is our foolish attempt to 
separate our private consciences from our public acts, and it cannot be 
done. At the end of the 20th century, is the crowning achievement of 
our democracy to treat the weak, the powerless, the unwanted as things? 
To be disposed of? If so, we have not elevated justice; we have 
disgraced it.
  This is not a debate about sectarian religious doctrine nor about 
policy options. This is a debate about our understanding of human 
dignity, what does it mean to be human? Our moment in history is marked 
by a mortal conflict between culture of death and a culture of life, 
and today, here and now, we must choose sides.
  I am not the least embarrassed to say that I believe one day each of 
us will be called upon to render an account for what we have done, and 
maybe more importantly, what we fail to do in our lifetime, and while I 
believe in a merciful God, I believe in a just God, and I would be 
terrified at the thought of having to explain at the final judgment why 
I stood unmoved while Herod's slaughter of the innocents was being 
reenacted here in my own country.
  This debate has been about an unspeakable horror. While the details 
are graphic and grisly, it has been helpful for all of us to recognize 
the full brutality of what goes on in America's abortuaries day in and 
day out, week after week, year after year. We are not talking about 
abstractions here. We are talking about life and death at their most 
elemental, and we ought to face the truth of what we oppose or support 
stripped of all euphemisms, and the queen of all euphemisms is 
``choice'' as though one is choosing vanilla and chocolate instead of a 
dead baby or a live baby.
  Now, we have talked so much about the grotesque; permit me a word 
about beauty. We all have our own images of the beautiful; the face of 
a loved one, a dawn, a sunset, the evening star. I believe nothing in 
this world of wonders is more beautiful than the innocence of a child.
  Do my colleagues know what a child is? She is an opportunity for 
love, and a handicapped child is an even greater opportunity for love.
  Mr. Speaker, we risk our souls, we risk our humanity when we trifle 
with that innocence or demean it or brutalize it. We need more caring 
and less killing.
  Let the innocence of the unborn have the last word in this debate. 
Let their innocence appeal to what President Lincoln called the better 
angels of our nature. Let our votes prove Raskolnikov is wrong. There 
is something we will never get use to. Make it clear once again there 
is justice for all, even for the tiniest, most defenseless in this, our 
  Mr. BISHOP. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to sustain President Bill 
Clinton's veto of H.R. 1833, the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act of 
1995. The bill makes it a crime to perform a so-called partial-birth 
abortion unless the abortion is necessary to save the life of the 
mother. Under the legislation, physicians who perform these abortions 
are subject to a maximum of 2 years imprisonment, fines, or both. The 
bill also establishes a civil cause of action for damages against the 
doctor who performs the procedure.
  I am against abortion as a method of birth control and certainly 
against elective late-term abortions except where necessary to protect 
the life or health of the mother. Today, I vote to sustain the 
President's veto because H.R. 1833 would seriously infringe upon a 
family's right to choose what is best for them. In addition, it would 
seriously interfere with a physician's attempt to protect a woman's 
health or future reproductive capacity.
  This rare procedure is primarily used in cases of desired pregnancies 
gone tragically wrong; when a family learns late in pregnancy of severe 
fetal anomalies or of a medical condition that threatens the woman's 
life or health. The American Public Health Association, the American 
Medical Women's Association, and the American College of Obstetricians 
and Gynecologists, all organizations

[[Page H10629]]

dedicated to improving women's health care, oppose the measure. 
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, 
this type of procedure is ``done primarily when the abnormalities of 
the fetus are so extreme that the independent life is not possible or 
when the fetus has died in utero.'' They further explain that the 
medical problems which a woman could develop that might require 
interruption of pregnancy during the third trimester include rare 
maternal problems that could threaten the life and/or health of the 
pregnant woman if the pregnancy continued such as severe heart disease, 
malignancies, kidney failure, or severe toxemia.
  I simply cannot tell a mother that she must risk her life carrying a 
fetus that the medical community has determined would not live. That 
should be a family decision best left to the family and their God. In 
these situations, in which a family must make such a difficult 
decision, the ability to choose this procedure must be protected.
  This measure outlaws a valid medical procedure. Other methods of 
late-term abortion may be more dangerous to the health or life of the 
woman. Moreover, it compromises the patient-physician relationship. 
Because it bans one of the safest, least invasive methods available 
later in pregnancy, physicians would be compelled to balance the health 
of their patients against the possibility of facing Federal criminal 
  In short, I cannot vote to override the President's veto because it 
fails to protect women and families in such dire circumstances and 
because it treats doctors who perform the procedures as criminals. The 
life exception in the bill only covers cases in which the doctor 
believes that the woman will die. It fails to cover cases where, absent 
the procedure, serious physical harm is very likely to occur. I would 
support H.R. 1833 if it were amended to add an exception for serious 
health consequences.
  I urge my colleagues to vote to sustain the President's veto.
  Mrs. KELLY. Mr. Speaker, I rise in reluctant opposition to the veto 
override of H.R. 1833.
  I am opposed to late-term abortions except in instances where they 
are necessary to save the life of the mother or for serious, very 
limited health reasons. Unfortunately, this well-intentioned 
legislation fails to make these exceptions. Tragedies involving 
severely deformed or dying fetuses sometimes occur in the late stages 
of pregnancy. In these crisis situations, women should have access to 
the safest medical procedure available, and on some occasions the 
safest such procedure is the intact dilation and evacuation procedure.
  If we ban this procedure, Mr. Speaker, as this legislation seeks to 
do, doctors will resort to other procedures, such as a caesarean 
section or a dismemberment dilation and evacuation, which can and often 
do pose greater health risks to women, such as severe hemorrhaging, 
lacerations of the uterus, or other complications that can threaten a 
woman's life or her ability to have children again in the future.
  Mr. Speaker, passage of H.R. 1833 will not end late-term abortions; 
the bill only bans one such procedure that, in the judgment of a 
doctor, might offer the surest way of protecting the mother. The New 
York chapter of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists 
opposes H.R. 1833, expressing concern that ``* * * Congress would take 
any action that would supersede the medical judgment of trained 
physicians and would criminalize medical procedures that may be 
necessary to save the life of a woman * * *''.
  If H.R. 1833 were amended to include exceptions for situations where 
a woman's life or health is threatened, ensuring that decisions 
regarding the well-being of the mother are made by doctors, not 
politicians, I would gladly support the bill. Without this protection, 
however, I cannot in good conscience support this legislation today.
  Good people will always disagree over the abortion issue, and I 
respect the passion and depth of feeling that so many of my 
constituents on both sides of this issue have expressed to me. 
Maintaining policies which promote healthy mothers and healthy babies 
should remain above the political fray, and it is for this reason that 
I oppose the veto override today.
  Mr. BLUMENAUER. Mr. Speaker, I oppose the challenge to the 
President's veto of H.R. 1833. Whatever one's belief on abortion, the 
late-term procedure most be viewed separately, for this is a procedure 
to be used only as a last resort to save a woman's life or to avoid a 
devastating deterioration of her health. Late-term abortion is not 
about choice. It is about saving women from grave damage to their 
health, to their ability to bear children in the future, and from 
death. The President, and the medical community, have assured us that 
abuses of this procedure can be avoided. Regrettably, those voting to 
override this veto would apparently prefer to score political points 
than to heed those assurances. This is being done with indifference to 
women who face grave circumstances, and in disregard to the potential 
of this institution to render a serious policy determination on a 
matter of grave consequence.
  Mr. FAZIO of California. I rise today to express my support for the 
President's position on H.R. 1833 and to urge my colleagues to support 
  This issue has been an incredibly difficult one for me as I'm sure it 
has been for most of my colleagues. The medical procedures involved are 
very disturbing, and moreover, intensely personal issues lie at the 
heart of this debate.
  However, I opposed H.R. 1833 for several reasons when we debated this 
legislation earlier this year, and I remain opposed to this bill.
  First, and most important, H.R. 1833 denies women the right to make 
extremely important and personal medical decisions. If passed, this 
bill would strip away many of the protections that exist for legal 
  Only the mother, in consultation with her doctor, should make the 
decision. We should not attempt to impose a ``Congress Knows Best'' 
medical solution on the women of America.
  In additional, I opposed this bill because it doesn't contain an 
exception which would allow for this extremely rare procedure to be 
performed when circumstances are the most dire; that is, when the life 
of the mother is endangered. We should not accept a ban on a procedure 
which may represent the best hope for a woman to avoid serious risks to 
her health.
  Of course we should not make this procedure, or any type of abortion, 
a purely elective procedure. But if we pass this bill, we are 
criminalizing a medical procedure that may one day be necessary to save 
the life of the mother and allow her to have a family.
  I urge all of my colleagues to give careful thought to their vote 
today and oppose the veto override attempt before us.
  Mrs. COLLINS of Illinois. Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to the 
motion to override the Presidential veto of H.R. 1833, the late-term 
abortion ban. The fact that we are voting on this motion today is a 
true testament to how extreme many of the Members of this House of 
Representatives are. Despite their campaign pledges to ``get the U.S. 
government out of your life,'' Gingrich-Dole Republican Members have 
continued to advocate that the U.S. Congress take unprecedented steps 
into the personal lives of American women and their families--as well 
as into their doctor's offices--in order to influence public opinion 
and undermine current laws in a fashion that they cannot do through the 
highest court in our land. H.R. 1833 is an attempt by Gingrich 
extremists to prescribe their own view of proper medical strategy 
regarding partial birth abortion procedures.
  In order to promote this bill, the Republicans have focused on 
certain aspects of this medical procedure that are intended to elicit 
emotional responses. What they refuse to focus on, however, is that the 
only women who seek such rare, third-trimester abortions are 
overwhelmingly in tragic, heart-rendering situations in which they must 
make one of the most difficult decisions of their lives.
  Often they are faced with personal health risks that threaten their 
very lives and/or their ability to have children in the future. Others 
discover very late in their pregnancy--in some cases even after they 
already know the sex of the child, have picked out a name and gotten 
the baby's crib--that their child has horrific fetal anomalies that are 
incompatible with life and will cause the baby terrible pain and 
tragedy before the end of its short life.
  Clearly, each of these situations is serious, tragic, and terribly 
difficult for the families involved. The decision to seek a late-term, 
partial-birth abortion is one that is not made carelessly or lightly. 
The U.S. Congress is the last entity that should be intruding into this 
type of personal, family decision.
  Further, we in Congress have absolutely no right to interfere with a 
doctor's medical judgment when he or she is making critical decisions 
affecting the life of a woman, her health and her ability to bear 
children in the future. It is extremely important to note that this 
bill makes no exception for the health of the mother. In fact, it makes 
no mention of the health of the women whatsoever. Clearly, the mother's 
health and her reproductive future mean nothing to those Members of 
this body who are pushing this bill forward and who have failed to 
include this vital exception.
  H.R. 1833 takes advantage of tragic circumstances and sacrifices the 
health and maybe lives of women in order to push an extremist agenda 
forward during this election year. I urge my colleagues to stay fast in 
their beliefs for individual rights and to continue to allow a woman's 
right to her own reproductive choices and not to be dictated to by 
partisan political action by mean spirited office seekers. I support 
the President's veto of this bill and will vote to sustain it.
  Mr. CUNNINGHAM. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of overriding 
President Clinton's unwise veto of H.R. 1833, the Partial Birth 
Abortion Ban Act.

[[Page H10630]]

  Last March, I joined 285 of my House colleagues in support of banning 
the procedure known as partial-birth abortion. The measure was 
supported by members like me who are pro-life, and even by many who 
consider themselves pro-choice. We shared our justification: As New 
York Senator Daniel Patrick Moynahan said, the partial birth abortion 
procedure is just ``too close to infantacide.'' And I agree.
  Yet, after H.R. 1833 was adopted by bipartisan majorities in the 
House and Senate, President Clinton vetoed the Partial Birth Abortion 
Ban Act on April 10. The President's veto represents a truly mean and 
extreme position. His position is that the absolute, most extreme 
abortion procedure, no matter how barbaric, should continue to be 
permitted in America. This procedure is such that even a brief 
description of it causes strong men and women to wince.
  Since the President's veto, more than 7,500 of my constituents have 
written or called me, urging me to support an override of the 
President's veto. But he did veto it. And on July 15, I wrote House 
Majority Leader Dick Armey, urging the House to fulfill its 
responsibility to a vote to override President Clinton's veto.
  Today we will have that vote. And today I will vote to override the 
President's decision, which drawn the deep disappointment of pro-life 
and pro-choice Americans alike. This is a sad day, because one would 
hope that the President had not vetoed such common-sense, humane 
legislation in the first place.
  Mrs. CHENOWETH. Mr. Speaker, when President Clinton vetoed H.R. 1833, 
the Partial-Birth Abortion Act, he claimed he was trying to protect 
women's health.
  The President was distorting the truth.
  Medical facts show the President's claim to be completely false.
  Mr. Speaker, partial-birth abortion is not a legitimate medical 
procedure and is not needed for any particular circumstance. Doctors at 
the Metropolitan Medical Clinic in New Jersey say that only a 
``minuscule amount'' of the 1,500 partial-birth abortions they perform 
are for medical reasons. One doctor is quoted as saying, ``Most 
[partial-birth abortion patients] are Medicaid patients * * * and most 
are for elective, not medical, reasons; most who did not realize, or 
didn't care, how far along they were.''
  This procedure is used on babies who are four and a half months in 
the womb or older. It can be employed up until the ninth and final 
month of pregnancy. The ninth and final month, Mr. Speaker.
  Opposition to this technique isn't merely the opinion of a handful of 
doctors. The American Medical Association has made its position clear.
  The AMA's Council on Legislation voted unanimously to recommend that 
the AMA board of trustees endorse H.R. 1833. One member of AMA's 
legislative council said that, ``partial birth abortion is not a 
recognized medical technique,'' and many AMA members agreed that, ``the 
procedure is basically repulsive.''
  Mr. Speaker, my position on abortion has been clear and consistent. I 
oppose it, except in certain very specific cases.
  But I do not understand how people can support this procedure. 
Abortion advocates will argue that a fetus in the early stages of 
pregnancy is not human life. I disagree with that. But surely even 
people who make that argument must understand in their hearts that a 
pre-born baby in the third trimester of pregnancy is in fact human 
life. And that human life deserves the protection of law.
  The position of those who favor partial birth abortions rests on the 
absurd notion that if one does not have to look at the baby then one 
can somehow deny that the baby is alive.
  Mr. Speaker, not only is the procedure itself medieval, but so is the 
logic of those who advocate and apologize for it.
  Permitting this ghastly procedure to continue debases the whole 
medical profession, it debases our system of law, and indeed it debases 
our very notion of the concept of life.
  Our system of laws, our American heritage, is based on the idea that 
people have certain God-given rights. Those rights are life, liberty, 
and the pursuit of happiness.
  Those rights existed before laws were established. In fact, it is 
because those rights existed that laws were established in order to 
protect those rights.
  First and foremost among those rights is the right to life.
  As lawmakers we have a responsibility to protect the lives of our 
citizens, in this case, the very youngest, most vulnerable of American 
  I urge my colleagues to do the right thing.
  I urge my colleagues to stand against this hideous, repugnant 
  Let us stand up for a good principle and let us override the 
President's veto.
  Mr. HASTERT. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of this attempt to 
override President Clinton's veto of the partial birth abortion bill 
and I hope my colleagues will join me in this effort.
  Mr. Speaker, I have listened with some care to the comments by my 
distinguished colleague from Colorado, Mrs. Schroeder, who is leading 
the effort to preserve this procedure. And I am reminded of some advice 
that the gentlelady from Colorado gave this House just a day or two ago 
when we were debating a bill to make Mother Teresa an honorary citizen 
of the United States. The gentlelady from Colorado, at that time said 
we could honor Mother Teresa best if, every day, as we considered how 
to vote on legislation brought to this floor, we reflected upon Mother 
Teresa's compassion, and her courageous stand for children and the 
  As the gentlelady from Colorado knows, I do not always agree with her 
advice. But on this occasion I think the gentlelady from Colorado's 
advice the other day does apply to our deliberation today. I think we 
should let the wisdom of Mother Teresa inform our hearts and our minds. 
And I think it is quite clear what that gentle woman from Calcutta, 
India, would say if she were here today--it is the same thing she has 
said so often--that the taking of innocent human life is wrong.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to vote to end partial birth 
abortion in this country. Override the President's veto.
  Mr. LEVIN. Mr. Speaker, I do not favor late-term abortions and 
believe they should only be allowed in cases where the life or health 
of the mother is threatened.
  I voted to sustain the President's veto because the bill does not 
allow a physician to take into account even serious threats to a 
woman's health, as the Supreme Court has required.
  I would have voted for H.R. 1833 if there had been an exception to 
allow their procedure where there is medical evidence that the health 
of the mother is indeed threatened.
  Mr. BENTSEN. Mr. Speaker, today we are considering an override of the 
President's veto of H.R. 1833, the late-term abortion bill. I oppose 
the override because this legislation is fundamentally flawed and would 
put at risk the life, health, and fertility of women facing one of the 
most difficult, anguished, and personal decisions imaginable.
  First, let me say that I oppose late-term abortions except, as the 
U.S. Supreme Court requires, when necessary to protect the life or 
health of a woman. H.R. 1833 falls woefully short of meeting this 
critical standard.
  H.R. 1833 provides only a partial exception to protect the life of a 
woman, and even this partial exception may be invoked only under a very 
narrow set of circumstances. In other words, this legislation takes 
away the authority of a physician to select the best medical procedure 
for saving a woman's life.
  Furthermore, this legislation includes no exception whatsoever when a 
woman faces a severe threat to her health or her ability to have 
children in the future.
  I would support this legislation if its proponents would allow an 
amendment to reflect not only the Supreme Court's rulings, but State 
law in Texas. In Texas, late-term abortions are banned except when the 
woman's life or health is threatened. That is the approach this 
legislation should take as well.
  While I am troubled by the procedure H.R. 1833 seeks to outlaw, I 
believe it is dangerous and wrong to ban a medical procedure that in 
some circumstances represents the best hope for a woman to avoid 
serious risk to her health. The procedure that H.R. 1833 would ban is 
utilized in the most emotionally wrenching circumstances imaginable--
involving cases in which the fetus has developed severe abnormalities 
that will not allow it to sustain life outside the womb and in which a 
woman's life, health, and future fertility are jeopardized.
  There is no simple solution to reducing the incidence of abortion. 
However, this Congress could have fashioned a commonsense bill limiting 
the use of this procedure to cases in which a woman and her doctor 
decide it is the best way to protect her life and health. Instead, the 
proponents of H.R. 1833 have chosen to exploit the anguish of families 
confronting this decision for political gain. How sad and how wrong.
  Mrs. SMITH of Washington. Mr. Speaker, I submit for the Record the 

                  Statement of David J. Birnbach, M.D.

       Mr. Chairman, Members of the Subcommittee, my name is David 
     Birnbach, M.D. and I am presently the Director of Obstetric 
     Anesthesiology at St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center, a 
     teaching hospital of Columbia University College of 
     Physicians and Surgeons in New York City. I am also 
     president-elect of the Society for Obstetric Anesthesia and 
     Perinatology, the society which represents my subspecialty.
       I am here today to take issue with the previous testimony 
     before committees of the Congress that suggests that 
     anesthesia causes fetal demise. I believe that I am qualified 
     to address this issue because I am a practicing obstetric 
     anesthesiologist. Since completing my anesthesiology and 
     obstetric anesthesiology training at Harvard University, I 
     have administered analgesia to more than five thousand women 
     in labor and anesthesia to over a thousand women undergoing

[[Page H10631]]

     cesarean section. Although the majority of these cases were 
     at full term gestation, I have provided anesthesia to 
     approximately 200 patients who were carrying fetuses of less 
     than 30 weeks gestation and who needed emergency non-
     obstetric surgery during pregnancy. These operations have 
     included appendectomies, gall bladder surgeries, numerous 
     orthopedic procedures such as fractured ankles, uterine and 
     ovarian procedures (including malignant tumor removal), 
     breast surgery, neurosurgery, and cardiac surgery.
       The anesthetics which I have administered have included 
     general, epidural, spinal and local. The patients have 
     included healthy as well as very sick pregnant patients. 
     Although I often use spinal and epidural anesthesia in 
     pregnant patients, I also administer general anesthesia to 
     these patients and, on occasion, have needed to administer 
     huge doses of general anesthesia in order to allow surgeons 
     to perform cardiac surgery or neurosurgery.
       In addition, I believe that I am also especially qualified 
     to discuss the effect of maternally-administered anesthesia 
     on the fetus, because I am one of only a handful of 
     anesthesiologists who has administered anesthesia to a 
     pregnant patient undergoing in-utero fetal surgery, thus 
     allowing me to watch the fetus as I administered general 
     anesthesia to the mother. A review of the experiences that my 
     associates and I had while administering general anesthesia 
     to a mother while a surgeon operated on her unborn fetus was 
     published in the Journal of Clinical Anesthesia, vol. 1, 
     1989, pp. 363-367. In this paper, we suggested that general 
     anesthesia provides several advantages to the fetus who will 
     undergo surgery and then be replaced in the womb to continue 
     to grow until mature enough to be delivered. Safe doses of 
     anesthesia to the mother most certainly did not cause fetal 
     demise when used for these operations.
       Despite my extensive experience with providing anesthesia 
     to the pregnant patient, I have never witnessed a case of 
     fetal demise that could be attributed to an anesthetic. 
     Although some drugs which we administer to the mother may 
     cross the placenta and affect the fetus, in my medical 
     judgment fetal demise is definitely not a consequence of a 
     properly administered anesthetic. In order to cause fetal 
     demise it would be necessary to give the mother dangerous and 
     life-threatening doses of anesthetics. This is not the way we 
     practice anesthesiology in the United States.
       Mr. Chairman, I am deeply concerned that the previous 
     congressional testimony and the widespread publicity that has 
     been given this issue will cause unnecessary fear and anxiety 
     in pregnant patients and may cause some to unnecessarily 
     delay emergency surgery. As an example, several newspapers 
     across the U.S. have stated that anesthesia causes fetal 
     demise. Because this issue has been allowed to become a 
     ``controversy'' several of my patients have recently 
     expressed concerns about anesthesia, having seen newspaper or 
     heard radio or television coverage of this issue. Evidence 
     that patients are still receiving misinformation regarding 
     the fetal effects of maternally administered anesthesia can 
     be seen by review of an article that a pregnant patient 
     recently brought with her to the labor and delivery floor. In 
     last month's edition of Marie Claire, a magazine which many 
     of my pregnant patients read, an article about partial birth 
     abortion states: ``The mother is put under general 
     anesthetic, which reaches the fetus through her bloodstream. 
     By the time the cervix is sufficiently dilated, the fetus has 
     overdosed on the anesthesia and is brain-dead.'' These 
     incorrect statements continue to find their way into 
     newspapers and magazines around the country. Despite the 
     previous testimony of Dr. Ellison, I have yet to see an 
     article that states, in no uncertain terms, that anesthesia 
     when used properly does not harm the fetus. This supposed 
     controversy regarding the effects of anesthesia on the fetus 
     must be finally and definitively put to rest.
       In order to address this complex issue, I believe that it 
     is necessary to comment on three of the statements which have 
     recently been made to the Congress.
       (1) Dr. James McMahon, now deceased, testified that 
     anesthesia causes neurologic fetal demise.
       (2) Dr. Lewis Koplick supported Dr. McMahon and stated: ``I 
     am certain that anyone who would call Dr. McMahon a liar is 
     speaking from ignorance of abortions in later pregnancy and 
     of Dr. McMahon's technique and integrity.''
       (3) Dr. Mary Campbell of Planned Parenthood has addressed 
     this issue by writing the following: ``Though these doses are 
     high, the incremental administration of the drugs minimizes 
     the probability of negative outcomes for the mother. In the 
     fetus, these dosage levels may lead to fetal demise (death) 
     in a fetus weakened by its own developmental anomalies.''
       My responses to these statements are as follows:
       1. There is absolutely no scientific or clinical evidence 
     that a properly administered maternal anesthetic causes fetal 
     demise. To the contrary, there are hundreds of scientific 
     articles which demonstrate the fetal safety of currently used 
       2. Dr. Koplick has stated that the ``massive'' doses used 
     by Dr. McMahon are responsible for fetal demise. This again, 
     is incorrect and there is no scientific or clinical data to 
     support this allegation. I have personally administered 
     ``massive'' doses of narcotics to intubated critically ill 
     pregnant patients who were being treated in an intensive care 
     unit. I am pleased to say that the fetuses were born alive 
     and did well.
       3. Dr. Campbell has described the narcotic protocol which 
     Dr. McMahon had used during his D & X procedures: it includes 
     the administration of Midazolam (10-40 mg) and Fentanyl (900-
     2500 g). Although there is no evidence that this 
     massive dose will cause fetal demise, there is clear evidence 
     that this excessive dose could cause maternal death. These 
     doses are far in excess of any anesthetic that would be used 
     by an anesthesiologist and even if they were incrementally 
     given over a two or three hour period these doses would in 
     all probability cause enough respiratory depression of the 
     mother, to necessitate intubation and/or assisted 
     respiration. Since Dr. McMahon can not be questioned 
     regarding his ``heavy handed'' anesthetic practice. I am 
     unable to explain why he would willingly administer such huge 
     amounts of drugs if he did indeed administer 2500 g 
     of fentanyl and 40mg of midazolam to a patient in a clinic, 
     without an anesthesiologist present, he was definitely 
     placing the mother's life at great risk.
       In conclusion, I would like to say that I believe that I 
     have a responsibility as a practicing obstetric 
     anesthesiologist to refute any and all testimony that 
     suggests that maternally administered anesthesia causes fetal 
     demise. It is my opinion that in order to achieve that goal 
     one would need to administer such huge doses of anesthetic to 
     the mother as to place her life at jeopardy. Pregnant women 
     must get the message that should they need anesthesia for 
     surgery or analgesia for labor, they may do so without 
     worrying about the effects on their unborn child.
       Thank you for your attention. I am happy to respond to your 

   Statement of Norig Ellison, M.D., President, American Society of 

       Chairman Canady, members of the Subcommittee. My name is 
     Norig Ellison, M.D., I am the President of the American 
     Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA), a national professional 
     society consisting of over 34,000 anesthesiologists and other 
     scientists engaged or specially interested in the medical 
     practice of anesthesiology. I am also Professor and Vice-
     Chair of the Department of Anesthesiology at the University 
     of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in Philadelphia and a 
     staff anesthesiologist at the Hospital of the University of 
       I appear here today for one purpose, and one purpose only: 
     to take this issue with the testimony of James T. McMahon, 
     M.D., before this Subcommittee last June. According to his 
     written testimony, of which I have a copy, Dr. McMahon stated 
     that anesthesia given to the mother as part of dilation and 
     extraction abortion procedure eliminates any pain to the 
     fetus and that a medical coma is induced in the fetus, 
     causing a ``neurological fetal demise'', or--in lay terms--
     ``brain death''.
       I believe this statement to be entirely inaccurate. I am 
     deeply concerned, moreover, that the widespread publicity 
     given to Dr. McMahon's testimony may cause pregnant women to 
     delay necessary, even life-saving, medical procedures, total 
     unrelated to the birthing process, due to misinformation 
     regarding the effect of anesthetics on the fetus. Annually 
     over 50,000 pregnant women are anesthetized for such 
     necessary procedures.
       Although it is certainly true that some general analgesic 
     medications given to the mother will reach the fetus and 
     perhaps provide some pain relief, it is equally true that 
     pregnant women are routinely heavily sedated during the 
     second or third trimester for the performance of a variety of 
     necessary surgical procedures with absolutely no adverse 
     effect on the fetus, let alone death or ``brain death''. In 
     my medical judgment, it would be necessary--in order to 
     achieve ``neurological demise'' of the fetus in a ``partial 
     birth'' abortion--to anesthetize the mother to such a degree 
     as to place her own health in serious jeopardy.
       As you are aware, Mr. Chairman, I gave the same testimony 
     to a Senate committee four months ago. That testimony 
     received wide circulation in anesthesiology circles and to a 
     lesser extent in the lay press. You may be interested in the 
     fact that since my appearance, not one single 
     anesthesiologist or other physician has contacted me to 
     dispute my stated conclusions. Indeed, two eminent obstetric 
     anesthesiologists appear with me today, testifying on their 
     own behalf and not as ASA representatives. I am pleased to 
     note that their testimony reaches the same conclusions that I 
     have expressed.
       Thank you for your attention. I am happy to respond to your 

  Mr. HOEKSTRA. Mr. Speaker, I submit for the Record the following:

   Second Trimester Abortion: From Every Angle--Fall Risk Management 


       The surgical method described in this paper differs from 
     classic D&E in that it does not rely upon dismemberment to 
     remove the fetus. Nor are inductions or infusions used to 
     expel the intact fetus.
       Rather, the surgeon grasps and removes a nearly intact 
     fetus through an adequately dilated cervix. The author has 
     coined the term Dilation and Extraction or D&X to distinguish 
     it from dismemberment-type D&E's.
       This procedure can be performed in a properly equipped 
     physician's office under local

[[Page H10632]]

     anesthesia. It can be used successfully in patients 20-26 
     weeks in pregnancy.
       The author has performed over 700 of these procedures with 
     a low rate of complications.


       D&E evolved as an alternative to induction or instillation 
     methods for second trimester abortion in the mid 1970's. This 
     happened in part because of lack of hospital facilities 
     allowing second trimester abortions in some geographic areas, 
     in part because surgeons needed a ``right now'' solution to 
     complete suction abortions inadvertently started in the 
     second trimester and in part to provide a means of early 
     second trimester abortion to avoid necessary delays for 
     instillation methods.\1\ The North Carolina Conference in 
     1978 established D&E as the preferred method for early second 
     trimester abortions in the U.S.2, 3, 4
     \1\ Footnotes at end of article.
       Classic D&E is accomplished by dismembering the fetus 
     inside the uterus with instruments and removing the pieces 
     through an adequately dilated cervix.\5\
       However, most surgeons find dismemberment at twenty weeks 
     and beyond to be difficult due to the toughness of fetal 
     tissues at this stage of development. Consequently, most late 
     second trimester abortions are performed by an induction 
     method.6, 7, 8
       Two techniques of late second trimester D&E's have been 
     described at previous NAF meetings. The first relies on 
     sterile urea intra-amniotic infusion to cause fetal demise 
     and lysis (or softening) of fetal tissues prior to 
       The second technique is to rupture the membranes 24 hours 
     prior to surgery and cut the umbilical cord. Fetal death and 
     ensuing autolysis soften the tissues. There are attendant 
     risks of infection with this method.
       In summary, approaches to late second trimester D&E's rely 
     upon some means to induce early fetal demise to soften the 
     fetal tissues making dismemberment easier.

                           patient selection

       The author routinely performs this procedure on all 
     patients 20 through 24 weeks LMP with certain exceptions. The 
     author performs the procedure on selected patients 25 through 
     26 weeks LMP.
       The author refers for induction patients falling into the 
     following categories: Previous C-section over 22 weeks; obese 
     patients (more than 20 pounds over large frame ideal weight); 
     twin pregnancy over 21 weeks; and patients 26 weeks and over.

             description of dilation and extraction method

       Dilation and extraction takes place over three days. In a 
     nutshell, D&X can be described as follows: Dilation; more 
     dilation; real-time ultrasound visualization; version (as 
     needed); intact extraction; fetal skull decompression; 
     removal; clean-up; and recovery.
       Day 1--Dilation: The patient is evaluated with an 
     ultrasound, hemoglobin and Rh. Hadlock scales are used to 
     interpret all ultrasound measurements.
       In the operating room, the cervix is prepped, anesthetized 
     and dilated to 9.11 mm. Five, six of seven large Dilapan 
     hydroscopic dilators are placed in the cervix. The patient 
     goes home or to a motel overnight.
       Day 2--More Dilation: The patient returns to the operating 
     room where the previous day's Dilapan are removed. The cervix 
     is scrubbed and anesthetized. Between 15 and 25 Dilapan are 
     placed in the cervical canal. The patient returns home or to 
     a motel overnight.
       Day 3--The Operation: The patient returns to the operating 
     room where the previous day's Dilapan are removed. The 
     surgical assistant administers 10 IU Pitocin intramuscularly. 
     The cervix is scrubbed, anesthetized and grasped with a 
     tenaculum. The membranes are ruptured, if they are not 
       The surgical assistant places an ultrasound probe on the 
     patient's abdomen and scans the fetus, locating the lower 
     extremities. This scan provides the surgeon information about 
     the orientation of the fetus and approximate location of the 
     lower extremities. The tranducer is then held in position 
     over the lower extremities.
       The surgeon introduces a large grasping forcep, such as 
     Bierer or Hern, through the vaginal and cervical canals into 
     the corpus of the uterus. Based upon his knowledge of fetal 
     orientation, he moves the tip of the instrument carefully 
     towards the fetal lower extremities. When the instrument 
     appears on the sonogram screen, the surgeon is able to open 
     and close its jaws to firmly and reliably grasp a lower 
     extremity. The surgeon then applies firm traction to the 
     instrument causing a version of the fetus (if necessary) and 
     pulls the extremity into the vagina.
       By observing the movement of the lower extremity and 
     version of the fetus on the ultrasound screen, the surgeon is 
     assured that his instrument has not inappropriately grasped a 
     maternal structure.
       With a lower extremity in the vagina, the surgeon uses his 
     fingers to deliver the opposite lower extremity, then the 
     torso, the shoulders and the upper extremities.
       The skull lodges at the internal cervical os. Usually there 
     is not enough dilation for it to pass through. The fetus is 
     oriented dorsum or spine up.
       At this point, the right-handed surgeon slides the fingers 
     of the left hand along the back of the fetus and ``hooks'' 
     the shoulders of the fetus wit the index and ring fingers 
     (palm down). Next he slides the tip of the middle finger 
     along the spine towards the skull while applying traction to 
     the shoulders and lower extremities. The middle finger lifts 
     and pushes the anterior cervical lip out of the way.
       While maintaining this tension, lifting the cervix and 
     applying traction to the shoulders with the fingers of the 
     left hand, the surgeon takes a pair of blunt curved 
     Metzenbaum scissors in the right hand. He carefully advances 
     the tip, curved down along the spine and under his middle 
     finger until he feels it contact the base of the skull under 
     the tip of his middle finger.
       Reassessing proper placement of the closed scissors tip and 
     safe elevation of the cervix, the surgeon then forces the 
     scissors into the base of the skull or into the foramen 
     magnum. Having safely entered the skull, he spreads the 
     scissors to enlarge the opening.
       The surgeon removes the scissors and introduces a suction 
     catheter into this hole and evacuates the skull contents. 
     With the catheter still in place, he applies traction to the 
     fetus, removing it completely from the patient.
       The surgeon finally removes the placenta with forceps and 
     scrapes the uterine walls with a large Evans and a 14 mm 
     suction curette. The procedure ends.
       Recovery: Patients are observed a minimum of 2 hours 
     following surgery. A pad check and vital signs are performed 
     every 30 minutes. Patients with minimal bleeding after 30 
     minutes are encouraged to walk about the building or outside 
     between checks.
       Intravenous fluids, pitocin and antibiotics are available 
     for the exceptional times they are needed.


       Lidocaine 1% with epinephrine administered intra-cervically 
     is the standard anesthesia. Nitrous-oxide/oxygen analgesia is 
     administered nasally as an adjunct. For the Dilapan insert 
     and Dilapan change. 12cc's is used in 3 equidistant locations 
     around the cervix. For the surgery, 24cc's is used at 6 
     equidistant spots.
       Carbocaine 1% is substituted for lidocaine for patients who 
     expressed lidocaine sensitivity.


       All patients not allergic to tetracycline analogues receive 
     doxycycline 200 mgm by mouth daily for 3 days beginning Day 
       Patients with any history of gonorrhea, chlamydia or pelvic 
     inflammatory disease receive additional doxycycline, 100 mgm 
     by mouth twice daily for six additional days.
       Patients allergic to tetracyclines are not given 
     proplylactic antibiotics.
       Ergotrate 0.2 mgm by mouth four times daily for three days 
     is dispensed to each patient.
       Pitocin 10 IU intramuscularly is administered upon removal 
     of the Dilapan on Day 3.
       Rhogam intramuscularly is provided to all Rh negative 
     patients on Day 3.
       Ibuprofen orally is provided liberally at a rate of 100 mgm 
     per hour from Day 1 onward.
       Patients with severe cramps with Dilapan dilation are 
     provided Phenergan 25 mgm suppositories rectally every 4 
     hours as needed.
       Rare patients require Synalogos DC in order to sleep during 
     Dilapan dilation.
       Patients with a hemoglobin less than 10 g/dl prior to 
     surgery receive packed red blood cell transfusions.


       All patient are given a 24 hour physician's number to call 
     in case of a problem or concern.
       At least three attempts to contact each patient by phone 
     one week after surgery are made by the office staff.
       All patients are asked to return for check-up three weeks 
     following their surgery.

                            third trimester

       The author is aware of one other surgeon who uses a 
     conceptually similar technique. He adds additional changes of 
     Dilapan and/or lamineria in the 48 hour dilation period. 
     Coupled with other refinements and a slower operating time, 
     he performs these procedures up to 32 weeks or more.\10\


       In conclusion, Dilation and Extraction is an alternative 
     method for achieving late second trimester abortions to 26 
     weeks. It can be used in the third trimester.
       Among its advantages are that it is a quick, surgical 
     outpatient method that can be performed on a scheduled basis 
     under local anesthesia.
       Among its disadvantages are that it requires a high degree 
     of surgical skill, and may not be appropriate for a few 


     \1\ Cates, W. Jr., Schulz, K.F., Grimes D.A., et al: The 
     Effects of Delay and Method of Choice on the Risk of Abortion 
     Morbidity, Family Planning Perspectives, 9:266, 1977.
     \2\ Borell, U., Emberey, M.P. Bygdeman, M., et al: 
     Midtrimester Abortion by Dilation and Evacuation (Letter), 
     American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 131:232, 1978.
     \3\ Centers for Disease Control: Abortion Surveillance 1978, 
     p. 30, November, 1980.
     \4\ Grimes, D.A., Cates, W. Jr., (Berger, G.S. et al, ed): 
     Dilation and Evacuation, Second Trimester Abortion--
     Perspectives After a Decade of Experience, Boston, John 
     Wright--PSG, 1981, p. 132.
     \5\ Ibid, p. 121-128.
     \6\ Ibid, p. 121.
     \7\ Kerenyi, T.D. (Bergen, G.S., et al, ed): Hypertonic 
     Saline Installation, Second Trimester Abortion--Perspectives 
     After a Decade of Experience, Boston, John Wright-PSG, 1981, 
     p. 79.
     \8\ Hanson, M.S. (Zatuchni, G. I., et al, ed): Midtrimester 
     Abortion: Dilation and Extraction

[[Page H10633]]

     Preceded by Laminaria, Pregnancy Termination Procedures, 
     Safety and New Developments, Hagerstown, Harper and Row, 
     1979, p. 192.
     \9\ Hem, W.M., Abortion Practice, Philadelphia, J.B. 
     Lippincott, 1990, p. 127, 144-6.
     \10\ McMahon, J., personal communications, 1992.

                                        American Medical News,

                                       Chicago, IL, July 11, 1995.
     Hon. Charles T. Canady,
     Chairman, Subcommittee on the Constitution, Committee on the 
         Judiciary, House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
       Dear Representative Canady: We have received your July 7, 
     letter outlining allegations of inaccuracies in a July 5, 
     1993, story in American Medical News, ``Shock-tactic ads 
     target late-term abortion procedure.''
       You noted that in public testimony before your committee, 
     AMNews is alleged to have quoted physicians out of context. 
     You also noted that one such physician submitted testimony 
     contending that AMNews misrepresented his statements. We 
     appreciate your offer of the opportunity to respond to these 
     accusations, which now are part of the permanent subcommittee 
       AMNews stands behind the accuracy of the report cited in 
     the testimony. The report was complete, fair, and balanced. 
     The comments and positions expressed by those interviewed and 
     quoted were reported accurately and in-context. The report 
     was based on extensive research and interviews with experts 
     on both sides of the abortion debate, including interviews 
     with two physicians who perform the procedure in question.
       We have full documentation of these interviews, including 
     tape recordings and transcripts. Enclosed is a transcript of 
     the contested quotes that relate to the allegations of 
     inaccuracies made against AMNews.
       Let me also note that in the two years since publication of 
     our story, neither the organization nor the physician who 
     complained about the report in testimony to your committee 
     has contacted the reporter or any editor at AMNews to 
     complain about it. AMNews has a longstanding reputation for--
     balance, fairness and accuracy in reporting, including 
     reporting on abortion, an issue that is as divisive within 
     medicine as it is within society in general. We believe that 
     the story in question comports entirely with that reputation.
       Thank you for your letter and the opportunity to clarify 
     this matter.
           Respectfully yours,
                                                   Barbara Bolsen,


   (Relevant portions of recorded interview with Martin Haskell, MD)

       AMN: Let's talk first about whether or not the fetus is 
     dead beforehand . . .
       Haskell: No, it's not. No, it's really not. A percentage 
     are for various numbers of reasons. Some just because of the 
     stress--intrauterine stress during, you know, the two days 
     that the cervix is being dilated. Sometimes the membranes 
     rupture and it takes a very small superficial infection to 
     kill a fetus in utero when the membranes are broken. And so 
     in my case, I would think probably about a third of those are 
     definitely are (sic) dead before I actually start to remove 
     the fetus. And probably the other two-thirds are not.
       AMN: Is the skull procedure also done to make sure that the 
     fetus is dead so you're not going to have the problem of a 
     live birth?
       Haskell: It's immaterial. If you can't get it out, you 
     can't get it out.
       AMN: I mean, you couldn't dilate further? Or is that 
       Haskell: Well, you could dilate further over a period of 
       AMN: Would that just make it . . . would it go from a 3-day 
     procedure to a 4- or a 5-?
       Haskell: Exactly. The point here is to effect a safe legal 
     abortion. I mean, you could say the same thing about the D&E 
     procedure. You know, why do you do the D&E procedure? Why do 
     you crush the fetus up inside the womb? To kill it before you 
     take it out?
       Well, that happens, yes. But that's not why you do it. You 
     do it to get it out. I could do the same thing with a D&E 
     procedure. I could put dilapan in for four or five days and 
     say I'm doing a D&E procedure and the fetus could just fall 
     out. But that's not really the point. The point here is 
     you're attempting to do an abortion. And that's the goal of 
     your work, is to complete an abortion. Not to see how do I 
     manipulate the situation so that I get a live birth instead.
       AMN, wrapping up the interview: I wanted to make sure I 
     have both you and (Dr.) McMahon saying `No' then. That this 
     is misinformation, these letters to the editor saying it's 
     only done when the baby's already dead, in case of fetal 
     demise and you have to do an autopsy. But some of them are 
     saying they[re getting that information from NAF. Have you 
     talked to Barbara Radford or anyone over there? I called 
     Barbara and she called back, but I haven't gotten back to 
       Haskell: Well, I had heard that they were giving that 
     information, somebody over there might be giving information 
     like that out. The people that staff the NAF office are not 
     medical people. And many of them when I gave my paper, many 
     of them came in, I learned later, to watch my paper because 
     many of them have never seen an abortion performed of any 
       AMN: Did you also show a video when you did that?
       Haskell: Yeah. I taped a procedure a couple of years ago, a 
     very brief video, that simply showed the technique. The old 
     story about a picture's worth a thousand words.
       AMN: As National Right to Life will tell you.
       Haskell: Afterwards they were just amazed. They just had no 
     idea. And here they're rapid supporters of abortion. They 
     work in the office there. And . . . some of them have never 
     seen one performed . . .
       Comments on elective vs. non-elective abortions:
       Haskell: And I'll be quite frank: most of my abortions are 
     elective in that 20-24 week range . . . In my particular 
     case, probably 20% are for genetic reasons. And the other 80% 
     are purely elective . . .

                    [From the American Medical News]

          Shock-Tactic Ads Target Late-Term Abortion Procedure

    foes hope campaign will sink federal abortion rights legislation

                         (By Diane M. Gianelli)

       Washington.--In an attempt to derail an abortion-rights 
     bill maneuvering toward a congressional showdown, opponents 
     have launched a full-scale campaign against late-term 
       The centerpieces of the effort are newspaper advertisements 
     and brochures that graphically illustrate a technique used in 
     some second- and third-trimester abortions. A handful of 
     newspapers have run the ads so far, and the National Right to 
     Life Committee has distributed 4 million of the brochures, 
     which were inserted into about a dozen other papers.
       By depicting a procedure expected to make most readers 
     squeamish, campaign sponsors hope to convince voters and 
     elected officials that a proposed federal abortion-rights 
     bill is so extreme that states would have no authority to 
     limit abortions--even on potentially viable fetuses.
       According to the Alan Guttmacher Institute, a research 
     group affiliated with Planned Parenthood, about 10% of the 
     estimated 1.6 million abortions done each year are in the 
     second and third trimesters.
       Barbara Radford of the National Abortion Federation 
     denounced the ad campaign as disingenuous, saying its ``real 
     agenda is to outlaw virtually all abortions, not just late-
     term ones.'' But she acknowledged it is having an impact, 
     reporting scores of calls from congressional staffers and 
     others who have seen the ads and brochures and are asking 
     pointed questions about the procedure depicted.
       The Minneapolis Star-Tribune ran the ad May 12, on its op-
     ed page. The anti-abortion group Minnesota Citizens Concerned 
     for Life paid for it.
       In a series of drawings, the ad illustrates a procedure 
     called ``dilation and extraction,'' or D&X, in which forceps 
     are used to remove second- and third-trimester fetuses from 
     the uterus intact, with only the head remaining inside the 
       The surgeon is then shown jamming scissors into the skull. 
     The ad says this is done to create an opening large enough to 
     insert a catheter that suctions the brain, while at the same 
     time making the skull small enough to pull through the 
       ``Do these drawings shock you?'' the ad reads. ``We're 
     sorry, but we think you should know the truth.''
       The ad quotes Martin Haskell, MD, who described the 
     procedure at a September 1992 abortion federation meeting, as 
     saying he personally has performed 700 of them. It then 
     states that the proposed ``Freedom of Choice Act'' now moving 
     through Congress would ``protect the practice of abortion at 
     all stages and would lead to an increase in the use of this 
     grisly procedure.''

                          Accuracy questioned

       Some abortion rights advocates have questioned the ad's 
       A letter to the Star-Tribune said the procedure shown ``is 
     only performed after fetal death when an autopsy is necessary 
     or to save the life of the mother.'' And the Morrisville, 
     Vt., Transcript, which said in an editorial that it allowed 
     the brochure to be inserted in its paper only because it 
     feared legal action if it refused quoted the abortion 
     federation as providing similar information. ``The fetus is 
     dead 24 hours before the pictured procedure is undertaken,'' 
     the editorial stated.
       But Dr. Haskell and another doctor who routinely use the 
     procedure for late-term abortions told AMNews that the 
     majority of fetuses aborted this way are alive until the end 
     of the procedure.
       Dr. Haskell said the drawings were accurate ``from a 
     technical point of view.'' But he took issue with the 
     implication that the fetuses were `aware and resisting.''
       Radford also acknowledged that the information her group 
     was quoted as providing was inaccurate. She has since sent a 
     letter to federation members, outlining guidelines for 
     discussing the matter. Among the points:
       Don't apologize; this is a legal procedure.
       No abortion method is acceptable to abortion opponents.
       The language and graphics in the ads are disturbing to some 
     readers. ``Much of the negative reaction, however, is the 
     same reaction that might be invoked if one were to listen to 
     a surgeon describing step-by-step almost any other surgical 
     procedure involving blood, human tissue, etc.''

                       Late-abortion specialists

       Only Dr. Haskell, James T. McMahon, MD. of Los Angeles, and 
     a handful of other doctors perform the D&X procedure, which 
     Dr. McMahon refers to as ``intact D&E.'' The

[[Page H10634]]

     more common late-term abortion methods are the classic D&E 
     and induction, which usually involves injecting digoxin or 
     another substance into the fetal heart to kill it, then 
     dilating the cervix and inducing labor.
       Dr. Haskell, who owns abortion clinics in Cincinnati and 
     Dayton, said he started performing D&Es for late abortions 
     out of necessity. Local hospitals did not allow inductions 
     pass 18 weeks, and he had no place to keep patients overnight 
     while doing the procedure.
       But the classic D&E, in which the fetus is broken apart 
     inside the womb, carries the risk of perforation, tearing and 
     hemorrhaging, he said. So he turned to the D&X, which he says 
     is far less risky to the mother.
       Dr. McMahon acknowledged that the procedure he, Dr. Haskell 
     and a handful of other doctors use makes some people queasy. 
     But he defends it. ``Once you decide the uterus must be 
     emptied, you then have to have 100% allegiance to maternal 
     risk. There's no justification to doing a more dangerous 
     procedure because somehow this doesn't offend your 
     sensibilities as much.''

                        Brochure cites N.Y. case

       The four-page anti-abortion brochures also include a 
     graphic depiction of the D&X procedure. But the cover 
     features a photograph of 16-month-old Ana Rosa Rodriquez, 
     whose right arm was severed during an abortion attempt when 
     her mother was 7 months pregnant.
       The child was born two days later, at 32 to 34 weeks' 
     gestation. Abu Hayat, MD. of New York, was convicted of 
     assault and performing an illegal abortion. He was sentenced 
     to up to 29 years in prison for this and another related 
       New York law bans abortions after 24 weeks, except to save 
     the mother's life. The brochure states that Dr. Hayat never 
     would have been prosecuted if the federal ``Freedom of Choice 
     Act'' were in effect, because the act would invalidate the 
     New York statute.
       The proposed law would allow abortion for any reason until 
     viability. But it would leave it up to individual 
     practitoners--not the state--to define that point. 
     Postviability abortions, however, could not be restricted if 
     done to save a woman's life or health, including emotional 
       The abortion federation's Radford called the Hayat case 
     ``an aberration'' and stressed that the vast majority of 
     abortions occur within the first trimester. She also said 
     that later abortions usually are done for reasons of fetal 
     abnormality or maternal health.
       But Douglas Johnston of the National Right to Life 
     committee called that suggestion ``blatantly false.''
       ``The abortion practitioners themselves will admit the 
     majority of their late-term abortions are elective,'' he 
     said. ``People like Dr. Haskell are just trying to teach 
     others how to do it more efficiently.''

                              Numbers game

       Accurate figures on second- and third-trimester abortions 
     are elusive because a number of states don't require doctors 
     to report abortion statistics. For example, one-third of all 
     abortions are said to occur in California, but the state has 
     no reporting requirements. The Guttmacher Institute estimates 
     there were nearly 168,000 second- and third-trimester 
     abortions in 1988, the last year for which figures are 
       About 60,000 of those occurred in the 16- to 20-week period 
     with 10,660 at week 21 and beyond the institute says. 
     Estimates were based on actual gestational age, as opposed 
     to last menstrual period.
       There is particular debate over the number of third-
     trimester abortions. Former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, 
     MD, estimated in 1984 that 4,000 are performed annually. The 
     abortion federation puts the number at 300 to 500. Dr. 
     Haskell says that ``probably Koop's numbers are more 
       Dr. Haskell said he performs abortions ``up until about 25 
     weeks'' gestation, most of them elective. Dr. McMahon does 
     abortions through all 40 weeks of pregnancy, but said he 
     won't do an elective procedure after 26 weeks. About 80% of 
     those he does after 21 weeks are nonelective, he said.

                             Mixed feelings

       Dr. McMahon admits having mixed feelings about the 
     procedure in which he has chosen to specialize.
       ``I have two positions that may be internally inconsistent, 
     and that's probably why I fight with this all the time,'' he 
       ``I do have moral compunctions. And if I see a case that's 
     later, like after 20 weeks where it frankly is a child to me, 
     I really agonize over it because the potential is so 
     imminently there. I think, `Gee, it's too bad that this child 
     couldn't be adopted.'
       ``On the other hand, I have another position, which I think 
     is superior in the hierarchy of questions, and that is: `Who 
     owns the child?' It's got to be the mother.''
       Dr. McMahon says he doesn't want to ``hold patients hostage 
     to my technical skill. I can say, `No, I won't do that,' and 
     then they're stuck with either some criminal solution or some 
     other desperate maneuver.''
       Dr. Haskell, however, says whatever qualms he has about 
     third-trimester abortions are ``only for technical reasons, 
     not for emotional reasons of fetal development.''
       ``I think it's important to distinguish the two,'' he says, 
     adding that his cutoff point is within the viability 
     threshold noted in Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision 
     that legalized abortion. The decision said that point usually 
     occurred at 28 weeks ``but may occur earlier, even at 24 
       Viability is generally accepted to be ``somewhere between 
     25 and 26 weeks,'' said Dr. Haskell. ``It just depends on who 
     you talk to.
       ``We don't have a viability law in Ohio. In New York they 
     have a 24-week limitation. That's how Dr. Hayat got in 
     trouble. If somebody tells me I have to use 22 weeks, that's 
     fine. . . . I'm not a trailblazer or activist trying to 
     constantly press the limits.''

                       Campaign's impact debated

       Whether the ad and brochures will have the full impact 
     abortion opponents intend is yet to be seen.
       Congress has yet to schedule a final showdown on the bill. 
     Although it has already passed through the necessary 
     committees, supporters are reluctant to move it for a full 
     House and Senate vote until they are sure they can win.
       In fact, House Speaker Tom Foley (D, Wash.) has said he 
     wants to bring the bill for a vote under a ``closed rule'' 
     procedure, which would prohibit consideration of amendments.
       But opponents are lobbying heavily against Foley's plan. 
     Among the amendments they wish to offer is one that would 
     allow, but not require, states to restrict abortion--except 
     to save the mother's life--after 24 weeks.

  Mr. BACHUS. Mr. Speaker, today I urge my colleagues to override 
President Clinton's veto of the most barbaric of abortion procedures. 
The Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act will end this most cruel practice--a 
practice that even the American Medical Association's legislative 
council has publicly stated is, ``not a recognized medical technique.'' 
They also called this procedure, ``repulsive.'' I call it a cruel 
inhumane act--unfitting of a civilized society.
  Abortion advocates argue that partial birth abortions are only used 
after 26 weeks of pregnancy in cases where the procedure is non-
elective. But the abortionist's interpretation of non-elective has an 
enormous scope and includes: Severe fetal abnormality, Down's syndrome, 
cleft palate, pediatric pelvis--that is if the mother is under age 18, 
depression of the mother, and even ignorance of human reproduction.
  Today, those who would support this horrible procedure tell us that 
it is not a common practice. Can anyone really take comfort in debating 
the number of babies subject to his death? And newly released 
information indicates that in New Jersey alone, over 1,500 partial 
birth abortions are performed annually--over three times the supposed 
national total. Whether it is a few hundred or tens of thousands or 
even one, wrong is wrong and no argument on how many will ever change 
that. A single life being taken in this way is reprehensible.
  We as a society would not allow or condone the execution of a 
confessed, convicted mass murderer using this procedure. How could we 
in good conscience even consider its use against an innocent, unborn 
  The House has come so close to having the two-thirds majority 
necessary for a veto override. I say to my colleagues who have opposed 
this bill in the past--look again, deeply into your hearts, and I am 
sure you will come to the same conclusion that I have and act to end 
this terrible procedure.
  Mr. POSHARD. Mr. Speaker, I rise in very strong support of the vote 
today to override the President's veto of the Partial-Birth Abortion 
Ban Act, and urge my colleagues to follow suit in finally banning this 
unethical abortion procedure.
  Let me begin by saying, the question of whether partial-birth 
abortions are right or wrong goes far beyond whether an individual 
takes a pro-life or pro-choice stance. This debate is about using 
humane and ethical medical practices. Former Surgeon General C. Everett 
Koop said, ``Such a procedure cannot truthfully be called medically 
necessary for either the mother or for the baby.'' As compassionate 
human beings, we should not allow physicians to continue to perform 
this procedure, one that was simply created to make it easier and 
faster for them to perform late-term abortions.
  During my time in Congress, I have always opposed abortion except to 
save the life of a mother. Opponents of this legislation continue to 
argue the procedure is necessary to saving the lives of many expectant 
mothers. However, they fail to recognize that H.R. 1833 explicitly 
provides that the ban ``shall not apply to a partial-birth abortion 
that is necessary to save the life of a mother whose life is endangered 
by a physical disorder, illness, or injury if no other medical 
procedure would suffice for that purpose.'' What the bill does is ban 
this procedure from being used electively, which a majority of those 
serving in Congress believes is the right and ethical thing to do.

[[Page H10635]]

  The veto override of the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act deserves the 
support of every Member of Congress, regardless of your stance on the 
issue of abortion. I urge all of my colleagues--Democrat, Republican, 
pro-life, and pro-choice--to seriously consider the morality of this 
procedure. In fact because of the sheer nature of the procedure, a 
number of historically pro-choice members of this body supported the 
ban on both occasions it was considered by the House of 
Representatives. Let us again join together in a bipartisan manner and 
override the veto of the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act.
  Ms. FURSE. Mr. Speaker, I rise to oppose the motion to override the 
President's veto of the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, H.R. 1833. I 
voted against H.R. 1833 earlier this year. Sadly, there are rare and 
tragic circumstances in which a woman may be advised by her doctor that 
this procedure is medically necessary to save her life or avoid dire 
consequences to her health.
  H.R. 1833 does not contain an exception for saving the health of the 
mother, and could actually increase risks to the mother's health. The 
exception in H.R. 1833 also fails to cover cases where the mother could 
lose her ability to have more children.
  However rare, tragic circumstances surrounding a woman's pregnancy do 
sometimes exist. A woman who faces this awful choice should make her 
decision in consultation with her family and her physician, and I feel 
strongly that Congress should not second-guess the medical advice of 
licensed doctors or the moral decisions of families in such devastating 
  I urge my colleagues to oppose this motion to override the 
President's veto.
  Mr. BROWNBACK. Mr. Speaker, I submit the following for the Record:

   Australian Planned Parenthood Director Lists Many Reasons for His 
                        Partial-Birth Abortions

        (By Douglas Johnson, NRLC Federal Legislative Director)

       The medical director for Planned Parenthood of Australia 
     has revealed that he uses the partial-birth abortion 
     procedure as his ``method of choice'' for abortions done 
     after 20 weeks (4\1/2\ months), and that he performs such 
     abortions for a broad variety of social reasons.
       These revelations by Dr. David Grundmann have provoked a 
     storm of controversy in the state of Queensland, the large 
     state that occupies northeastern Australia.
       Dr. Grundmann performs abortions at a Planned Parenthood 
     clinic in Brisbane, the capital of Queensland. He described 
     his abortion practices in a paper that he presented on August 
     30, 1994, at a conference at Monash University.
       In the paper, Dr. Grundmann wrote that ``abortion is an 
     integral part of family planning. Theoretically this means 
     abortion at any stage of gestation. Therefore I favor the 
     availability of abortion beyond 20 weeks.''
       Dr. Grundmann wrote that ``dilatation and extraction'' is 
     his ``method of choice'' for performing abortions from 20 
     weeks on. ``Dilatation and extraction'' (or ``dilation and 
     extraction'') is a term ``coined'' by Dr. Martin Haskell of 
     Dayton, Ohio, for the partial-birth abortion procedure, in 
     which a living baby is partly delivered feet first, after 
     which the skull is punctured and the brain removed by 
       Dr. Grundmann himself described the procedure in a 
     television interview as ``essentially a breech delivery where 
     the fetus is delivered feet first and then when the head of 
     the fetus is brought down into the top of the cervical canal, 
     it is decompressed with a puncturing instrument so that it 
     fits through the cervical opening.''
       In his 1994 paper, Dr. Grundmann listed several 
     ``advantages'' of this method, such as that it ``can be 
     performed under local and/or twi-light anesthetic'' with ``no 
     need for narcotic analgesics,'' ``can be performed as an 
     ambulatory out-patient procedure,'' and there is ``no-chance 
     of delivering a live fetus.''
       Among the ``disadvantages,'' Dr. Grundmann wrote, is ``the 
     aesthetics of the procedure are difficult for some people, 
     and therefore it may be difficult to get staff.''
       Dr. Grundmann wrote that in Australia, late second-
     trimester abortion is available ``in many major hospitals, in 
     most capital cities and large provincial centres'' in cases 
     of ``lethal fetal abnormalities'' or ``gross fetal 
     abnormalities,'' or ``risk to maternal life,'' including 
     ``psychotic/suicidal behavior.''
       However, Dr. Grundmann said, his Planned Parenthood clinic 
     also offers the procedure after 20 weeks for women who fall 
     into five additional ``categories'':
       ``Minor or doubtful fetal abnormalities.''
       ``Extreme material immaturity, i.e., girls in the 11 to 14 
     year age group.''
       Women ``who do not know they are pregnant,'' for example, 
     because of amenorrhea [irregular menstruation] ``in women who 
     are very active such as athletes or those under extreme forms 
     of stress, i.e., exam stress, relationship breakup . . .''
       ``Intellectually impaired women, who are unaware of basic 
     biology . . .''
       ``Major life crises or major changes in socio-economic 
     circumstances. The most common example of this is a planned 
     or wanted pregnancy followed by the sudden death or desertion 
     of the partner who is in all probability the bread winner.''
       ``Abortion beyond 20 weeks is unavailable anywhere in 
     Australia, except at our [Planned Parenthood] clinics for the 
     last 5 categories,'' Dr. Grundmann wrote. Under the heading 
     ``What can be done to improve or expand this service?'' Dr. 
     Grundmann wrote, ``Demystify abortion particularly late 
     abortion by appropriate education of the population.''
       Election Issue: Dr. Grundmann's paper has been publicized 
     by the Queensland Right to Life Association, and it has 
     produced considerable controversy over the past two years, 
     Dr. David van Gend said in an interview with NRL News. Dr. 
     van Gend, a Brisbane general practitioner, is the secretary 
     of the Queensland chapter of the World Federation of Doctors 
     Who Respect Human Life (WFDWRHL).
       Dr. van Gend took Dr. Grundmann's paper to Michael Horan, a 
     member of the Queensland Parliament, who was the ``shadow 
     health minister'' for the National-Liberal Coalition, which 
     at that time was the opposition to the ruling government, 
     which was headed by Premier Wayne Goss of the Labor Party.
       Beginning in October 1994, Mr. Horan strongly attacked Dr. 
     Grundmann's abortion practices in speeches on the floor of 
     the Parliament. Mr. Horan demanded that the Goss Government 
     take strong action to stop Dr. Grundmann's late abortions, 
     which, he argued, violate Queensland law.
       ``What will it mean for the conscience of society and its 
     respect for the law, if people are vividly aware of such 
     brutality, such illegality, and then they see their leaders 
     do nothing about it?'' Mr. Horan said in one speech. ``More 
     importantly, what will it mean for all the defenseless babies 
     who, unlike their peers in the hospital nurseries, will never 
     see a human face, never feel a human touch, except that tight 
     grip on their legs and the stab to the head?''
       However, for more than a year, the Goss Government refused 
     to take any meaningful action. Leaders of the Coalition 
     promised to take steps against Dr. Grundmann if they were 
     placed in power, and this became a major issue in the 
     February 1996 elections, in which the Goss Government lost 
       ``The late-term abortion issue was the clearest issue 
     distinguishing the parties in the February election,'' Dr. 
     van Gend told NRL News. ``The Labor Government had refused to 
     act against Dr. Grundmann, while the National-Liberal 
     Coalition leaders promised to immediately investigate the 
       For example, Liberal Party leader Joan Sheldon said that 
     the partial-birth abortions ``are horrific and should be 
       When the Coalition took over the government, Michael Horan 
     became the Minister of Health. Recently, the government has 
     placed an investigation of Dr. Grundmann in the hands of the 
     state Medical Board, which has quasi-judicial investigative 
     punitive powers, Dr. van Gend said.
       AMA Rebukes Grundmann: The Queensland Branch of the 
     Australian Medical Association (AMA) formed a ``working 
     party'' on late abortion, which interviewed Dr. Grundmann 
     regarding his abortion practices in September 1995.
       As quoted by Mr. Horan in his speeches in Parliament, 
     during this interview Dr. Grundmann said he has performed the 
     partial-birth abortion procedure as late as 26\1/2\ weeks 
     (past 6 months).
       ``There is no stage of pregnancy at which I regard the 
     fetus as my patient,'' Dr. Grundmann told the panel.
       Dr. Grundmann told the panel that just that month he had 
     aborted a baby at 23 weeks for severe cleft palate. When it 
     was pointed out that this condition can be corrected by 
     surgery, Dr. Grundmann replied that this depends on whether 
     the woman wants to put ``her fetus'' through all that 
       In April 1996, the AMA Queensland Branch issued a formal 
     policy statement that said,``There is a duty of care to the 
     fetus in the late second trimester of pregnancy.'' Therefore, 
     the organization ``opposes late second trimester termination 
     of pregnancy except in the gravest of circumstances,'' these 
     being ``lethal'' or ``severe'' fetal malformation or 
     ``unequivocal risk to the life of the mother where no other 
     medical procedure would suffice to save the mother.'' This 
     was viewed as a rebuke to Dr. Grundmann.
       Dr. van Gend said that in an interview with Dr. Grundmann, 
     ``I asked him if there was not something cold and 
     premeditated, even grotesque, about setting out to dilate the 
     birth canal to 75% of the fetal skull diameter, in order to 
     ensure the head will lodge in the cervix [the opening to the 
     womb], in order to have leisure to push a puncturing 
     instrument through that head, in order to ensure `no chance 
     of delivering a live fetus'--when by dilating the canal one 
     more centimetre he would enable the baby to slip out and be 
     given to the care of a pediatrician. His response was to the 
     effect that he was there to terminate that pregnancy, not to 
     put the woman's fetus in an incubator.''
       Asked by a radio interviewer, ``At what point do you 
     believe the fetus becomes a sentient being?,'' Dr. Grundmann 
     responded, ``When it is born.''
       Dr. van Gend told NRL News,``At no stage during the 
     Australian debate over partial-birth abortions has Dr. 
     Grundmann or anyone else tried to pretend that the baby is 
     already dead before the head is punctured. The Baby is wide 
     awake and fully sensitive.''
       Dr. van Gend explained that in Queensland, statutory law 
     generally prohibits abortion,

[[Page H10636]]

     but a 1986 court ruling known as ``the McGuire ruling'' 
     provides for exceptions in cases in which there is a 
     ``serious'' danger to a woman's life or health, including 
     mental health. Dr. Grundmann has asserted that all of his 
     abortions fit under these criteria. However, in a 1995 civil 
     case, a Queensland judge ruled, ``I disbelieve Dr. 
     Grundmann's assertions that he honestly and sincerely applied 
     that test before each and every abortion which he 
       ``If Dr. Grundmann is ever prosecuted, a jury would be 
     asked to decide whether these late abortions--for these 
     reasons, by this method-- are justified under our law,'' Dr. 
     van Gend said.
       Queensland law requires that a death certificate be filed 
     for abortions performed after 20 weeks, which Dr. Grundmann 
     wrote is ``certainly an inconvenience.''
  Mr. WATTS of Oklahoma. Mr. Speaker, recently, a physician asked 
exactly what we meant by the term, partial-birth abortion ban and 
instead of going through the grotesque explanation, we told her that 
she was right--we had been calling it by the wrong name. Late-term, or 
just plain abortion was probably more accurate.
  However, one physician from my home State of Oklahoma said that she 
called it infanticide. No matter what you call it, this veto needs to 
be overridden.
  Mr. Speaker, we are not talking about a medically proven treatment 
that is going to save thousands of lives. In fact, we are stating the 
exact opposite. This is not a medically necessary procedure. This is a 
gruesome execution.
  We need to be a Congress that stands for right causes, right 
decisions, and plain old doing the right thing.
  This late-term abortion--when the fetus is a viable baby--is the 
right thing for this Congress to do. It is commanded by anyone who 
believes in the sanctity of life.
  We have had hundreds and hundreds of postcards, a petition with 
literally thousands of names of it and letters of support from Catholic 
bishops, evangelical pastors, and rabbis.
  To my colleagues, I have to tell you: This is the right thing to do. 
Please vote to override the veto and stop this infanticide.
  Ms. JACKSON-LEE of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to H.R. 
1833 and thus, in opposition to the misguided attempt to override the 
President's veto. I do so for many reasons, all of which I have stated 
before but will gladly reiterate in the hope of convincing those who 
might support this override attempt of the error of their actions.
  The first is that in 1973, and more recently in 1992, the Supreme 
Court held that a woman has a constitutional right to choose whether or 
not to have an abortion. H.R. 1833 is a direct attack on the principles 
established in both Roe versus Wade and Planned Parenthood versus 
  H.R. 1833 is a direct challenge to Roe versus Wade (1973). This 
legislation would make it a crime to perform a particular abortion 
method utilized primarily after the 20th week of pregnancy. This 
legislation represents an unprecedented and unconstitutional attempt to 
ban abortion and interfere with a woman's right to choose and a 
physician's ability to provide the best medical care for their 
  The second reason for my opposition is that H.R. 1833 would ban a 
range of late term abortion procedures that are used when a woman's 
health or life is threatened or when a fetus is diagnosed with severe 
abnormalities incompatible with life. Because H.R. 1833 does not use 
medical terminology, it fails to clearly identify which abortion 
procedures it seeks to prohibit, and as a result could prohibit 
physicians from using a range of abortion techniques, including those 
safest for the woman. If enacted, such a law would have a devastating 
effect on women who learn late in their pregnancies that their lives or 
health are at risk or that the fetuses they are carrying have severe, 
often fatal, anomalies.
  The Republican Members of this body need look no further than their 
own party for women who have offered their own stories, as testimony to 
the need for such medical procedures.
  Women like Coreen Costello, a loyal Republican and former abortion 
protester whose baby had a lethal neurological disease; Mary-Dorothy 
Lines, a conservative Republican who discovered her baby had severe 
hydrocephalus; and many others who needed this procedure to insure not 
only their health, but their ability to have more children in the 
future. These are the women who would be hurt by H.R. 1833--women and 
their families who face a terrible tragedy--the loss of a wanted 
  I heard first hand, during judiciary committee hearings, the pain of 
women who had this procedure. For hours we listened to their tales of 
emotional and physical suffering during their testimony.
  In April, the President was joined by five women who were heartbroken 
to learn of their baby's fatal conditions. These women wanted their 
children more than life itself, but were advised that this procedure 
was their best chance to avert the risk of death or grave harm. He 
found their testimony moving, because for them, this was not about 
choice, but rather life. One of them described her predicament:

       Our little boy had hydrocephally. All the doctors told us 
     there was no hope. We asked about in utero surgery, about 
     shunts to remove the fluid, but there was absolutely nothing 
     we could do. I cannot express the pain we still feel. This 
     was our precious little baby, and he was being taken from us 
     before we even had him. This was not our choice, for not only 
     was our son going to die, but the complications of the 
     pregnancy put my health in danger, as well.

  In Roe, the Supreme Court established that after viability, abortion 
may be banned by States as long as an exception is provided in cases in 
which the woman's life or health is at risk. H.R. 1833 provides no true 
exceptions for cases in which a banned procedure would be necessary to 
preserve a woman's life or health.
  Finally, and perhaps most importantly, this bill would create an 
unwarranted intrusion into the physician-patient relationship by 
preventing physicians from providing necessary medical care to their 
patients. It would further intrude into this sacred association by 
making doctors felons for doing that which they have taken an oath to 
do: protect the lives of their patients. I am incredulous that 
physicians will be seen as criminals in the eyes of the law for 
attempting to save the life of an innocent mother. Furthermore, it 
would impose a horrendous burden on families who are already facing a 
crushing personal situation.
  In passing H.R. 1833, this Congress would set an undesirable 
precedent which goes way beyond the scope of the abortion debate. Will 
we someday be standing here debating the validity of a triple bypass or 
hip replacement procedure? Many of my colleagues decry the intrusion of 
the Federal Government into the lives of its citizens, but isn't 
interfering in the doctor-patient relationship one of the most 
intrusive actions that can be conceived?
  This bill unravels the fundamental constitutional rights that 
American women have to receive medical treatment that they and their 
doctors have determined are safest and medically best for them. By 
seeking to ban a safe and accepted medical technique, Members of 
Congress are intruding directly into the practice of medicine and 
interfering with the ability of physicians and patients to determine 
the best course of treatment. The creation of felony penalties and 
Federal tort claims for the performance of a specific medical procedure 
would mark a dramatic and unprecedented expansion of congressional 
regulation of health care.

  The determination of the medical need for, and effectiveness of, 
particular medical procedures must be left to the medical profession, 
to be reflected in the standard of care.
  While these are my reasons for opposing H.R. 1833 and this veto 
override, I believe it is time to clear up some facts associated with 
the procedure being debated here.
  To begin with, the term ``partial birth abortion'' is not found in 
any medical dictionaries, textbooks or coding manuals. The definition 
in H.R. 1833 is so vague as to be uninterpretable, yet chilling. Many 
OB/GYN's fear that this language could be interpreted to ban all 
abortions where the fetus remains intact. The supporters of this bill 
want to intimidate doctors into refusing to do abortions. Given the 
bill's vagueness, few doctors will risk going to jail in order to 
perform this procedure. As a result, women and their families will find 
it even more difficult, if not impossible, to find a doctor who will 
perform a late-term abortion, and women's lives will be put in even 
more jeopardy.
  In addition, late term abortions are not common. Ninety-five and five 
tenths percent of abortions take place before 15 weeks. Only a little 
more than one-half of one percent take place at or after 20 weeks. 
Fewer than 600 abortions per year are done in the third trimester and 
all are done for reasons of life or health of the mother--severe heart 
disease, kidney, failure, or rapidly advancing cancer--and in the case 
of severe fetal abnormalities incompatible with life--no eyes, no 
kidneys, a heart with one chamber instead of four or large amounts of 
brain tissue missing or positioned outside of the skull, which itself 
may be missing.
  An abortion performed in the last second trimester or in the third 
trimester of pregnancy is extremely difficult for everyone involved. 
However, when serious fetal anomalies are discovered late in a 
pregnancy, or the mother develops a life-threatening medical condition 
that is inconsistent with the continuation of the pregnancy, abortion--
however heart-wrenching--may be medically necessary.
  In such cases, the intact dilation and extraction procedure [IDE]--
which would be outlawed by this bill--may provide substantial medical 
benefits. It is safer in several respects than the alternatives, 
maintaining uterine integrity, and reducing blood loss and other 
potential complications.

[[Page H10637]]

  Let me set the record straight, no one is advocating the abuse of 
this process and those who would state differently are exaggerating the 
frequency and circumstances under which this procedure is done. I have 
great confidence in the American doctors and women to do the right 
thing and not use this procedure for nothing less than saving the life 
of the mother.

  The decision to have an abortion is a very difficult one for any 
woman, and I do not understand how the many Members of this House, who 
will never face the possibility, can belittle the anguish that such a 
decision causes. The determination of whether abortion is appropriate 
for any individual is something that should be left up to herself, her 
family and her God. And I am sickened and appalled that so many Members 
of this usually honorable body would use this very private issue for 
political gain. How they can minimize the tragedy that befalls families 
when the loved and desired child is found to be inviable and the 
ability for the mother to bear future children is in great jeopardy, I 
do not know nor do I understand. During these times of misfortune, one 
calls upon one's spiritual strength and to think the Government would 
have the effrontery to intrude makes a mockery of the Constitution and 
an individual's right to privacy. In short, we are not advocating this 
procedure on demand or for feeble complaints regarding health or 
convenience. To deny physicians the ability to use all of their medical 
resources to avoid loss of life and save the mother would be to treat 
these women less than human.
  The legislative process is ill-suited to evaluate complex medical 
procedures whose importance may vary with a particular patient's case 
and with the state of scientific knowledge. The mothers and families 
who seek late term abortions are already severely distressed. They do 
not want an abortion--they want a child. Tammy Watts told us that she 
would have done anything to save her child. She said, ``If I could have 
given my life for my child's I would have done it in a second.''
  This bill is bad medicine, bad law, and bad policy. Women facing late 
term abortions due to risks to their lives, health or severe fetal 
abnormalities incompatible with life must be able to make this decision 
in consultation with their families, their physicians, and their God. 
Women do not need medical instruction from the Government. To 
criminalize a physician for using a procedure which he or she deems to 
be safest for the mother is tantamount to legislating malpractice. I 
urge my colleagues to do what is right and sustain the President's 
  Mr. COYNE. Mr. Speaker, I am opposed to H.R. 1833 because I oppose 
any legislation that fails to provide for the health concerns of the 
mother when she and her doctor believe that her health is in jeopardy. 
This legislation does not provide an exception for serious health risks 
to the mother.
  This procedure should only be used in cases where there is a serious 
risk to a woman's health and I believe the legislation could have been 
drafted to allow a limited exception for those cases in which it is 
truly necessary. In fact, Pennsylvania has such an exception in its 
abortion law. Under Pennsylvania law, all late-term abortions are 
prohibited, except in cases in which it is necessary to preserve the 
life of the mother or to ``prevent a substantial and irreversible 
impairment of a major bodily function.'' Surely the supporters of this 
legislation could have written a health exception that would prohibit 
the procedure in most cases but that would allow women and their 
physicians, in the most limited and serious of cases, access to a 
procedure that will preserve both the life and health of the women 
  Further, I am opposed to this legislation because I believe that 
medical decisions of this nature should be left to trained medical 
professionals, in consultation with their patients. I do not believe 
that this legislation, which forecloses medical options for women, 
belongs before the Congress. This Congress is not comprised of medical 
professionals with the knowledge or expertise to make medical judgments 
about appropriate treatment for women in these tragic circumstances. I 
believe that these judgments must be left in the hands of people who 
are trained to give medical guidance to their patients, and then the 
decision regarding the course of action to take must rest with women, 
their families, their physicians and their religious counselors--not 
with Congress.
  I am ready to support legislation that limits this abortion procedure 
to the most serious of cases, but I am not prepared to ban it in those 
cases where it represents the best hope for a woman to avoid serious 
risk of her health.
  Mr. BUNN of Oregon. Mr. Speaker, over 300 physicians, including C. 
Everett Koop, have joined together to expose the misinformation 
campaign of the supporters of partial-birth abortion. I insert the 
facts provided by PHACT in the Congressional Record:

    A National Coalition of Doctors Says It's Unsafe and Unnecessary

       The Physicians' Ad Hoc Coalition for Truth (PHACT) was 
     formed because we, as physicians, can no longer stand by 
     while abortion advocates, the President of the United States 
     and the media continue to repeat false claims to members of 
     Congress and to the public about partial-birth abortion. We 
     are over 300 doctors strong, most specialists in obstetrics, 
     gynecology, maternal/fetal medicine and pediatrics.
       By congressional definition, partial-birth abortion is the 
     killing of an infant who has already been partially delivered 
     outside his or her mother's body. Medically, it is 
     accomplished by pulling an infant feet-first out of the 
     birth-canal until all but the head is exposed. The surgeon 
     then forces scissors into the base of the baby's skull, 
     spreads them, and inserts a suction catheter through which he 
     suctions out the brain.
       Congress, the public--but most importantly women--need to 
     know that partial-birth abortion is never medically necessary 
     to protect a mother's health or her future fertility.
       On the contrary, this procedure can pose a significant 
     threat to both. I the words of former Surgeon General C. 
     Everett Koop: ``In no way can I twist my mind to see that 
     partial birth--and then destruction of the unborn child 
     before the head is born--is a medical necessity for the 
       Now you know the facts.
       We urge you to tell your representatives to stop this 
     unnecessary and dangerous procedure. The vote is this week. 
     Please call now.

  Former Surgeon General Koop Separates Medical Fact From Fiction on 
 Partial-Birth Abortions--Koop: The Partial-Birth Abortion Is ``In No 
                    Way . . . A Medical Necessity''

       Alexandria, VA.--In a wide ranging interview with the 
     American Medical News, former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop 
     expressed his opposition to partial-birth abortions and 
     declared that they are not medically necessary.
       The former Surgeon General was asked about President 
     Clinton's recent veto of a bill to ban partial-birth 
     abortions and claims regarding the medical need for them. 
     Following is Dr. Koop's response, reported in the August 19th 
     issue of American Medical News:
       ``I believe that Mr. Clinton was misled by his medical 
     advisers on what is fact and what is fiction in reference to 
     late-term abortions. Because in no way can I twist my mind to 
     see that the late-term abortion as described--you know, 
     partial-birth, and then destruction of the unborn child 
     before the head is born--is a medical necessity for the 
     mother. It certainly can't be a necessity for the baby. So I 
     am opposed to * * * partial birth abortions.''
       Asked ``have you ever treated children with any of the 
     disabilities cited in the debate? For example have you 
     operated on children with organs outside of their bodies,'' 
     Koop responded:
       ``Oh, yes indeed. I've done that many times. The prognosis 
     is usually good. [With an] omphalocele * * * organs are out 
     but still contained in the sac composed of the tissues of the 
     umbilical cord. I have been repairing those since 1946. In 
     fact, the first child I ever did, with a huge omphalocele 
     much bigger than her head, went on to develop well and become 
     the head nurse in my intensive care unit many years later.''
       Dr. Koop's remarks echo over three hundred other medical 
     professionals--leaders in the fields of obstetrics, 
     gynecology and perinatology--who have joined the Physicians' 
     Ad-hoc Coalition for Truth to help Americans and Congress 
     understand that partial-birth abortion is never medically 
     necessary, and in fact can threaten a mother's health and 
       The Physicians' Ad-hoc Coalition for Truth (PHACT), with 
     over three hundred members drawn from the medical community 
     nationwide, exists to bring the medical facts to bear on the 
     public policy debate regarding partial birth abortions. 
     Members of the coalition are available to speak to public 
     policy makers and the media. If you would like to speak with 
     a member of PHACT, please contact Gene Tarne or Michelle 
     Powers at 703-683-6004.

                                                Physicians' Ad Hoc

                                          Coalition for Truth,

                               Alexandria, VA, September 18, 1996.
       Dear Member of Congress: We write to you as founding 
     members of the Physicians' Ad-hoc Coalition for Truth 
     (PHACT), an organization of over three hundred members drawn 
     from the medical community nationwide--most ob/gyns, 
     perinatologist and pediatricians--concerned and disturbed 
     over the medical misinformation driving the partial-birth 
     abortion debate. As doctors, we cannot remember another issue 
     of public policy so directly related to the medical community 
     that has been subject to such distortions and outright 
       The most damaging piece of medical disinformation that 
     seems to be driving this debate is that the partial-birth 
     abortion procedure may be necessary to protect the lives, 
     health and future fertility of women. You have heard this 
     claim most dramatically not from doctors, but from a handful 
     of women who chose to have a partial-birth abortion when 
     their children were diagnosed with some form of fetal 
       As physicians who specialize in the care of pregnant women 
     and their children, we have all treated women confronting the 
     same tragic circumstances as the women who have publicly 
     shared their experiences to justify

[[Page H10638]]

     this abortion procedure. So as doctors intimately familiar 
     with such cases, let us be very clear: the partial-birth 
     abortion procedure, as described by Dr. Martin Haskell (the 
     nation's leading practitioner of the procedure) and defined 
     in the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, is never medically 
     indicated and can itself pose serious risks to the health and 
     future fertility of women.
       There are simply no obstetrical situations encountered in 
     this country which require a partially-delivered human fetus 
     to be destroyed to preserve the life, health or future 
     fertility of the mother. Not for hydrocephaly (excessive 
     cerebrospinal fluid in the head); not for polyhydramnios (an 
     excess of amniotic fluid collecting in the woman); and not 
     for trisomy (genetic abnormalities characterized by an extra 
       Our members concur with former Surgeon General C. Everett 
     Koop's recent statement that ``in no way can I twist my mind 
     to see that [partial-birth abortion] is a medical necessity 
     for the mother.''
       As case in point would be that of Ms. Coreen Costello, who 
     has appeared several times before Congress to recount her 
     personal experience in defense of this procedure. Her unborn 
     child suffered from at least two conditions: ``polyhydramnios 
     secondary to abnormal fetal swallowing,'' which causes 
     amniotic fluid to collect in the uterus, and 
     ``hydrocephalus'', a condition that causes an excessive 
     amount of fluid to accumulate in the fetal head.
       The usual treatment for removing the large amount of fluid 
     in the uterus is a procedure called amniocentesis. The usual 
     treatment for draining excess fluid from the fetal head is a 
     procedure called cephalocentesis. In both cases the excess 
     fluid is drained by using a thin needle that can be placed 
     inside the womb through the abdomen (``transabdominally''--
     the preferred route) or through the vagina 
     (``transvaginally.'') The transvaginal approach however, as 
     performed by Dr. McMahon on Ms. Costello, puts the woman at 
     an increased risk of infection because of the non-sterile 
     environment of the vagina. Dr. McMahon used this approach 
     most likely because he had no significant expertise in 
     obstetrics and gynecology. After the fluid has been 
     drained, and the head decreased in size, labor would be 
     induced and attempts made to deliver the child vaginally. 
     Given these medical realities, the partial-birth abortion 
     procedure appropriate to address the medical complications 
     described by Ms. Costello or any of the other women who 
     were tragically misled into believing they had no other 
       Indeed, the partial-birth abortion procedure itself can 
     pose both an immediate and significant risk to a woman's 
     health and future fertility. To take just one example, to 
     forcibly dilate a woman's cervix over the course of several 
     days, as this procedure requires, risks creating an 
     ``incompetent cervix,'' a leading cause of future premature 
     deliveries. It seems to have escaped anyone's attention that 
     one of the five women who appeared at President Clinton's 
     veto ceremony who had a partial-birth abortion subsequently 
     had five miscarriages.
       The medical evidence is clear and argues overwhelmingly 
     against the partial-birth abortion procedure. Given the 
     medical realities, a truly pro-woman vote would be to end the 
     availability of a procedure that is so potentially dangerous 
     to women. The health status of women and children in this 
     country can only be enhanced by your unequivocal support of 
     H.R. 1833.
       Thank you for your consideration.
     Nancy G. Romer, M.D.,
         FACOG, Clinical Professor, Department of Obstetrics and 
           Gynecology, Wright State University, Chairman, Dept. of 
           Ob/Gyn, Miami Valley Hospital, OH.
     Curtis R. Cook, M.D.,
         Maternal Fetal Medicine, Butterworth Hospital, Michigan 
           State College of Human Medicine.
     Pamela E. Smith, M.D.,
         Director of Medical Education, Department of Obstetrics 
           and Gynecology, Mt. Sinai Medical Center, Chicago, IL., 
           Member, Association of Professors of Ob/Gyn.
     Joseph L. DeCook, M.D.,
     FACOG, Holland, MI.

  Doctors' Group Promoting Medical Facts About Partial-Birth Abortion 
  Quickly Swells to Over 300 Members--Medical Specialists Nationwide 
      Stand Firm: Partial-Birth Abortion Never A Medical Necessity

       Alexandria, VA.--The Physicians Ad-hoc Coalition for Truth 
     (PHACT) has quickly grown to over 300 doctors nationwide, 
     actively promoting the fact that partial-birth abortions are 
     never medically necessary.
       PHACT was formed by medical professionals concerned about 
     repeated medical misstatements about the procedure known as 
     partial-birth abortion. The misleading and false information 
     is potentially dangerous to women and their children.
       Specialists from around the country in the fields of 
     obstetrics, gynecology, perinatology (maternal and fetal 
     medicine) and pediatric medicine have joined PHACT to correct 
     misstatements and distortions rampant in the debate over 
     partial-birth abortions, and to promote the fact that a 
     partial-birth abortion is never medically necessary to 
     protect the health of a woman or to protect her future 
     fertility. In fact, the procedure can pose grave dangers to 
     the woman, and is not recognized in the medical community.
       Recently, former Surgeon General G. Everett Koop publicly 
     confirmed that the partial birth abortions are not medically 
     necessary procedures. During an interview published in 8/19/
     96 issue of American Medical News, Dr. Koop remarked ``I 
     believe Mr. Clinton was misled by his medical advisors on 
     what is fact and what is fiction in reference to late-term 
     abortions. Because in no way can I twist my mind to see that 
     late-term abortion as described--you know, the partial-birth, 
     and then destruction of the unborn child before the head is 
     born--is a medical necessity for the mother. It certainly 
     can't be a necessity for the baby. So I am opposed to 
     partial-birth abortions.''
       The current PHACT membership of over 300 far surpasses the 
     founding members' stated goal to attract 200 members. PHACT 
     was formed in late July of this year, and held a 
     Congressional briefing on July 24 as their debut event to 
     educate Congress and the public on the medical facts about 
     partial-birth abortion.
       The Physicians' Ad-hoc Coalition for Truth (PHACT) exists 
     to bring the medical facts to bear on the public policy 
     debate regarding partial birth abortions. Members of the 
     coalition are available to speak to public policy makers and 
     the media. If you would like to speak with a member of PHACT, 
     please contact Gene Tarne and Michelle Powers at 703-683-

 The Case of Coreen Costello--Partial-Birth Abortion Was Not a Medical 
Necessity for the Most Visible ``Personal Case'' Proponent of Procedure

       Coreen Costello is one of five women who appeared with 
     President Clinton when he vetoed the Partial-Birth Abortion 
     Ban Act (4/10/96). She has probably been the most active and 
     the most visible of those women who have chosen to share with 
     the public the very tragic circumstances of their pregnancies 
     which, they say, made the partial-birth abortion procedure 
     their only medical option to protect their health and future 
       But based on what Ms. Costello has publicly said so far, 
     her abortion was not, in fact, medically necessary.
       In addition to appearing with the President at the veto 
     ceremony, Ms. Costello has twice recounted her story in 
     testimony before both the House and Senate; the New York 
     Times published an op-ed by Ms. Costello based on this 
     testimony; she was featured in a full page ad in the 
     Washington Post sponsored by several abortion advocacy 
     groups; and, most recently (7/29/96) she has recounted her 
     story for a ``Dear Colleague'' letter being circulated to 
     House members by Rep. Peter Deutsch (FL).
       Unless she were to decide otherwise, Ms. Costello's full 
     medical records remain, of course, unavailable to the public, 
     being a matter between her and her doctors. However, Ms. 
     Costello has voluntarily chosen to share significant parts of 
     her very tragic story with the general public and in very 
     highly visible venues. Based on what Ms. Costello has 
     revealed of her medical history--of her own accord and for 
     the stated purpose of defeating the Partial-Birth Abortion 
     Ban Act--doctors with PHACT can only conclude that Ms. 
     Costello and others who have publicly acknowledged undergoing 
     this procedure ``are honest women who were sadly misinformed 
     and whose decision to have a partial-birth abortion was based 
     on a great deal of misinformation'' (Dr. Joseph DeCook, Ob/
     Gyn, PHACT Congressional Briefing, 7/24/96). Ms. Costello's 
     experience does not change the reality that a partial birth 
     abortion is never medically indicated--in fact, there are 
     available several alternative, standard medical procedures to 
     treat women confronting unfortunate situations like Ms. 
     Costello had to face.
       The following analysis is based on Ms. Costello's public 
     statements regarding events leading up to her abortion 
     performed by the late Dr. James McMahon. This analysis was 
     done by Dr. Curtis Cook, a perinatologist with the Michigan 
     State College of Human Medicine and member of PHACT.
       ``Ms. Costello's child suffered from `polyhydramnios 
     secondary to fetal swallowing defect.' In other words, the 
     child could not swallow the amniotic fluid, and an excess of 
     the fluid therefore collected in the mother's uterus. Because 
     of the swallowing defect, the child's lungs were not properly 
     stimulated, and an underdevelopment of the lungs would likely 
     be the cause of death if abortion had not intervened. The 
     child had no significant chance of survival, but also would 
     not likely die as soon as the umbilical cord was cut.
       ``The usual approach in such a case would be to reduce the 
     amount of amniotic fluid collecting in the mother's uterus by 
     serial amniocentesis. Excess fluid in the fetal ventricles 
     could also be drained. Ordinarily, the draining would occur 
     `transabdominally.' Then the child would be vaginally 
     delivered, after attempts were made to move the child into 
     the usual, head-down position. Dr. McMahon, who performed the 
     draining of cerebral fluid on Ms. Costello's child, did so 
     `transvaginally,' most likely because he had no significant 
     expertise in obstetrics/gynecology. In other words, he would 
     not be able to do it well transabdominally--the standard 
     method used by ob/gyns--because that takes a degree of 
     expertise he did not possess.
       ``Ms. Costello's statement that she was unable to have a 
     vaginal delivery, or, as she called it, `natural birth or an 
     induced labor,'

[[Page H10639]]

     is contradicted by the fact that she did indeed have a 
     vaginal delivery, conducted by Dr. McMahon. What Ms. Costello 
     had was a breech vaginal delivery for purposes of aborting 
     the child, however, as opposed to a vaginal delivery intended 
     to result in a live birth. A cesarean section in this case 
     would not be medically indicated--not because of any inherent 
     danger--but because the baby could be safely delivered 
       The Physicians' Ad-hoc Coalition for Truth (PHACT), with 
     over three hundred members drawn from the medical community 
     nationwide, exists to bring the medical facts to bear on the 
     public policy debate regarding partial birth abortions. 
     Members of the coalition are available to speak to public 
     policy makers and the media. If you would like to speak with 
     a member of PHACT, please contact Gene Tarne or Michelle 
     Powers at 703-683-5004.

  Mr. UNDERWOOD. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to urge my colleagues to 
vote for the override of the President's veto of the partial birth 
abortion bill. I sponsored the original legislation because it would 
protect the sanctity of life and prevent the cruel and inhumane killing 
of unborn children.
  We know all too well the arguments on both sides of this issue. 
Opponents of the bill argue that the partial birth abortion procedure 
does not exist because it is only used to deliver babies who are 
already dead. This argument is nonsensical because the definition of a 
partial birth abortion requires the partial delivery of a fetus which 
is still alive. A living fetus is viable and we should respect its 
  Another argument offered by those who oppose the bill is that this 
procedure is rare and utilized only in dire circumstances, when the 
baby is defective or the mother's life is in danger. This is not true. 
Many doctors admit that partial birth abortions are elective and are 
quite common. There are many reasons why women have late-term 
abortions. Some cite the lack of money or adequate health insurance to 
support the child. Others may have social or psychological problems 
which hinder their ability to go to full term on their pregnancy.
  No matter what reasons are cited, this brutal and senseless procedure 
should never be allowed.
  We can certainly find humane ways to deal with whatever reasons or 
undue burdens which cause women to resort to partial birth abortions. 
But we should not, as a nation, sanction this procedure: it is wrong, 
wrong, wrong.
  For me and the people of Guam whom I represent, the importance of 
childbearing and the worth of children in our culture are cornerstones 
for sustaining family values. For us, abortion is not an option; it is 
something we vigorously oppose because it destroys our concept of 
family preservation.
  I join the U.S. Catholic Conference, a number of antiabortion groups, 
and a majority of my colleagues in the House in supporting the overturn 
of the veto on this important legislation. This is not a constitutional 
issue, nor a health policy issue--this is an issue of protecting 
children who are killed before they are given a chance to experience 
their humanity.
  Mr. BEILENSON. Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong opposition to the ill-
advised attempt to override the President's veto of H.R. 1833.
  The President's veto should be sustained--especially because this is 
a bill that, on the pretense of seeking to ban certain vaguely defined 
abortion procedures, is in reality an assault on the constitutionally 
guaranteed right of women to reproductive freedom and on the freedom of 
physicians to practice medicine without government intrusion.
  This legislation would be a direct blow to the fight many of us led 
for many, many years to secure--and then to preserve and to protect--
the right of every woman to choose a safe medical procedure to 
terminate a wanted pregnancy that has gone tragically wrong, and when 
her life or health are endangered.
  The President correctly vetoed the legislation because it does not 
contain a true life and health exception provision. It does contain an 
extremely narrow life exception, and it requires further that no other 
medial procedure would suffice. But it provides no exception at all to 
preserve the woman's health, no matter how seriously or permanently it 
will be damaged.
  This exception is obviously a basic and fundamental concern to women 
and their families. Without it, the bill will force a woman and her 
physician to resort to procedures that may be more dangerous to the 
woman's health--and to her very life--and that may be more threatening 
to her ability to bear other children, than the method banned.
  If this exception had been included, the bill would have at least 
shown some respect for the paramount importance of a woman's life, 
health, and future fertility.
  The truth is, however, that we have absolutely no business 
considering this prohibition and criminalization of a constitutionally 
protected medical procedure.
  This is a dangerous piece of legislation. It is the first time the 
Federal Government would ban a particular method of abortion, and it is 
part of an effort to make it almost impossible for any abortion to be 
performed late in a pregnancy--no matter how endangered the mother's 
life or health might be.
  At stake here is whether or not we will be compassionate enough to 
recognize that none of us in this legislative body has all the answers 
to every tragic situation.
  We are debating not merely whether to outlaw a procedure, but under 
what terms. If legislation must be passed that is unprecedented in 
telling physicians which medical procedures they may not, despite their 
own best judgment, use, then it must permit a life or adverse health 
exception. That is the only way that the legislation might possibly 
meet the requirements that have been handed down by the U.S. Supreme 
  Mr. Speaker, on a personal note, I authored California's Therapeutic 
Abortion Act, which was one of the first laws in the Nation to protect 
the lives and health of women. Members may recall that then Gov. Ronald 
Reagan signed my legislation into law in 1967. That was a difficult and 
hard-won fight; it helped, I believe, save the lives of several million 
women, and as I look back on my legislative career, it is the 
legislation I am most proud of.
  When the U.S. Supreme Court ruled subsequently that the Government 
cannot restrict abortion in cases where it is necessary to preserve a 
woman's life or health, I believed that we had come to at least accept 
the precept that every woman should have the right to choose, with her 
family and her physician, but without government interference, and when 
her life and health are endangered, how to deal with this most personal 
and difficult decision.
  I see now that I was obviously wrong, because this Congress is 
willing even to criminalize for the first time a safe medical procedure 
that is used only very, very rarely and to end the most tragic of 
pregnancies. These are situations that are so desperate that it is hard 
to understand why most people, except those who are opposed to abortion 
under any circumstance at all, would not be able to understand that 
these are the very situations that should be protected.
  This is not a moderate measure, Mr. Speaker. It is an absolute 
tragedy for women and their families who could very well find 
themselves in the very desperate and tragic situation of other women 
who have had the courage to talk about the seriously defective 
pregnancies they had to end if they were to live or to protect their 
health and future fertility.
  We are talking about making a crime a medical procedure that is used 
only in very rare cases--fewer than 500 a year. It is a procedure that 
is needed only as a last resort, in cases where pregnancies that were 
planned, and that are wanted, have gone tragically wrong.
  Choosing to have an abortion is always a terribly difficult and awful 
decision for a family to make. But we are dealing here with 
particularly wrenching decisions in particularly tragic circumstances. 
It seems to me that it would be more than fitting if we showed 
restraint and compassion for women who are facing those devastating 
  Mr. Speaker, we should uphold the President's veto of this 
legislation that is unwise, unconstitutional, and terrible public 
policy that would return us to the dangerous situation that existed 
over 30 years ago.
  Mr. McDADE. Mr. Speaker, today the House of Representatives has the 
opportunity to stop the appalling practice known as partial-birth 
abortion. I cosponsored and supported the legislation to ban partial-
birth abortions both because I am committed to protecting the rights of 
the unborn and because they are particularly morally repugnant.
  I will vote to override the President's veto and encourage my 
colleagues to join me so that H.R. 1833, the Partial Birth Abortion Ban 
Act can be enacted.
  A partial-birth abortion is not, as President Clinton would have us 
believe, an ordinary medical procedure. It is a gruesome practice which 
pulls a baby from its mother's womb and ends its life.
  There is no gray area in this debate. This heinous practice--coming 
very late in the pregnancy--is clearly the killing of a human baby.
  Thousands of Americans have written and called this House to plead 
that we enact the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act and protect the right 
to life of these late-term children. I pray that we will hear their 
plea and override the President's veto.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER, Mr. Speaker, I strongly support overriding 
President Clinton's veto of H.R. 1833, the Partial Birth Abortion Ban 
  The President's veto of the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act is morally 
indefensible and his reason for vetoing the bill does not hold up under 
closer scrutiny. The President claims this abortion procedure is 
necessary, in fact, the ``only way,'' for women with certain prenatal 
complications to avoid serious physical damage, including the ability 
to bear further

[[Page H10640]]

children. If this is true, then why is partial-birth abortion not 
taught in a single medical residency program anywhere in the United 
States? Why is it not recognized as an accepted surgery by the American 
College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists? Actually, the American 
Medical Association's legislative council voted unanimously to endorse 
the partial-birth abortion ban.
  The fact is, a partial-birth abortion is never necessary to preserve 
the health of future fertility of the mother. However, you do not have 
to take my word for it, listen to what former Surgeon General C. 
Everett Koop has to say on the subject. Mr. Koop stated:

       I believe that Mr. Clinton was misled by his medical 
     advisors on what is fact and what is fiction in reference to 
     late-term abortions. Because in no way can I twist my mind to 
     see that the late-term abortions as described--you know, 
     partial birth, and then destruction of the unborn child 
     before the head is born--is a medical necessity for the 

  The dangerous reality is, according to undisputed expert medical 
testimony given before the House Subcommittee on the Constitution, the 
partial-birth abortion can be harmful to the mother in several ways. 
First, the cervix must be forcefully dilated, threatening future 
pregnancies by weakening the cervix. Next, the surgeon's hand must be 
inserted into the uterus to turn the baby around. This maneuver is so 
dangerous that it has been avoided in obstetrical practice for decades. 
Finally, the removal of the baby's brain while the head remains in 
utero may expose sharp fragments of bone. Uterine laceration and severe 
hemorrhaging may result.
  The difference between a partial-birth abortion and homicide is a 
mere three inches. A society that strives for civility should not 
tolerate such barbarism.
  Mr. KLECZKA. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong support of H.R. 
1833, which will stop the senseless and inhumane practice of partial 
birth abortions.
  Patial birth abortions are gruesome, they are horrific and they are 
  I voted in favor of H.R. 1833 on November 1, 1995 and again on March 
27, 1996. Today, I continue my support for this much-needed legislation 
by once again voting for H.R. 1833--and voting to override the 
President's veto.
  Critics of this bill say the majority of these procedures are health 
related. Yet documents obtained by the committees studying this issue 
show that the majority of late-term abortions are not done for medical 
reasons at all.
  Critics of this measure say it will harm mothers whose babies pose a 
life-threatening hazard to their health. Yet H.R. 1833 contains an 
exception that protects the mother if her life is in danger. This 
exception allows the procedure if it is ever ``necessary to save the 
life of a woman whose life is endangered by a physician disorder, 
illness, or injury, provided that no other medical procedure would 
suffice for that purpose.''
  We must, as a society, move to address this issue with compassion and 
with courage. The destruction of human life that results from a partial 
birth abortion must stop now. I am pleased to join my colleagues in 
voting to end this unnecessary and unethical procedure.
  Mr. Christensen. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in favor of overriding the 
President's veto of the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act.
  I was honored to be an original cosponsor of this legislation because 
it takes a stand against the most horrid abuses of the abortion 
industry--abortions that are committed on a child that is partially 
born before the abortionist kills the child.
  This procedure is so indefensible that its proponents have been left 
to medical distortions and falsehoods to defend their position.
  According to Dr. Nancy Romer, of Wright State University, ``there is 
no medical evidence that the partial birth abortion procedure is safer 
or necessary to provide comprehensive health care to women.'' Dr. Romer 
dealt with the medical issues surrounding this procedure in greater 
detail in an op-ed in today's Wall Street Journal, and I submit it for 
the Record.
  I believe that each of us--not just as Members of Congress but as 
citizens and as human beings--has a moral obligation to stand up in 
defense of our Nation's children and put an end to this horrible 
procedure, and I urge my colleagues to support over-riding the 
President's veto.

             [From the Wall Street Journal, Sept. 19, 1996]

                 Partial-Birth Abortion Is Bad Medicine

  (By Nancy Romer, Pamela Smith, Curtis R. Cook, and Joseph L. DeCook)

       The House of Representatives will vote in the next few days 
     on whether to override President Clinton's veto of the 
     Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act. The debate on the subject has 
     been noisy and rancorous. You've heard from the activists. 
     You've heard from the politicians. Now may we speak?
       We are the physicians who, on a daily basis, treat pregnant 
     women and their babies. And we can no longer remain silent 
     while abortion activists, the media and even the president of 
     the United States continue to repeat false medical claims 
     about partial-birth abortion. The appalling lack of medical 
     credibility on the side of those defending this procedure has 
     forced us--for the first time in our professional careers--to 
     leave the sidelines in order to provide some sorely needed 
     facts in a debate that has been dominated by anecdote, 
     emotion and media stunts.
       Since the debate on this issue began, those whose real 
     agenda is to keep all types of abortion legal--at any stage 
     of pregnancy, for any reason--have waged what can only be 
     called an orchestrated misinformation campaign.
       First the National Abortion Federation and other pro-
     abortion groups claimed the procedure didn't exist. When a 
     paper written by the doctor who invented the procedure was 
     produced, abortion proponents changed their story, claiming 
     the procedure was only done when a women's life was in 
     danger. Then the same doctor, the nation's main practitioner 
     of the technique, was caught--on tape--admitting that 80% of 
     his partial-birth abortions were ``purely elective.''
       Then there was the anesthesia myth. The American public was 
     told that it wasn't the abortion that killed the baby, but 
     the anesthesia administered to the mother before the 
     procedure. This claim was immediately and thoroughly 
     denounced by the American Society of Anesthesiologists, which 
     called the claim ``entirely inaccurate.'' Yet Planned 
     Parenthood and its allies continued to spread the myth, 
     causing needless, concern among our pregnant patients who 
     heard the claims and were terrified that epidurals during 
     labor, or anesthesia during needed surgeries, would kill 
     their babies.
       The latest baseless statement was made by President Clinton 
     himself when he said that if the mothers who opted for 
     partial-birth abortions had delivered their children 
     naturally, the women's bodies would have been ``eviscerated'' 
     or ``ripped to shreds'' and they ``could never have another 
       That claim is totally and completely false. Contrary to 
     what abortion activists would have us believe, partial-birth 
     abortion is never medically indicated to protect a women's 
     health or her fertility. In fact, the opposite is true: The 
     procedure can pose a significant and immediate threat to both 
     the pregnant women's health and her fertility. It seems to 
     have escaped anyone's attention that one of the five women 
     who appeared at Mr. Clinton's veto ceremony had five 
     miscarriages after her partial-birth abortion.
       Consider the dangers inherent in partial-birth abortion, 
     which usually occurs after the fifth month of pregnancy. A 
     women's cervix is forcibly dilated over several days, which 
     risks creating an ``incompetent cervix,'' the leading cause 
     of premature delivers. It is also an invitation to infection, 
     a major cause of infertility. The abortionist then reaches 
     into the womb to pull a child feet first out of the mother 
     (internal podalic version), but leaves the head inside. Under 
     normal circumstances, physicians avoid breech births whenever 
     possible; in this case, the doctor intentionally causes one--
     and risks tearing the uterus in the process. He then forces 
     scissors through the base of the baby's skull--which remains 
     lodged just within the birth canal. This is a partially 
     ``blind'' procedure, done by feel, risking direct scissor 
     injury to the uterus and laceration of the cervix or lower 
     uterine segment, resulting in immediate and massive bleeding 
     and the threat of shock or even death to the mother.
       None of this risk is ever necessary for any reason. We and 
     many other doctors across the U.S. regularly treat women 
     whose unborn children suffer the same conditions as those 
     cited by the women who appeared at Mr. Clinton's veto 
     ceremony. Never is the partial-birth procedure necessary. Not 
     for hydrocephaly (excessive cerebrospinal fluid in the head), 
     not for polyhydramnios (an excess of amniotic fluid 
     collecting in the women) and not for trisomy (genetic 
     abnormalities characterized by an extra chromosome). 
     Sometimes, as in the case of hydrocephaly, it is first 
     necessary to drain some of the fluid from the baby's head. 
     And in some cases, when vaginal delivery is not possible, a 
     doctor performs a Caesarean section. But in no case is it 
     necessary to partially deliver an infant through the vagina 
     and then kill the infant.
       How telling it is that although Mr. Clinton met with women 
     who claimed to have needed partial-birth abortions on account 
     of these conditions, he has flat-out refused to meet with 
     women who delivered babies with these same conditions, with 
     no damage whatsoever to their health or future fertility.
       Former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop was recently asked 
     whether he'd ever operated on children who had any of the 
     disabilities described in this debate. Indeed he had. In 
     fact, one of his patients--``with a huge omphalocele [a sac 
     containing the baby's organs] much bigger than her head''--
     went on to become the head nurse in his intensive care unit 
     many years later.
       Mr. Koop's reaction to the president's veto? ``I believe 
     that Mr. Clinton was misled by his medical advisers on what 
     is fact and what is fiction'' on the matter, he said. Such a 
     procedure, he added, cannot truthfully be called medically 
     necessary for either the mother or--he scarcely need point 
     out--for the baby.
       Considering these medical realities, one can only conclude 
     that the women who thought they underwent partial-birth 
     abortions for ``medical'' reasons were tragically misled. And 
     those who purport to speak for women don't seem to care.

[[Page H10641]]

       So whom are you going to believe? The activist-extremists 
     who refuse to allow a little truth to get in the way of their 
     agenda? The politicians who benefit from the activists' 
     political action committees? Or doctors who have the facts?

 [From the National Right to Life Committee, Inc., Tuesday, Sept. 17, 

Two Major Newspapers Discredit Key Claims of White House and Other Foes 
                     of Partial-Birth Abortion Ban

       Washington.--The U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled 
     to vote as early as Thursday, September 19, on whether to 
     override President Clinton's veto of a bill to ban partial-
     birth abortions (except to save a mother's life). This week, 
     two daily newspapers--the Washington Post and the Record of 
     Bergen County, New Jersey--have published investigative 
     reports that discredit false claims by the White House and 
     pro-abortion advocacy groups that partial-birth abortions are 
     ``extremely rate'' and are performed only or mainly in cases 
     of risk to the mother or lethal disorders of the fetus/baby.
       The Record's investigative report, titled ``the Facts on 
     Partial-Birth Abortions,'' was written by ``women's issues'' 
     staff writer Ruth Padawer and published on September 15. The 
     Record quoted the insistent claims of pro-abortion advocacy 
     groups that partial-birth procedures are performed in rare 
     and medically dire circumstances, before reporting: ``But 
     interviews with physicians who use the method reveal that in 
     New Jersey alone, at least 1,500 partial-birth abortions are 
     performed each year''--triple the 450-500 number which the 
     National Abortion Federation (NAF), a lobby for abortion 
     clinics, has claimed occur in the entire country.
       The Record reported, ``Doctors at Metropolitan Medical in 
     Englewood [New Jersey] estimate that their clinic alone 
     performs 3,000 abortions a year on fetuses between 20 and 24 
     weeks [i.e., 4\1/2\ to 5\1/2\ months], of which at least half 
     are intact dilation and evacuation'' [i.e., partial-birth 
     abortion]. The abortion doctors at the Englewood facility 
     ``say only a `minuscule amount' are for medical reasons,'' 
     the Record reported.
       ``We have an occasional amnio abnormality, but it's a 
     minuscule amount,'' said one of the doctors at Metropolitan 
     Medical, an assessment confirmed by another doctor there. 
     ``Most are Medicaid patients, black and white, and most are 
     for elective, not medical, reasons: people who didn't 
     realize, or didn't care, how far along they were. Most are 
       The September 17 edition of the Washington Post contained 
     the results of an investigation conducted by reporters 
     Barbara Vobejda and David M. Brown, M.D., who concluded:
       It is possible--and maybe even likely--that the majority of 
     these [partial-birth] abortions are performed on normal 
     fetuses, not on fetuses suffering genetic or other 
     developmental abnormalities. Furthermore, in most cases where 
     the procedure is used, the physical health of the woman 
     whose pregnancy is being terminated is not in jeopardy. . 
     . . Instead, the ``typical'' patients tend to be young, 
     low-income women, often poorly educated or naive, whose 
     reasons for waiting so long to end their pregnancies are 
     rarely medical.
       In addition to the abortionists at the Metropolitan Medical 
     facility, the Record learned of at least five other doctors 
     performing partial-birth abortions in the region: ``Another 
     metropolitan area doctor who works outside New Jersey said he 
     does about 260 post-20-week abortions a year, of which half 
     are by intact D&E. The doctor, who is also a professor at two 
     prestigious teaching hospitals, said he has been teaching 
     intact D&E since 1981, and he said he knows of two former 
     students on Long Island and two in New York City who use the 
       Both articles unfairly say that leading supporters of the 
     Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act have implied that partial-
     birth abortions are performed primarily during the last three 
     months of pregnancy. In truth, it has been opponents of the 
     bill, including President Clinton, who have tried to narrow 
     the focus of the debate to ``third trimester'' procedures. In 
     contrast, NRLC has publicly and consistently challenged 
     attempts to characterize the bill as a ban on primarily 
     ``third trimester'' procedures, and has stressed that most 
     partial-birth abortions are performed from 20 to 26 weeks--
     4\1/2\ to 6 months--for entirely non-medical reasons. At even 
     24 weeks, an unborn baby is (on average) 10 inches long, and 
     if born prematurely has a one-in-three chance of survival in 
     a neo-natal unit.
       [However, it is also well documented that many partial-
     birth abortions have been performed even after 26 weeks 
     (i.e., during the third trimester), and in a variety of 
     circumstances besides ``severe fetal anomalies.'' Indeed, in 
     a 1995 written submission to the House Judiciary Committee, 
     the late Dr. James McMahon indicated that even at 29-30 
     weeks, fully one-fourth of the partial-birth abortions that 
     he performed were on fetuses with no ``flaw'' whatever.]
       A questionnaire submitted to candidates by the U.S. 
     Catholic Conference, published on September 16, asked, ``What 
     is your position on a law banning partial-birth abortion?'' 
     The Clinton campaign responded: ``If Congress sends the 
     president a bill that bars third-trimester abortions with an 
     appropriate exception for life or health, the president would 
     sign it.'' [emphasis added] By limiting this commitment to 
     ``third-trimester'' abortions, Mr. Clinton's ``restriction'' 
     effectively excludes most partial-birth abortions. Moreover, 
     as the Washington Post reported in its Sept. 17 examination 
     of the issue, the Supreme Court has defined ``health'' 
     abortions to include those performed ``in the light of all 
     factors--physical, emotional, psychological, familial and the 
     woman's age.'' The Post's reporters accurately concluded, 
     ``Because of this definition, life-threatening conditions 
     need not exist in order for a woman to get a third-trimester 
     abortion.'' [Sept. 17 Washington Post Health, page 17]
       In an advertisement published today in USA Today and other 
     newspapers, the Physicians' Ad Hoc Coalition for Truth 
     (PHACT), a coalition of about 300 medical specialists 
     including former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, says 
     emphatically that even in cases involving severe fetal 
     disorders, ``partial-birth abortion is never medically 
     necessary to protect a mother's health or her future 

  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. LaHood). All time having expired, 
without objection, the previous question is ordered.
  There was no objection.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is, Will the House, on 
reconsideration, pass the bill, the objections of the President to the 
contrary notwithstanding?
  Under the Constitution, the vote must be determined by the yeas and 
  The vote was taken by electronic device, and there were--yeas 285, 
nays 137, not voting 12, as follows:

                             [Roll No. 422]


     Baker (CA)
     Baker (LA)
     Barrett (NE)
     Barrett (WI)
     Bryant (TN)
     Collins (GA)
     de la Garza
     Franks (NJ)
     Greene (UT)
     Hall (OH)
     Hall (TX)
     Hastings (WA)
     Johnson (SD)
     Johnson, Sam
     Kennedy (RI)
     Lewis (CA)
     Lewis (KY)
     Miller (FL)
     Payne (VA)
     Peterson (MN)
     Smith (MI)
     Smith (NJ)
     Smith (TX)
     Smith (WA)
     Taylor (MS)
     Taylor (NC)
     Watts (OK)
     Weldon (FL)
     Weldon (PA)
     Young (AK)
     Young (FL)

[[Page H10642]]


     Brown (CA)
     Brown (FL)
     Brown (OH)
     Bryant (TX)
     Collins (IL)
     Collins (MI)
     Frank (MA)
     Franks (CT)
     Green (TX)
     Hastings (FL)
     Jackson (IL)
     Jackson-Lee (TX)
     Johnson (CT)
     Johnson, E.B.
     Kennedy (MA)
     Lewis (GA)
     Miller (CA)
     Payne (NJ)
     Watt (NC)

                             NOT VOTING--12

     Fields (LA)
     Fields (TX)
     Peterson (FL)

                              {time}  1414

  The Clerk announced the following pairs:
  On this vote:

       Mr. Hayes and Mr. Ganske for, with Ms. Furse against.
       Mr. Longley and Mr. Fields of Texas for, with Mr. Johnston 
     of Florida against.

  Mr. DOGGETT changed his vote from ``yea'' to ``nay.''
  So, two-thirds having voted in favor thereof, the bill was passed, 
the objections of the President to the contrary notwithstanding.
  The result of the vote was announced as above recorded.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. LaHood). The Clerk will notify the 
Senate of the action of the House.