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U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) today discussed the upcoming Senate vote on the Democrats’ Abortion on Demand Act, legislation that would prop up the abortion industry and make abortion on demand, at any time, for essentially any reason, the law of the land.
Thune’s remarks below (as prepared for delivery):
“Mr. President, let’s get two things straight about the abortion legislation on the floor before us today:
“One, this legislation does not represent the views of a majority of the American people.
“And two, this legislation is some of the most extreme abortion legislation in the world.
“Mr. President, it’s a little hard to believe we’re having a vote on this bill again – mere weeks after it was defeated in the Senate.
“But I guess when the abortion lobby calls, our Democrat colleagues come running.
“Mr. President, the bill before us today – the so-called Women’s Health Protection Act – would prop up the abortion industry and make abortion on demand, at any time, for essentially any reason, the law of the land.
“My Democrat colleagues would like to convey the impression that with this legislation, they’re merely attempting to codify a widely held belief from which no reasonable person dissents.
“That, Mr. President, is baloney.
“The American people don’t even come close to supporting abortion on demand up until the moment of birth.
“Gallup has been polling on abortion for decades, and in all that time the percentage of Americans who believe abortion should be legal under any circumstance has always remained under 35 percent.
“An Associated Press poll from this past June found that 65 percent of Americans believe that abortion should generally be illegal in the second trimester – or from about 13 weeks of pregnancy – while a whopping 80 percent of Americans believe that abortion should generally be illegal in the third trimester.
“Well, Mr. President, I suspect it’s because the American people are well aware that when we’re talking about abortion, we’re talking about the killing of human beings – innocent human beings.
“And that’s not exactly something Americans are comfortable with.
“Americans are used to defending the weak and the innocent – not killing them.
“So it’s not exactly surprising that Americans are not joining the Democrat Party in wholeheartedly embracing abortion up until the moment of birth.
“Mr. President, Democrats do everything they can to run away from the humanity of the unborn baby.
“But they’re fighting a losing battle.
“Because science and medical technology and plain old common sense all point inexorably to the humanity of the unborn child.
“It’s pretty hard to look at a fully formed baby on an ultrasound, kicking her feet and sucking her thumb, and think she’s anything but a human being.
“And once you’ve acknowledged the self-evident truth that that baby is a human being, it’s pretty hard to argue that she shouldn’t be protected.
“And so it’s no surprise that almost 50 years after Roe, Americans still do not wholeheartedly embrace abortion.
“Mr. President, in addition to being totally out of step with the American mainstream, Democrats’ Abortion on Demand Act is also far outside of the mainstream of abortion law globally.
“Thirty-nine of the 42 European countries that allow elective abortion limit such abortions to 15 weeks or earlier.
“Thirty-two of those countries limit elective abortion to at or before 12 weeks’ gestation.
“Meanwhile, Democrats want to enshrine abortion on demand up until the moment of birth.
“Mr. President, thanks to Roe v. Wade, our country is already outside the global mainstream when it comes to protecting unborn human beings.
“In fact, we are currently one of just a tiny handful of countries in the world that allow elective abortion past 20 weeks of pregnancy.
“Among those other countries are China and North Korea – not exactly the kind of company we want to be keeping when it comes to defending human rights.
“But the so-called Women’s Health Protection Act is even more extreme than Roe.
“Not only would it allow abortion through all 40 weeks of pregnancy, it would sweep away almost every commonsense restriction that has been upheld under Roe.
“All of those would be gone under Democrats’ abortion on demand bill.
“Plus it would open the door to federal funding of abortion – forcing Americans who oppose abortion to subsidize it with their tax dollars.
“Furthermore, under this legislation, conscience protections for doctors and hospitals who do not want to perform abortions would be in jeopardy.
“The Democrat leader has suggested that this bill would not jeopardize the right of Catholic hospitals to refuse to perform abortions.
“I’d like to believe him.
“But it’s pretty hard to do so when this bill removes the right to invoke the Religious Freedom Restoration Act as a defense.
“The Religious Freedom Restoration Act, of course, is a 1993 law passed by Congress to ensure that Americans’ constitutional right to live in accordance with their religious beliefs is protected.
“That law was actually sponsored by the Democrat leader … back when the Democrat Party still believed in protecting religious freedom.
“And while I would love to believe that Democrats are still interested in protecting conscience rights, it’s pretty hard to believe when their bill takes steps to prevent providers from claiming protection under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
“Why would you include such a provision in your legislation unless you intended to make sure that health care providers could not cite their religious faith to ensure that they are not forced to participate in abortions?
“Mr. President, with the legislation before us today, Democrats aren’t attempting to codify some widely held consensus on abortion; they’re attempting to codify the most extreme views of the extreme pro-abortion lobby.
“It’s pretty sad that the Democrat Party has come to this.
“The party that has historically portrayed itself as the defender of the little guy is now the party seeking to deny even the smallest protections to the littlest and most vulnerable guys and girls among us – unborn human beings.
“But hey, I guess Democrats can at least claim that they’re standing up for the abortion industry.
“Mr. President, I believe that we’re better than this.
“We have to be better than this.
“And I hope that not only Republicans but some of my Democrat colleagues will stand up and say that we can do better than a law that rips away even the smallest protections for unborn Americans.
“Mr. President, I yield the floor.”