tv Hearing on Texas Abortion Law CSPAN November 16, 2021 1:11am-2:43am EST
witnesses included reproductive rights advocates and a pro-life advocate. lawmakers share their own experiences. the hearing is about three hours and 20 minutes. [background noises] [background noises] [background noises] [inaudible] [inaudible] [inaudible] the house committee and the judiciary will come to order
the chairs authorized to declare recess at any time before we begin and want to thank the members and the witnesses for their patients to delay the start of the hearing with the texas abortion ban the devastating impacts and before we begin i like to remindhe members we established an e-mail address and distribution list dedicated to circulated written materials that members might want to offer as part of their hearing today. if you like to submit materials please send them to the e-mail address we previously distributed and we will circulate the materials as quickly as possible also guidance is required in all meetings and enclosed spaces except when you are recognized i now recognize myself. in opening statement.
>> 65 days that is how long women in texas have been stripped of their constitutional rights to abortion earlier this year texas enacted senate a bill eight which bands abortion after six weeks of pregnancy. before many people even know their pregnant thereby effectively blocking abortion access entirely although the law is clearly unconstitutional the structure which relies solely on private enforcement has abated judicial review and offers a pay bounty a minimum of $10000 of legal fees those that bring law of the provision this permits an individual to assume not only abortion providers but anyone that a term is so broad that any
action from driving a patient to a clinic to offer personal advice this creates a personal storm which has some of the most distinctive laws in the country because of the way it is written and is to opportunity to take effect for pending legal challenges and have failed to do so as a result then has had affects around the region and country it is unconstitutional the texas legislature ignored president to enact the loss if anyone has been paying
attention, the slightest not appear out of nowhere. it is the result of decades long well-funded campaign by antiabortion activists who chipped away at the rate of abortions. these efforts have culminated one goal towith overturn the constitutionally protected rights to abortion. nearly 50 years c ago the supreme court recognized that right with roe v wade supreme court upheld to make that decision went to our children and has observed nearly 30 years and reaffirm then right to abortion planned parenthood and the ability of women to participate equally has been facilitated by the ability to control their reproductive lives. access to safe and legal and affordable abortion allows people to make decisions of their lives want to start a new job, go back to school, eventually 20 start or grow a family.
and state chip away at orban abortion access they are not just controlling women's bodies of their lives. that is most on low income women for populations and women of color this hearing occurs days after the supreme court heard oral arguments with united states versus texas legal challenges for abortion care providers in the department of justice at the heart of the cases is the question of whether aly state can nullify the constitution within the border. sp eight is to thwart to block the state law that prohibits the exercise of the constitutional right before it takes effect by delegating to law.ce the the bounty system which is just as troubling as the van
it iss meant to enforce is a disturbing effort to evade scrutinyy long enough for clearly unconstitutional laws to take effect and it worked. the bounty system should be concerning to anyoneo who holds dear constitutional rights and i suggested as her oral arguments on monday it has a president for a model for states to undermine any constitutional right. with the right to free speech and right to religious liberty and the right to bear arms. pregnant people in texas will be reluctant to confide in coworkers or friends or to seek help from organizations and advocates the express
concern of how to advise patients for pregnancy complications it was built to have isolation and for providers in the state and in many ways it has succeeded. the sba has not diminish the need for abortion in texas or anywhere else they already face those hurdles. texas has passed the most extreme antiabortion lot even before sb eight they had to have multiple appointmentsei unnecessary sonograms and also antiabortion propaganda and
because texas farmers any insurance public or private from covering abortion care women must pay for the entire process out of their own pocket which includes anywhere between $31200 this assumes they can even reach an abortion provider was 900 thousands of more than 150 miles for an abortion provider none of these are medically necessary but designed to stop women from accessing abortion to control women's lives plain and simple it is not alone in enacting these restrictions states aroundin the country face similar laws these restrictions makes abortion completely andst accessible with low income families are hit the hardest those who have jobs or live miles away from abortion providers make impossible decisions defined
the time and money in support all of these take time depression to their pregnancy to make care more difficult to access sch is only exacerbated the situation the need for abortion has not disappeared even as they have provided has dropped by and estimated 50 percent people are now seeking care at a state traveling hundredse learn miles and spending much more money for all of this to get the care that they need to say have a o constitutional right to access integral to their dignity and fundamental freedom to live their livesma on the terms because ultimately that is not theoretical as we will hear today sb8 and
similar restrictions impact real families every day i will stand with these women i will not stop fighting to protect the right to abortion of every american to live their life with dignity. i think the witnesses for being here and i look forward to the testimony of recognize the ranking member, the gentleman from ohio for his opening statement. >> life is precious every single life is precious not fundamental pref preferences with the whole pro-life movement is about that's not what democrats are about in congress. now they tried to abandon the hyde amendment any appropriation measure for the last 45 years which says federal tax money will not be used to take the life of an
unborn child even with the hyde amendment in place half a billion dollars of taxpayer funding is flowing to planned parenthood annually now as it is repealed it does over 350,000 abortions per year will getns even more so for decades democrats respected those who oppose abortion should not have their tax dollars used to fund it now they don't even president biden changes position he is to be for the hyde amendment language now he is not that is how radical the democrats position has become on unborn children it's our hope our colleagues on the other side of the aisle will move those pieces of legislation democrats are not here today to have a sanctity of life or role of government but instead they are here to play politics and advance a radical leftist agenda right now there are
three pro-life cases before the supreme court andnd this week the same week the chairman shows to convene the hearing the court held oral arguments on two of those cases. let's be clear the democrats have convene the hearing as a way to pressure the supreme court to intimidate the supreme court when the court was considering the illegal questions to delegitimize the courts role to interpret the law and they focus on this on the state of texas last year the court heard oral arguments senator schumer stood in front of the supreme court and said this i wentt to tell you gore such and kavanaugh you o have released a world and and you'll pay the price you want know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions. that is not threatening that
is not trying to intimidate i don't know what that is he did that in front of the supreme court that day and then enabled other democratic members to make good on that threat to say justices to the supreme court, to the associate justices and why might they want for new justices? because for a new appointed by a the president gets to the liberal majority on the court. even president biden criticized this last month that court admission is to undermine rather than enhance theehe legitimacy and its role f the constitutional system and there are significant reasons to be skeptical it would serve democratic values. but after the release of the draft report the chairman of
this committee and other democrats probably issued a statement condemning findings to writing the president to double down on the plan we must pass legislation to expand the supreme court. just yesterday congressman jeffries double down to say the right wing majority is completely legitimate that statement doesn't make sense i think mr. gore said sure mr. kavanaugh was nominated by the president and confirmed by t the senate that is as legitimate as you can get some how the democrats view that as a legitimate simply because they are pro-life. just so we're clear the house judiciary committee overseeing the judiciary and theci federal system to upset the balance of the supreme court all for political ends so just one branch of the government they don't control and they can't stand it thee american people see through this the texas law
is focus on —- focused on the sanctity of five to protect those who cannot protect themselves that is what the is aboutmovement life is precious and let's protect those who cannot protect themselves democrats in congress are focusing on pressuring the court and intimidating the court and packing the court any american people see it for what it is thank you for being here especially miss foster with united for life i yield back. >> without objection all statements are included in theem record. net first are board certified ob/gyn also the founder chief
medical officer pegasus health justice center of the board number of physicians are productive health to receive the undergraduate degree from university of texas at austin completing medical training at the osteopathic medicine in fort worth training and old on —- ob/gyn as a dissenter in el paso to complete a fellowship training at the university of hawaii where she also received the public health degree in public health policy and management plan professor at the university of california berkeley school of our previously harvard law school stanford law school and yale, the trinity as a great productive rights fellow at columbia and received her ba
and her phd in philanthropy from ceo america united for life as well as senior fellow legal policies at the institute and the fellow at the jane wilson university for the american founding previously she spent seven years asnd litigation counsel and then founded and managed euthanasia prevention coalition is executive director earning her ba from the degree in french university south florida and jd fromto georgetown university center. coexecutive director of the abortion funds to the stigma to dismantlebo those barriers forab logistical support she received her ba from university of northern florida
we welcome all distinguished witnesses and we thank them for participating today i will begin by swearing in our witnesses they asked the witnesses in person please rise and raise your right hand make sure he can see her face while i administer the oath do you swearar or affirm the testimony about to give it is true and correct to the best of your knowledge so help you god? let the record show the witnesses have answered in the affirmative please be seated each written statement is entered into the record in its entirety and i ask you summarize your testimony in five minutes to help you stay within that time there is a light on the table when it switches from green to yellow you have one minute to conclude when it turns red that five minutes have expired witnesses appearing virtually
there is a timer onr your screen you can keep track of time. you may begin second morning chairman and ranking member and to the committee i'm a boris theater certified ob/gyn as a mom and dad text and in a proud abortion provider i serve for theic equal access fund over 60 days to be accessible in my home state of texas we've been waiting for the courts or congress or anyone to intervene to help this unconstitutional abortion ban i'm here today because we're still waitingau as dangerous to access life-saving abortion has always been challenging last month when i testify to the house oversight committee on this very issue i asked the committee to say what it would
be like tot' get abortion care in texas consider maria 35 -year-old pregnant working a minimum-wage job prior to sb8 being enacted it was already apparent and resolute and although she's confident and informed her of her decision simply because she lives in texas she is forced to go through harmful restrictions when accessing abortion care she is forced to seek out only one out of two specialty clinics in dallas not from her regular healthcare provider because abortion care after 16 weeks be provided in an ambulatory surgical center that has been proven unnecessary does nothing to improve the quality or safety of care. if shehe can make her appointment at one of the two
locations she cannot have the abortion on the day of her apartment appointment she's forced to make another appointment as a physician i'm compelled by the state to force her into a medically unnecessary ultrasound and force her to look at listen i'm compelled by the state to force marie to hear the description of the ultrasound and compelled to forcefo marie to receive medically inaccurate statements and then i'm still compelled to force her to wait 24 hours to receive her desired healthcare. if she were 16 it would be even further delayed or parental can say on —- consent if she were undocumented living in el paso she d would be completely denied access to abortion because even before sb8 a lack of b abortion providers and the internal border checkpoints prevent marie from accessing the next closest clinic now the
committee heard how bad it was evenas before sb8 i will bring the story forward to right now today she cannot get the abortion in dallas because of the influx the next closest clinic where i also provide care i should not be forced to travel hours and hours away from my home to care for patients for my neighbors who traveled hours to see me by the time marie is able to schedule an appointment she's 22 weeks pregnant and unable to get care because of medically unnecessary restrictions now are moving in circles further and further away fromm her home the abortion ban creates a ripple effect impacting all of us the influence is training the neighboring states pushing
oklahomans out t of their communities like arkansas and kansas this is what sb8 intends to do with the ability of abortion it is almost completely stopped in the health and safety of all people is in jeopardy we know that can worsen pregnancy but not enough ob/gyn are confused how to complying care for theirar patients right now today physicians and hospitals and texas are delaying life-saving care for l critically ill people because they so have fetal cardiac activity in a first-hand for those thousands of people i have cared for it is the blessing and freedom and an act of love and want to
help our communities right now we need federal protection and most of all we need you to not forget about us people of texas and other heavily restricted states and communities thank you for hearing me today and holding this important hearing. >> thank you for your testimony you are now recognize. >> . >> chairman and ranking member and members of the house committee thank you for the opportunity to testify before you today. i am a professor of law at university of california berkeley i also serve as a faculty director of the berkeley center on reproductive rights justice i'm here to explain how those bands texas senate bill eight disproportionate impacts pregnant people of color
especially black women. for decades the supreme court has reaffirmed the holding of row v wade it has affirmed they have a right to choose to have an abortion before invite ability without undue interference from the state planned parenthood versus kc makes it clear to terminate before viability is no central principle rule of law and what we cannot renounce texas senate bill eight which expands after six weeks of a pregnancy violates those principles and it constitutes a near-total ban on abortion far before viability went before many people know they are pregnant consequence socially sb8 is unconstitutional but currently in effect and harming texans in need of abortion care for over two months and this is
solely because the law leaves enforcement —- enforcement to private citizens a feature that they hoped would evade judicial review the united states supreme court cited the complex questions as a reason for not enjoining the law it's important to reiterate the sole reason it contains these questions is that the authors wanted to give the court to leave a lot in place the supreme court took advantage of the opportunity sb8 gave them they left a lot in place and has worked a lot is in effect for two months abortion providers have been unable to provide care to scores of patients who desperately needed because texans seeking to exercise their
constitutional right must not travel outside of the state the burdens imposed by sb8 her tremendous the greatest harm has fallen and will continue on the most marginalized people in texas and for the poorest people it is insurmountable because there is a close relationship with those living in poverty constitutes the burdens to black people so a disproportionate number is among those who are coerced and have children against their will or to risk exposure to criminal prosecution to self manage abortion. black people receive abortion care higher rates than their counterparts this is true in large part because black people experience unintended pregnancies at higher rates
because black people rely on abortion camera frequently than nonblack counterparts various abortions like sb8 inflict greater harm and on other races eventually restrictions do not have the same effect have long recognized the importance to ensure that black women and other black people who become a pregnant are able to decide whether or not they will become parents they have understood is that what coerced into parenthood to assert it is black genocide and that there are forces that would deny black people parenthood might tens of thousands of black women from the 19 fifties to the eighties and beyond because they had realized it was a tool of racial oppression they have identify black people's
ability to control their own reproduction as a tool for racial justice because that ability enables black people to control be p production those that consider abortion access essentialce doesn't make an accessible are tools of racial subordination. thank you. >> thank you members of the committee i speak on behalf of the constitutional and human right to life on behalf of the texas and every communities right to protect our most vulnerable brotherste and sisters white, black, indigenous and all people from extermination tell you what the others will not tell you is not our masters degrees earned
medical degrees that distinguish us these are all fine accomplishments that none of them ultimately matter what matters is what we share, our commonon humanity. and what is at stake is the same, our humanity i've committed my life for america's common interest and i'm committed to opposing a special interest that tragically is a public policy solution if you ask most americans on the street an told them very serious people are convening hearings to call for more abortions to take place they would be speechless but that is what is happening here today we hear incredible stories and testimony for
texas or america to embrace more abortion and what is choose this it is the violent tearing apart of hopeless children lynn from when also the wounding and scarring of women and families for the benefit of a multibillion-dollar financial interestan number three it is a cancer upon america and abortion must end. i keep hearing the word devastating it is in the name of today's hearing pro- abortion activist repeated ad nausea. devastating. do you know what iss devastating? cancer. naturall disasters. 52million diabetes. that is what is devastating. 52million dead killed
for-profit corporate sponsor genocide it is time for us to move on as a constitutional attorney i have for the supreme court every federal and state lawmaker implored to restore the human right to life we hear a lot about texas but all of this got it start because seven men on the us supreme court decided to do a terrible thing to nullify the democratic consensus against abortion and impose abortion violence american people have never accepted the injustice ofe abortion culture americans united for life advocate for the human right toe life and culture and why and policy we have been fighting since 1971 from the beginning of the abortion wars for those who govern firm our judicial branch is to simply do their job there is nothing more
alien to america's constitutional way a of life than the imposition on women who deserve a better choices since the heartbeat act went into effect there are now literally thousands of lives and mothers and fathers and families and communities who have the chance to build a life together a world of fewer abortions is a good world. a future with more americans is a good future and families and communities who are offered hope rather than sorrow are powerful witnesses to thehe importance that serve justice and the good of all persons i am here to remind you all that you already know the world of fewer abortions is a good world, a better
world in a few years the children who are alive today thanks to the texas heartbeat act will be old to understand you think it is devastating that they are alive and their parents can hear you now. i celebrate them and every heartbeat protected in life saved we should be asking ourselves how we can support mothers and fathers from the moment of conception in every city and county from pregnancy resource centers and we should be asking how america can transcend the abortion debate with robust national family policies that have the thriving have every life, family and community. we all havee. something priceless to contribute but we must first be allowed to live
we can restore america's greatness by choosing to livey joyfully together we must offer one another the best choices rather than our worst and then we can embrace when abortion is no more a lifetime of joyful possibilities. thank you. >> you are recognized. >> good afternoon members of the committee thank you for the generous invitation to speak to about the state of abortion accessf and florida i work as a coexecutive director of the abortion fund florida access network i'm a i storyteller a survivor of sexual assault a bisexual woman who's's had two abortions and as a a social with a masters degree. >> mr. chairman?
of sexual assault, a bisexual woman who is had two abortions and a social worker the masters degree i am dismayed that i'm here to explain why we must continue to defend our constitutionally protected rights to abortion. as a result of the action sb8 went into effect with another burden this emboldens my home state of florida whota wasted no time to have an almost identical six-week band i'm worried about our future and what it means for people who need abortions today and tomorrow and for years to come. i know what it's like to want an abortion to beed tripped up by medically unnecessary restrictions and financial barriers. when i was a teenager i became pregnant twice once as a
result of a rate than entering a relationship when i was 17. both times i knew i wanted an abortion i felt ashamed and i blamed myself i know now that was not my fault and wanting an abortion is nothing to be ashamed of regardless of how someone becomes pregnant. before my second abortion my catholic pediatrician refused to prescribe birth control. one year later when my then boyfriend try to purchase plan b the pharmacist refused to sell it then i spent weeks waiting for my period searching the internet for clues i how i can manage my own abortion. is afraid of violence escalating in my unsteady home and what could happen if i told my very strict parents i needed another a abortion. like 72 million americans my
family was enrolled inn medicaid but because of the hyde amendment mine were not available for coverage when i had mine ior was a high school student working as a waitress helping the family during the recession earning $2.17 an hour at base pay which is still the federal minimum wage for a restaurant worker. i had to pick up extra shifts just to afford the $450 for my appointment i should not have been forced to choose between supporting my family and paying foror my abortion. because florida has a parental involvement law i had to go to court and ask the judge a complete stranger for permission to end my pregnancy through judicial bypass i represented myself in a five page essay not to carry a child when i did not want to. the whole ordeal took several weeks and delayed myl abortion
even more. a decade later i co-authored a groundbreaking report which analyzed if courts could give a clear and unbiased information about the judicial bypass process. we found over half of the counties could offer little or no information about the process and one county clerk even tried to talk one out of their decision. this is what i see every day at the florida access network we take calls and need help we hope with rides or gas money, we courtney childcare. we help people with lodging when they have to travel long distances. we help youngav people navigate the judicial bypass process. supported 2000 people offering an average of $100 how people meet the financial cap for
their abortions for their insurance coverage refund abortion because low wages and restrictions like sb8 and policies like the hyde amendment make abortions unattainable without the support we have created to relieve the burden to access healthcare no one should be turned away from healthcare that they want because they can't afford it. i want to remind the committee members of your responsibility to protect our rights to have abortions free from undue burden, shame and stigma. you have the power to change the lives of millions of people in this country by enacting legislation that stands up for the dignity of every person who seeks an abortion everyone loves someone who is had an abortion that includes every single one of you to those who have listening who have had abortions and are supported
, you are loved and i will never stop fighting for you. thank you for listening to my story i hope you remember your actionsac you take impact your constituents and loved ones have had abortions. thank you. >> thank you all for your testimony we will now proceed under the five minute rule of questions i recognize myself for five minutes. how has sb8 impacted the community you care for in texas? >> thank you for that question. it has completely decimated abortion access in the communities that i take care of every day almost i'm getting calls from my colleagues in the dallas-fort worth area how to take care of the patients that they serve those with a diagnosis weather for the pregnancy itself those
with severe chronic medical conditions with no other options and my neighbors and my colleagues and friends withne unintended pregnancies with no one to turn to we are working tirelessly to get people out of state but it is a nightmare i never thought that medical care would come to this. >> ripple effects across the country can you give a brief overview what it looks like to someone in florida especially someone struggling to make ends meet and those that remain in effect what does this mean for floridians and people in other states seeking abortions quick. >> abortion restrictions in florida look like people like me on a m saturday morning sitting in my client's car
>> during this hearing i suspect we will compare abortion to eugenics compared to slavery can you share your perspective? >> thank you for that question. with a misunderstanding of what eugenics is about it's about state control who could cannot become parents it's not at all what abortion is about. and then deciding to terminate pregnancy because it is in their best interest many people who have abortions are already parents.
so abortion restrictions today and that isar comparable as much as restrictions consist with the state determining what people will and willns not do and those they do not desire to become apparent themselves. >> . >> i am just a bit curious of the purpose of today's hearing we are talking about a state law currently under review byy the supreme court in the supreme court will decide if the laws constitutional and only the supreme court of the house judiciary committee. that being said we are here
with a texas state law in front of us with the law currently in effect and it is saving the lives of unborn babies. women and babies deserve better than to be told her only option is abortion. many pro-life groups reach out toal pregnant women abortion does not help women. after saying that i have a couple of questions. thank you for being here. thank you for the time you took to share do you characterize elective abortion is healthcare? >> it is not spent does that reflect what happens to a baby? >> is healthcare? absolutely not.
>> and those that vigorously objected into those duly elected officials to protect unborn babies and at that point when a beating heart can be protected how early can the fetal heartbeat be protected quick. >> frequently as early as between six and eight weeks are there any other things you could tell us about a baby at that gestational age? >> at that point you can see the beginnings of their arms and hands and legs and feet hearing the heartbeat in the formation of their head and features we are talking about
a human being. life is not frivolous that is the point the child in the womb who is developing that will be viable expensive the chances that he or she will go to full term are very good at that point. >> i wasn't necessarily going to but i did bring along a ten week model just to show that you can't see it with fingers and toes and looks a lot like a little baby to me it saddens me when we cheapen life to abortion but one final question you write about providing alternatives to
abortion and it is necessary to create a culture that allows for an u understanding of motherhood that is inclusive of women's hopes and dreams that support women not push them toward the violence and neglect of abortion so how can we as a nation better provide for women facing those with real choices? >> there are so many ways we can stand with women in need that involves the nonprofits those that have real alternativesng like diapers and clothing and formula and car seats and career training parenting training to
encourage women that as we know the primary three reasons women seek abortion whether firstt trimester or late-term the financial concerns relationship issues and not ready to be a parent those are where we cannd come alongside women to stand with women and be there for them and that is what and so that's why we have government resources to stand with the disenfranchised to provide hope and support. >> and enclosing that's a much better use of the committee's time to be looking at what we can do to help instead of going through a law sitting in front of the supreme court to make a determination of the constitutionality. i yieldco back. >> .
>> i think the chairman very much and i have the constitution in my hand i will read the ninth amendment a certain right should notnd be construed for those retained byto the people that we characterize that as a right to privacy which has not been undermined my time is short is a very carefully is any law that you know dealing with abortion rights forcing women to get an abortion? are they hauled into a physician's office or is this protection for their choice and right to privacy? >> no. nobody is coerced into an abortion. >> i want to focus on legislation that many members of the judiciary committee have decided that stops in
with a 5710 and that stops the access to healthcare and abortion rights and then as the overall impact to estimate with the restrictions of women's health. increases and maternal mortality already high of up to 15% overall. and up to percent for black women. can you focus on the outright horror of what it means to have a private citizen, even if you do not know the particulars. a private citizen to have the capacity to stock you and to receive money on your bounty in terms of the provider and/or the woman. : :
while they actively threatened my life and my child's life. >> a federal law to prevent this at least give you a sense that the federal government understands how criminal that behavior is even though it's a private citizen? >> i am not a politician, so i don't really understand the ins and outs of policy like that. i know that there are federal laws right now that should prevent of these people from having access and harassing patients, but it does not.
so i welcome any opportunity to make our clinics more secure from violent protesters and to make life safer from violent people. i'm just not sure what the right answer is. >> it's a different it stops people from stalking you under the federal stocking law. would that help you? >> i hope it blood. i'm not sure. what i understand is that has to be very persistent and routine, so it's often very hard for us now even to get the fbi or local police departments to care about the current harassment. >> professor bridges, the same as you well know not to since the fugitive slave law we had this kind of independent bounty hunting going on. very briefly, but a modification of the federal statute to stop people that are stalking you to
prevent health information, would that help overall? >> i would have to see the text of the bill that addresses stalking in order for me to offer a formal opinion and to determine whether it will in fact help, but i welcome any effort that helps people in texas and across the country to exercise their constitutional and protective right to terminate a pregnancy. >> let me thank you for your courage. you shouldn't have faced what you faced and i'm facing the question in florida as well. what do you think of a law that now is being promoted in other states that gives a private citizen, in addition to what you had to go through, a private citizen the right to stock you and get a bounty, what does that
do to your privacy? >> it scares the people that i support every day. i also welcome any legislation that would support and protecting clinic entrances and i would say unfortunately, people break the law every day. enacting a law that would criminalize this behavior would be great. it wouldn't eliminate or stop it from happening. >> the time is expired. >> the supreme court handed down one of its controversial decisions. since that ruling there've been over 68 million abortions in the country. 60 million innocent lives ended before they even had a chance.
that's over a million abortions each year since this was legalized. january the 22nd which happens to be my birthday, planned parenthood alone performs over 320,000 abortions each year. that's approximately the population of my hometown of cincinnati ohio. planned parenthood wipes out the equivalent of the population of cincinnati every year, year after year. life is precious and we should do all we can to protect it. i've been involved in a piece of legislation, introduced the ban on partial-birth abortion for example, which president bush signed into law that went all the way to the supreme court and it's now the law of the land. but there's still too many abortions in this country. the legislation we are discussing today is texas law sb eight and it would effectively.
this legislation has been described as many in the media as extreme and unprecedented. in reality we've been discussing the ban after a hard to beat for years in fact 13 states including my home state of ohio have enacted some form of legislation which prohibits abortion if a heartbeat is protected and there's the federal heartbeat protection act which a member of this institution has cosponsored along with many of us and a number on this committee. so mr. chairman, banning abortions after a heartbeat is detected is neither extreme, nor unprecedented. i will tell you something that is extreme and that's allowing a massive abortion outfits like planned parenthood to kill the equivalent of cincinnati's population every year. something else that's extreme, witnessing members on the other side of the aisle abandoning the hyde amendment, which has enjoyed bipartisan support for
40 years now and saved nearly 2.5 million lives. getting rid of the hyde amendment would force american taxpayers to pay for other people's abortions. but even though the radical left is fully in control in the house and in the senate and in the white house, state and local governments are fighting back. in addition to the heartbeat bills that we already mentioned earlier this year, two cities in my congressional district, became the first cities in ohio to pass an ordinance making them pro-life sanctuary cities and forbidding abortions within the city limits. i applaud the leaders in both of the communities for taking that stance, and i hope others will follow that example. we need to be direct and honest about what's being discussed. abortion is not healthcare. it's a barbaric procedure that ends the life of an unborn baby. by ten weeks and unborn baby has arms and legs and fingers and toes and among other things, he
or she can suck their thumb, stretch, jump when startled. in short, the babies are alive and deserve our protection. ms. glenn foster, let me ask you this. one of the other witnesses has quite astonishingly said that abortion is an act of love. is that your opinion? >> it is not. life is not frivolous. abortion is not healthcare. that's the whole point. and i never thought i would hear an ob/gyn until this committee that dismembering a fellow human being is an act of love, an act of freedom. we can and we must do better. >> thank you. you mentioned the dismemberment. when we passed the partial-birth abortion ban act, we knew we were stopping thousands of abortions each year, but we knew there were other forms. could you -- and i know it's pretty horrific, but can you describe essentially what a dismemberment abortion is which
is still legal in this country? >> certainly. it involves inserting tools into the uterus come into the womb to literally rip a child apart, limb from limb. that is the crux of it. >> ready horrific stuff. these babies often times are capable of feeling pain, is that correct? >> absolutely. if you do prenatal surgery, not only do you provide anesthesia to the mother, you also treat the babies potential pain. >> i'm almost out of time. we are trying to protect both the health of the woman and the baby; is that right? we are trying to protect both. >> right and the majority of americans understand when we pass pro-life balls that is what we are doing, protecting both mother and child. >> thank you very much. i will yelled back.
>> mr. johnson. >> thank you, mr. chairman and for holding this hearing. professor, let's start with the obvious. texas is long known as sba to bs abortion and roughly six weeks of pregnancy. isn't elly a clear violation of the right to abortion prior to fetal viability that right having been established under roe v wade and planned parenthood versus casey and most recently in 2018 and the medical services versus russo? >> absolutely. it's flagrantly unconstitutional, nevertheless is in effect. >> it would be fair to say that it's blatantly constitutional?
>> blatantly unconstitutional. >> every superlative i have. flagrantly, obviously, undeniably, all of them. >> what do you make of the united states supreme court decision to allow the blatantly unconstitutional sba to remain in effect while its constitutional is challenged in the lower court? >> i take that to be a sign the supreme court has backed away from its rule as the apolitical branch of government both executives and legislative branches are supposed to be the political branches, the judiciary nevertheless the supreme court is making decisions that reveal that it's being motivated by the brawl overallpolitical will and politl power. >> without full briefing, without oral argument and without even the dignity of a recent opinion to use this to
temporarily allow the state of texas to deny a recognized constitutional right to nearly one out of ten women of reproductive age in this country? >> absolutely it was extraordinary, egregious, extreme. prior to september 1, very few people would have imagined that the supreme court would lead a flagrantly unconstitutional law go into effect when it had the power. >> and professor, by allowing sba to remain in effect during the tendency of the challenge to the constitutionality, the supreme court itself ignored and denied every woman in the entire state of texas the fundamental constitutional right, is that correct? >> that's correct. the supreme court backed away from its own established precedent even regarding the
shadow docket just to preserve the status quo of the supreme court to change and allowing the status quo to change it allowed for the infringement of the right to terminate a pregnancy before viability. >> and you touched on this, professor bridgers. does the supreme court's decision to allow it to remain in effect indicate how this ultraconservative majority will approach future abortion cases? >> the strongest signal i can imagine about how the supreme court feels about abortion rights, which are still fundamental under the u.s. constitution, the supreme court is holding the decision to let that unconstitutional law go into effect reveals the supreme court does not care much for the abortion right. they will not protected in the
same way that it will protect other rights that it favors. >> thank you, professor. elly is touted as protecting women when in fact it's a doing nothing more than attempting to control, criminalize and dehumanize women and their ability to exercise control over their reproductive health. thank you for sharing your story with us here today and based on your experiences, what substantive affects was the outcome that professor bridges just discussed and have on individuals in your state? >> people in the state of florida are already facing restrictions to abortions. florida has a 24 weeks
gestational ban already in place and any delay in abortion care should be and remain unconstitutional. >> thank you and with that i will yelled back. >> the gentle man yields back. mr. gohmert. thank you to the witnesses for testifying today. as i understood from your testimony [inaudible] >> that's not a medical term that i provide abortion care, yes. >> even past 22 weeks at times when it's allowed? >> depending on the jurisdiction in which i'm providing care, yes. >> some years back some of you may remember we had a person who had provided late-term abortion, and it is interesting in the medical field there are terms and in the legal field others terms but he described in
detail, i think you said he'd done over a thousand late-term abortions, or if you prefer, dismemberment abortions and described in much greater detail, ms. foster, about the instrument that was used to insert into the womb, and he described how he would feel around for something linear and the longer linear he knew was a leg, he would clamp on and described in detail how he would pull it out of socket from the body and then how he would find another linear object about the same length, ripped that off of the body and then feel around for two shorter items, the arms, ripped them out from the body and once they were removed, he said in his words he would feel
for something bulbous and you knew that was the school and you would clamp onto it and crash it because the child's head wouldn't come through at that point and then it would be easier once you had crushed the school, yanked it away from the body, to then pull the body out. for some of us, that is considered -- and i know the doctor used the term hateful and cruel with regard to the texas law, look at some of us would describe that procedure of ripping arms and legs and of the head off of a baby is being a bit hateful and cruel. we've also heard that reference to your position being somewhat
hateful and cruel. ms. foster, do you disagree that mothers who are carrying a child that they didn't expect her did not want deserve to be loved? >> of course, absolutely. >> have you provided help to mothers in that condition? >> i have in a variety of ways. first of all, i myself was in that position when i was 19-years-old. i needed that help and love and did not find it, so i spent the years since trying to be that hope and help and love to other women and other families. i served as chair of the board of a pregnancy center for number of years. i still continue to serve on the board and i volunteer with numerous other pregnancy
centers. i have sidewalk counseled. i've reached out to women and families in my community and simply served as faith-based sounding board and a resource so that when people found themselves in an unexpected a situation they would be able to find out more and get information about where to go. >> thank you. when you've done abortions, is there another physician there or are you the only medical doctor involved in the abortion? >> i'm a doctor of osteopathic medicine. depending on where i provide the care, there might be another position or not. >> i was just curious because when my wife saw my first daughter, when she was born very prematurely, we had to the
ob/gyn and we also had the pediatrician whose goal and job was to protect our child, and he did an amazing job that required hospitalization and intubation. i'm so grateful we had a pediatrician looking out for the interest of the child and ob/gyn looking out for the mother. i commend that to everyone. >> [inaudible] sorry about that. thank you mr. chair man for conducting this important hearing and to the witnesses for your testimony today. we are here discussing a bill
that empowers essentially vigilantes to circumvent the right of others, and i really want to ask the witnesses if you could talk about that. how you imagine that playing out in the state of texas. >> thank you so much for the question. the term that you used to describe what's going on in texas essentially the state is allowing private citizens to police and to terrorize, control the bodies of other private citizens.
they are considered to be property. i would also note that an analogy because part in parcel was the control of people's reproductive rights because humans were property it was the incentive of the people that purported to own that property to coerce the birth of more property so the state allowed private citizens first. that's precisely what's happening in texas. >> let me just ask you because that doesn't apply to everyone. i don't think it applies to everyone back in the days of enslavement. and i don't know if the vigilante chasm that is okay in this bill applies to everyone either. i don't know to the extent that would apply to particularly
affluent. i don't exactly know, and maybe you can describe a little bit about that. i also think it's ironic because right now they just finished picking the journey at the trial, and that was to me exactly the type of vigilante chasm. he was essentially gunned down because they assumed that they had done something wrong so how does it even work in the bill? how was somebody supposed to know who is the woman in that car and where she's going. >> you've just got to guess and the thing is that the bill incentivizes people to attempt the monetary reward and one thing i want to mention thank you for bringing up such a tragedy but at least his family has the ability to suggest this in the court what the supreme
court has done up until right now, we are still in the world in which a supreme court has boxed individuals out of the federal judiciary. i wanted to know also if you can talk about other aspects of the history and the criminal justice system. you mentioned the period of enslavement, but i want to know if you can describe other times he and if you can also speak about how abortion bans and restrictions are used to criminalize and how it could get worse if roe was overturned. >> it extends well beyond throughout reconstruction into the civil rights movement before people of color were granted formal citizenship were permitted to control their
lives. i want to spend some time talking about how the regulations like sb eight access out of the hands and what that means as you just stir to two before are able to travel to kansas and oklahoma and my state of california they are exercising their rights the most marginalized are not able to view that and what that means is that they are resorting to methods that have been criminalized especially in texas. >> i wonder whether a woman would have to leave the state, because i would imagine that a woman of a affluence could have that care right now in the state. >> people were able to get
abortions. >> the gentle lady yields back. >> thank you, mr. chairman. professor bridges, you are familiar with a great deal of constitutional law. would you say that the decisions decided by the supreme court against president trump were appropriate in deciding the questions of the election? >> i am a constitutional law scholar. >> i understand, but you are at uc berkeley and you did note those decisions, didn't you? did you think they were reasoned and did you have the objections to them? >> i can't speak on the nature
or not of those decisions. >> ms. foster, do you find it interesting that everyone seems to have an opinion the supreme court is extreme antibias. this would be no exception against what the conservatives would like. i hear nothing but that they are well reasoned and balanced. defined that even from your position threatened the justices prompting a rare public response from the chief justice who called it the remarks inappropriate and dangerous. we see these transparent efforts to bully the supreme court into issuing certain policy goals rather than interpreting the constitution, and i believe we should all be raising our site.
we know that too much can feel like political theater. today need to not be that way. we can care about people but true care must start with the stopping of abortion. >> and to that extent it is interesting to me the associated press and at the university of chicago found 65% of americans said that abortion during the second trimester was wrong yet 80% in the third trimester. it's interesting more than half of the witnesses and half the people here on the dais have the exact opposite opinion as 80% of americans including president biden who unlike the chair man has expressed skepticism in court packing as a solution. i want to play something for the record very quickly.
>> abortion is rare and safe but legal. >> did you hear anything today from the majority that implied they agreed with president clinton on the rare part of abortion? >> it seems the focus is making it legal and ubiquitous but certainly not rare, and as we all too often seen all the states. we need a court that is concerned with justice. >> speaking of justice, i met from a state where even trying to provide abortion alternatives, even making young pregnant women in need aware of families that would adopt their child and give them a good home is discouraged and sometimes
prohibited. i'm not from a state that is like texas but looking at texas and florida for a moment, texas and florida, for example, 22 weeks is it consistent with the decision? is florida in that part of its law looking at the viability into setting up a number that is certainly viable with today's science? >> absolutely. florida's law regarding late-term abortions is completely in line with the constitution. completely in line with the viability and the limits planned parenthood. >> today we are hearing something consistent in hearing testimony from yours that implies extreme by the court that has been well-balanced and somehow that it's extreme to set
22 weeks that babies are regularly born alive and well. >> there's nothing more tragic than abortion killing when a child can definitively survive. there's no medical basis for telling a child 22 weeks or leader, absolutely not. you simply need to be a human being. >> thank you mr. chairman. i rest my case. >> the time is expired. there is a series of more votes that started on the floor, so the committee will be -- we will do one more. mr. jeffries. >> thank you for this incredibly important hearing. the texas law doesn't start at 22 weeks, is that correct of its
jurisdiction? >> that is correct. >> i'm not really certain what the prior conversation was about. >> would the gentleman's yield? >> no i won't. under the texas abortion ban, someone who misses that six week window would be forced to carry their pregnancy to term, even if they were raped, is that correct? >> under the texas law, the protections to the mother and of the child start with data detection of the heartbeat at six weeks, yes. >> when we talk about rape it is a horrible tragedy anyway. there are no if's and his whereabouts and we need to rid the world of those actions but nowhere in the justice system is
there ever a time when the innocent has to pay for the crime of another for the crime of the father. the killing of a baby for the crimes of his or her father is never justice in fact that is injustice. is it popular among the american people 55% of texans support the heart the law let alone something is for a long as 22 weeks. most americans and texans do support this heartbeat law. >> let's go to another issue.
what they still be forced to give you had a baby to term? >> i can simply say the child doesn't deserve the death penalty for the fathers cry amanda so the heartbeat bill is protecting children from the moment that heartbeat is detected. >> so there's no exception in the texas so-called statute, is that correct? >> wouldn't that fall under rape as well? >> it's a yes or no question. is that the exception, yes or no? >> the child doesn't deserve to die because of the crime of the father. >> let me ask you a question picking up on a theme that my colleague carried in terms of
criminalization, and what of the outflowing of abortion and the reproductive freedom the truth for a number of reasons, one, --have unintended rates of pregnancy which is the main reason why people choose to exercise and to legally terminate a pregnancy that means people will resort to things that have been criminalized and even though we have race neutral criminal statutes, statutes that are supposed to apply to everyone equally people of color
in the criminal law which can expect to have a disproportionate impact on people of color i respect my colleagues on both sides of the aisle as we debate and discuss these issues about part of the challenge many of us had with of the current extreme right-wing supreme court is that. the gentleman's time is expired. >> thank you very much and i will yield back. the gentleman yields back. the votes have been called on