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Inhofe Speaks on Senate Floor in Support of Life

U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) spoke on the Senate floor today about the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act and the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. Democrats voted to block both bills this week, while Inhofe voted in favor of them. Inhofe is an original cosponsor of both bills.

 Click here to watch Sen. Inhofe’s remarks.

As prepared for delivery: 

This week, we voted on two very important bills: the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act and the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. Unfortunately, my Democrat colleagues voted to block these bills, but I’d like to thank my colleagues Senator Graham and Senator Sasse for their leadership on these bills, and I’d like to thank Senator McConnell, for his efforts to bring these bills to the floor for a vote.

First, I want to talk about Sen. Sasse’s Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, a bill which I’ve cosponsored that would ensure that a baby who survives an abortion will receive the same treatment as any child naturally born at the same age, without prescribing any particular form of treatment. 

That’s just morally right and I don’t see why there would be any disagreement about it. This bill is not even about abortion—it’s about infanticide.

Twenty eight years ago I came down here to tell the story of Ana Rosa Rodriguez. Here is what I said:

Mr. Chairman, there is a big misconception regarding abortion and the issue of women and their right to protect their bodies. It is not that right that I object to, but the right that is given them to kill an unborn fetus—an unborn child.

I want to share with you a story that my colleague, Chris Smith told some time ago on this very floor. Ana Rosa Rodriguez is an abortion survivor. At birth she was a healthy 3 pound baby girl except for her injury-she was missing an arm.

Ana survived a botched abortion. Her mother attempted to get an abortion in her 32nd week of pregnancy when she was perfectly healthy-8 weeks past what New York State law legally allows. In the unsuccessful abortion attempt the baby’s right arm was ripped off, however they failed to kill Ana Rosa. She lived.

Pro-life supporters agreed that nightmare situations like the Rodriguez case are probably not common, but abortion related deaths and serious injuries occur more frequently than most people are aware.

It is amazing that we can pay so much attention to issues such as human rights abroad and can allow the violent destruction of over 26 million children here at home. We are fortunate that Ana was not one of those children-she survived.

That was in 1992. But today, we still don’t have explicit federal protections for the babies who survive the brutal abortion process. As I said, this issue is not about abortion but about caring for a baby outside the womb.

The need for these protections has become even clearer as we see states like New York and Illinois allow abortion for virtually any reason up until the point of birth and support infanticide by removing protections for infants born alive after a failed abortion.

Just a few years after that speech, in 1997, I was on the floor with my good friend former Sen. Rick Santorum to try to pass the partial-birth abortion ban and end the horrific practice of late-term abortions. Fortunately, we won the battle against partial-birth abortions and finally ended that practice in 2003. That ban was upheld by the Supreme Court in 2007.

But we have yet to pass legislation banning late-term abortion.

Only seven countries allow abortion after twenty weeks, including the United States and North Korea. That’s horrific. The U.S. is supposed to be an example in regards to global human rights, yet we’re on par with North Korea when it comes to protecting the unborn.

Sen. Graham’s Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act would help roll back this horrific practice by prohibiting abortion after 20 weeks post-fertilization—when we know babies can feel pain. 

This is another common sense bill that should not divide us along partisan lines—a baby is a baby whether in or outside of the womb, and each baby deserves a chance to live as an individual created in the image of God.

There is still much more we need to do to end the abortion on demand culture, but thankfully, we have the most pro-life president in history.

This January, President Trump became the first sitting president to attend the annual March for Life rally in Washington. Hundreds of pro-life Oklahomans joined the president and tens of thousands of Americans to march. I had the chance to meet many of these Oklahomans, many of them extremely young—as young as high school. They asked me how to respond when the radical left attacks their views. I told them to be kind, but not to be afraid to voice their opinions—after all, they are right.

Under President Trump’s leadership, we’ve protected the Hyde Amendment, reinstated and expanded the Mexico City policy, and stripped abortion providers like Planned Parenthood from using Title X funding for abortions.

And not just that, under this president, we have also confirmed 193 judges—the second-highest total in history at this point in a presidency. These judges actually understand and uphold the Constitution. I haven’t polled them myself, but I would suspect the vast majority—or even all of them—are very sensitive to the sanctity of human life.

The need to stand up for our babies is as important today as it was in 1992 and 1997. I’m looking forward to building on our successes under President Trump to end the practice of abortion on demand and to ensure that we protect babies who survive abortions.

We will overcome evil with good by upholding and affirming the dignity and inherent worth of every human being. We will keep fighting.

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