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letter in support of the Equal Rights Amendment, we meant to include only the untitled article by George Steven Swan, JD, with its footnotes, which gives a concise feminist viewpoint on the question of euthanasia. Please pardon me for the omission.
The second omission was a comment I intended to make relative to the comment by Dr. Mildred Jefferson that she has never been pregnant. I intended to mention that I have been pregnant twice, and have participated in childbirth twice, and it is my considered opinion, having also interviewed numerous women about their experiences, that except in the case of some abnormality in pregnancy (about 5% of the total cases) any discomfort which occurs because of pregnancy or childbirth is 90% caused by our culture! Those women who managed to shake the brainwashing about reproduction that our culture teaches us from very early on, experience no appreciable discomfort, either during the nine months, or during the birth. I have never experienced morning sickness, and the only pain I experienced during childbirth stemmed from interference by attending personnel. I was fully awake and participating throughout.' During my pregnancies I led a normal active life, which, during my second pregnancy, included attending school half time (I was out for 3 days for childbirth), graduating a year and a half later, confounding Feminists for Life, playing judo and swimming up to within 5 days of childbirth and taking up less than three weeks after, which included a distance swim two weeks prior to childbirth of 2344 miles. Please note that as a child I was considered frail. It is my considered opinion that one of the primary causes of the current pressure for abortion stems from the negative aura surrounding pregnancy and childbirth, and that it is our duty as feminists to work to educate the public about the true nature of woman's reproduction as an integral and natural part of her sexuality, and to see to it that no discrimination is practiced against women who are reproducing. Cordially,
PAT GOLTZ. Senator Bayh. We have just been informed that President Ford is going to address a session of the Senate here in about an hour or so.
I will tell you, if I have questions that I cannot resolve, I will ask you to submit answers in writing if I may.
Ms. Goltz. That is fine. You also may have the resources of our organization for additional information if you want it.
Senator Bays. Thank you very much. I appreciate that.
Mr. Warren A. Schaller, president and executive director of the American Citizens Concerned For Life.
STATEMENT OF WARREN A. SCHALLER, JR., EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR,
AMERICAN CITIZENS CONCERNED FOR LIFE, INC. Mr. SCHALLER. Senator Bayh and members of the subcommittee on constitutional amendments, my name is Warren Schaller. I am an Episcopalian minister. I have been active in local, State, and National pro-life groups for several years. Today I am addressing you as the president and executive director of American Citizens Concerned for Life, Inc. My testimony is a statement on issues which are relevant to the pro-life community of America.
ACCL is committed to work toward an America in which abortion is not practiced because of respect for the life of the unborn child, and abortion is not needed to solve the social, emotional, medical, or personal problems of American women. The only exception to this position is an abortion to save the life of the mother when no other
1 I had no anesthetic prior to birth. Both births lasted four hours each ; they were not induced.
method of medical treatment offers a reasonable promise of protecting the lives of both the mother and the child.
A unique human individual comes into being at conception. In order to protect this new life, ACCL supports the enactment of the strongest possible amendment to the Federal Constitution. We understand such an amendment must contradict the Supreme Court decisions of January 22, 1973, at several basic points: (1) The amendment should prohibit the actions of private individuals which would destroy the life of the unborn child; (2) the amendment should define the legal personhood of the child in the womb from the beginning of its biological development; (3) the amendment must allow the exceptional case of abortion to prevent the death of the mother.
ACCL also commits itself to work toward a society where abortion is not needed. We accept National, State, and local political leaders as our partners in this effort. We believe they recognize, as we do, that it should not be necessary to sacrifice the rights of the unborn in order to alleviate poverty or to impose conditions in urban ghettos. We do not accept as final a view of America which says that children must grow up homeless or unwanted or abused if they are not aborted. We do not believe that young women must lose their opportunities for education or employment because they have become pregnant. Therefore, we ask the Members of Congress to both protect and enhance all human lives, and to join with us in developing the following alternatives for dealing with the social and personal problems of women who are pregnant and distressed.
In the area of family life and childbirth education, both men and women must understand the development of the newly conceived life in the womb of a mother, and understand the woman's own physiological, psychological, and interpersonal response to it, so they can accept the fact of the new life and assume responsibility for it. We encourage childbirth and family life education programs which stress, for both men and women, acceptance of their own bodies and their own sexuality. These educational programs should be based on the standards of the communities in which they are taught, and should involve the parents of students who are minors in the planning of the courses and selection of materials. The goals of such courses should be to develop positive standards of responsible sexuality and responsible parenthood. We look forward to the results of research which is designed to identify those factors which are essential in a healthy family environment and designed to develop methods for improving the quality of American family life.
In the area of family planning, women should be able to control their own reproductive functions and couples should be able to determine the size of their family, so long as the means they employ do not destroy a newly conceived life or deny that new life its proper environment. We encourage research in reproductive biology to further develop a variety of family planning methods which are appropriate to people of different backgrounds and different beliefs, so long as these newly developed techniques are not intended or proven to act as abortifacients. Public family planning programs should be seen as an integral part of comprehensive medical care, and they should avoid indoctrination of the recipients into specific contraceptive techniques which are preferred by certain agencies or organizations. We object to any programs which involve penalties or incentives that oblige social workers or health care personnel to disseminate information which may not be desired by recipients of public benefits, or that oblige these recipients to practice contraception.
In the area of birth defects, being different is no reason for not being, and we reject eugenic feticide, that is, killing of the unborn, or infanticide, that is killing of the newly born. We do approve and encourage research into the causes of birth defects, if the purpose of the research is to benefit both the individual involved and future generations. Genetic counseling is accepted if the purpose is to enable high-risk parents to responsibly choose not to have a family. We encourage the elimination of disease rather than the elimination of diseased individuals, and point to programs to eliminate potential birth defects through rubella vaccination and through veneral disease treatment and prevention as just two examples. Detection and monitoring of high-risk pregnancies is appropriate to enable prompt pre- and post-natal treatment and rehabilitation. We encourage Federal agencies to carefully screen potentially teratogenic, that means defect-causing, drugs. And we look forward to the development of insurance programs which would defray catastrophic medical expenses by paying benefits to the parents of children diagnosed as having medical problems of a major degree. Such benefits should be payable when the medical problems are diagnosed, whether during the prenatal period or at any time after the birth of the child. We support tax deductions for all adoptive parents, and incentives for the adoption of exceptional children. We also encourage the development of special educational programs for exceptional children, equal work and social opportunities for them, consideration for them in the designing of buildings and civic projects, and so on.
In the area of fetal experimentation, proper concern for the rights of the unborn child need not bring medical research to a halt. New therapeutic techniques can be used with the hope of proving them superior to traditional methods of treatment, after adequate theoretical work and animal experimentation has been carried out. Parents can give consent for experimental therapeutic treatment unborn if there is a valid reason to believe that such treatment is in the best interests of the child. In addition, organs may be transplanted from the dead fetus, and tissue cultures may be developed from fetuses which are clinically judged to be dead according to the same criteria which would be used for a born child or adult. We recommend careful retrospective clinical and statistical study of defective babies for identification of teratogenic drugs. However, this is not the same thing as purposefully introducing known or suspected harmful substances for research purposes into the live unborn child or into his mother, which substances could cross the placental barrier. Systematic benefit should not be derived from systematic induced abortion. We do not approve of experiments which would be judged cruel or senseless by the average sensitive layman. And parents cannot consent to nontherapeutic research on unborn children who are being purposely aborted.
In the area of euthanasia, by referring to personhood in the whole sense and the capability of meaningful life, we believe that the Supreme Court on January 22, 1973 opened the door to unfortunate future decisions in the area of euthanasia. Therefore, we would like to clarify, for the guidance of members of Congress, what we understand to be the important principles involved in the euthanasia debate.
No. 1: If properly understood, we take no exception to the idea of a dignified death. By this, we mean allowing a terminal patient to die a truly humane death—to free the dying from the loneliness and alienation which may accompany the application of extraordinary treatment where there is no hope of cure, no hope of restoration, or continuation of life. However, this euthanasia does not involve neglect of the dying patient, for he, like any other human being, is entitled to medical care which is reasonable and prudent under the circumstances involved.
No. 2: We oppose mercy killing, which is the intentional use of medical technology to cause or to hasten death. Mercy killing can include abandonment of a patient or withdrawal of ordinary-by that we mean prudent-medical care, as for instance when mongoloid children are denied ordinary treatment for pneumonia.
No. 3: We see a dangerous trend developing toward death selection. This death selection is killing as a medical management option. It might be called managerial euthanasia, and involves defining certain classes of human beings as incapable of meaningful life and not persons in the whole sense. Classes of individuals who may be subject to such definitions are the habitual criminal, the aged, the seriously mentally ill, the retarded, and so on.
Additional Programs: We favor mandatory maternity insurance benefits for all women regardless of marital status. Needy mothers should be eligible for AFDC payments for their unborn child as soon as pregnancy is diagnosed and continuing for the full duration of pregnancy. The classification of illegitimate should be removed from birth certificates. Low-cost housing should be made available to single-parent families. Day care facilities should be available when mothers must work to provide for themselves and their children. These facilities should be widely available and controlled by the community standards and administered by the citizens of the areas in which they are located. Equal educational opportunities should be available for pregnant women both during and following the pregnancy, which education should include, in addition to the regular curriculum, training in parenting skills, education and job training, and marriage counseling.
The preceding is meant to be a suggestive rather than an exhaustive list of programs we would like to encourage.
Senator Bayh, you know what an extraordinary undertaking it is to attempt to amend the Constitution on any subject, let alone on one as controversial as abortion. It will take an enormous organizational effort and educational campaign to accomplish this task. We are going to amend the Constitution, Senator Bayh, because we are willing to make the effort involved. In the process of bringing about such a revolution, we accept responsibility for helping to change the conditions of life for women who are pregnant under unfortunate circumstances, so that they need not resort to the choice of abortion. We invite you and other members of the Judiciary Committee to join with us in developing a suitable amendment to the Constitution to protect the life of the unborn child, and to work with us for its passage by two-thirds of the Senate. We likewise pledge to you our support in passing legislation which will ameliorate the conditions of disadvantaged and vulnerable pregnant women, children who need special care and protection, and families who face exceptional problems in attempting to care for and raise their children. The prolife movement will be the partners and supporters of elected leaders who are working for the protection and enhancement of all human lives, and we will champion legislation to bring about these goals.
Senator Bays. Thank you, Mr. Schaller. I noticed your presence very continuously as we have studied this matter. I do not want to open a Pandora's box but to try to help the committee and particularly the chairman, am I right in saying that you were previously employed by or a part of the National Right to Life Committee?
Mr. SCHALLER. That is right.
Senator Bayh. Would it be helpful in our study to quickly define the differences that exist or would it not be helpful or necessary?
Mr. SCHALLER. I would be glad to make available to you in the near future some program outlines of ACCL and to help you understand the differences in the two organizations.
As you have all here observed there are several organizations in the pro-life movement. Each organization has its own highest priority goals, although we certainly all share the same ultimate goal, and that is to pass an amendment to protect the unborn child and other defenseless human beings.
It is sometimes necessary for a division of effort in order to meet several different kinds of goals or priorities of a short-term nature, so people who are involved with me in ACCL are most concerned right now to concentrate on organizational development across the country. We also are concerned, as this testimony I think illustrates, to develop a legislative program both on a national scale and for the use of State legislators, which will illustrate in very specific terms the concern of the Right to Life movement, not only for protection of the unborn and prohibition of the act of abortion but also concern for the women and the families involved. We support improvements of society which we feel go hand-in-hand with protection.
That is a very short statement.
Senator Bayh. I certainly appreciate those differences and if you care to give us further details, I would be glad to incorporate them in the record or read them for my own edification, whichever you prefer.
Mr. SCHALLER. I would like to stress, though, that I do not believe this can be seen as an event which will weaken or fracture the Right to Life movement. I do not think you can find anything much more cohesive or militant than the Right to Life movement. You may have noticed that.
Senator BAYH. Well, at least the concern described as militancy, if you care to, certainly is rather evident. I noted that you empha