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Liley of New Zealand, who is perhaps the father of that specialty studying the child before birth known as perinatology, and Professor Jerome Lejeune of France, who is a world-reknowned geneticist, and one who predicts that perhaps the answer or management of mongolism will be within this century.
The court has denied the father, an unwed father in Florida, any right to protect the right of his child, and in Massachusetts an estranged father was denied the right to save the life of his child during 19 weeks within its mothers womb. The Supreme Court decisions are used as an excuse for some doctors to use no medical judgment in the abortion decision, but to serve simply as medical technicians performing abortion on demand. Roe v. Wade has become the principal device for promoting abortion in the United States. The decisions protecting abortion privacy are used to force public support of abortion practice by the use of tax moneys through medicaid and insurance payments which do not allow subscribers to avoid paying for the abortions that others would have. The poor woman who has not yet been guaranteed access to the health care delivery system can now, with fair readiness at least, be given access to getting rid of her unborn child.
We also see the threat to the lives and health of women who are subjected to unmonitored operation circumstances. As the State may not interfere in the abortion decision in the first 3 months, women are subjected to all of the risks that were supposedly involved in the so-called illegal abortion practices. They are subjected to operations at the hands of those who do not have to subject themselves to the scrutiny of peer review, credentials review, observation of their skills, the hygiene of safety of the physical plant, the kinds of results that their operations have produced, or whether or not that operator has the ability to handle the complications that would arise from the procedure.
It is our right as citizens in a free republic to use every democratic means possible to overturn a decision which we consider morally, medically, and legally wrong.
One democratic means is using the political process to join those of like mind to accomplish legislative change. Throughout the country, many people from all walks of life, social conditions, religions or no formal belief, political parties or no partisan affiliation are joining the effort to defend the sancity-of-life ethnic. Collectively, this is known as the right-to-life movement. There are at least 1,000 right-to-life organizations recorded as well as an uncounted additional number of those who function as ad hoc committees to respond to many abortion promotions which they observe.
The National Right To Life Committee is an effort to provide an organizational arm through which various State groups can concentrate effectiveness here in Washington.
The organizations are as diverse as the people who comprise them, but they are distinguished by having political effectiveness within the States. These are by no means all, but among these are the pioneer groups of those from New York, Minnesota. Illinois, Missouri, Washington State, California, Kentucky, and the city of Cincinnati with the most dramatic election victories against abortion on demand in the fall before the Supreme Court decision in Michigan and North Dakota. In addition to effectiveness, some of the groups are outstanding for their sheer size, like Pennsylvanians for Human Life with a membership in excess of 100,000. Gaining recognition for effectiveness and rapid growth in Massachusetts Citizens For Life with a membership in excess of about 60,000 in less than the 2 years it has been in existence, nad the numbers are growing.
We are committed to achieving an amendment to the Constitution which will protect human life from its beginning to its natural end. With the necessity for ratification of such an amendment and securing as well as defending enabling legislation within the States, right-to-life organizations will become a permanent part of the political scene.
We have heard the objections to the idea of a constitutional amendment, a human life amendment, but these sound hollow when they are given by those who voted for the Equal Rights amendment. We cannot consider seriously the obections based on the falsehood that the unborn child is not alive before birth, is somehow other than human, or is a part of the mother's body when modern science has demonstrated exactly what the biological facts are. We are not responsive to the philosophic view that holds that to be unwanted is to be unwantable and therefore expendable. We are dismayed by the dishonesty in the suggestion that a pregnant woman has “freedom of choice” in the outcome of the pregnancy. She can become unpregnant in only two ways: By giving birth to a living child, or unfortunately sometimes to a stillborn or delivering a dead one by abortion. We know that the Constitution as it is or even as amended would not interfere with a physician practicing the medicine of salvage and healing.
Our objective is to defend the dream of America as a democracy with liberty and justice for all, and not an elitist preserve where only the perfect, the privileged, or the planned have the right to live.
Senator Bayh. Thank you, Doctor, and Mr. VanDerhoef. Doctor, you brought very unique credentials to this discussion, and I appreciate both of your testimonies. We all have more places to be than we can be right now. There is a vote going on, and we are going to have to leave shortly, and Senator Fong has an important appropriations conference that he is going to have to participate in.
Otherwise he would be here. Do you care to ask any questions before we recess?
Senator Fong. No; I have no questions. But we do have the vote.
Senator BAYH. Doctor, you mentioned the ERA. Do you support that, or did you support that?
Dr. JEFFERSON. I am in favor of equal rights for all, but if one wants to look at it in a technical way, there should have been no necessity for indeed the Constitution should provide for all.
There have been various Supreme Court decisions upholding this principle of equal rights for all. Various States have enacted legisÍation, but still it was found necessary by some to underline this provision to make sure that it was possible, and it is for that reason that we found it necessary to underline what should be an understood provision in the interpretation of the Constitution.
But somehow there is a gap between the idealization and what actually happens, and as it should not have been necessary to pass an equal rights amendment, it should not be necessary to look for protection of lives, but unfortunately it is.
Senator Bays. I am just trying to find out how you feel. Is the answer yes or no? Do you support the equal rights amendment?
Dr. JEFFERSON. I do not understand.
Senator Bayu. Do you support the equal rights amendment that is now before the State legislatures? I think about 33 have ratified it.
Dr. JEFFERSON. Massachusetts has already, sir, so my stand is moot.
Senator Bayh. Well, you refer to it in sort of a negative aspect. Do you support it or not?
Dr. JEFFERSON. I support the principle. As for the amendment as such, I do not feel it necessary in the face of the favorable States' laws as well as the Supreme Court decisions. I would not object to it.
Senator BAYH. Could you cite me one Supreme Court decision that brought women under due process of the 14th amendment?
Dr. JEFFERSON. I did not hear the first part of that.
Senator Bays. I do not know one Supreme Court decision that actually brought women as a class of Americans under the equal protection and due process clauses.
If you are familiar with one I would be glad to know it.
any of the
Senator Bayu. Well, that is the way the Supreme Court has looked at them now for 100 and some years, and that is why it was necessary to pass the amendment. You do not support the equal rights amendment ?
Dr. JEFFERSON. No, I did not say that. I said I did not see that the same necessity was—but I thought that for those, who, I have heard objections to the human life amendment, have usually said that they regarded the document as something that should not be modified or approached lightly and we agree with that.
But the same people who have offered that argument for not supporting at this time the human life amendment have indeed supported the equal rights amendment.
Senator BAYH. You know we have all sorts of people. I do not think we ought to judge a position legislatively because a few people may assume philosophies or arguments on an issue that we dis
I think it is totally possible to be for the equal rights amendment and still be very concerned about abortion, but apparently you do not.
Dr. JEFFERSON. I see it a different way. I simply cannot understand.
Senator Bayh. I am going to have to vote. I am not going to change your mind at all.
Dr. JEFFERSON. I cannot see wanting rights to myself that I would not extend to my child, my husband, my friends. That is the principle.
Senator Bayh. Unfortunately, if you look at the pay scale of women, if you look at the inability to get women employed in public institutions at an equal rate, if you look at the lack of equal justice
before the law in many States, women have not been treated equally. I'd think it was important to give other women who have not been quite as fortunate as you to have a chance to have equal rights, and I do not think that is inconsistent with being very concerned about abortion, but I accept your judgment.
I do not certainly deny you that.
Dr. JEFFERSON. I did not say that I have had equal rights but I do not let the effort show.
Senator Bayh. I have heard Mrs. Chisholm say, a very distinguished black legislator, that she found that she was discriminated against to a much greater degree because she happened to be a woman than because she happened to be black, that may not be your experience. But we did pass the amendment and it is out before the States for ratification. You say Massachusetts has ratified it, so really it is not that important.
I will be right back.
Mr. VanDerhoef, Dr. Jefferson, I apologize for the interruption here.
Dr. JEFFERSON. We understand.
Senator Bays. I found when I got over there there was not one vote, but two; so I stayed long enough to cast the second one, and now we are back.
Both of you, I think, make very eloquent statements supporting the cause that brings you here. Do either one of you care to express the National Right to Life Committee's position on which of the two amendments you would prefer; the Helms amendment or the Buckley amendment?
Mr. VANDERHOEF. I would address myself, on behalf of the Right to Life Committee, and I am sure Dr. Jefferson will, too. I think at this point we have seen a development of thought since the Supreme Court decision 1972 that requires, I think, a very close analysis, and will be expanded even further in the hearings in front of this committee on the legal aspects.
As a policy statement, we support all of the right to life amendments that will in any way alter or assist in overcoming the Supreme Court decision. We do feel, though, that in the legislative history that is being prepared at the present time, we would not wish to be precluded from continual input and assistance to this committee in reaching the ultimate goals that I outlined in my statement; and that is that the word person in fact be defined to include the unborn. Also, that we carefully analyze the medical aspects, so that legally we do not become involved where we have eliminated procedures that are rapidly unfolding. Our concern is, for instance, if they have transplanted the developing human being from test tube incubation into the mother, is there any reason why we likewise do not remove it ?
So the amendment, I think, as it comes out of this committee, would of necessity involve perhaps some additional modification of all of the amendments or any of the amendments which are pending, so we support all of those. We would ask, however, to be consulted, and would offer our assistance in drafting, ultimately, the best amendment that will afford protection.
Senator Bayh. What kind of modifications could you anticipate?
Mr. VanDERHOEF. I think there are two areas that we have talked about that have come to life in the last 2 months, and one of them is a word, and I think it should be eliminated; an exception clause. I do not think we are talking about an exception as such. We are talking about a balancing between two lives, where the ultimate obligation and constitutional protection is afforded to both parties; and this again, then, if we aer talking about an exception clause in the debate between the amendments presently pending, make a good deal of this. And I think, legally, we will hope to participate, and will participate, in the hearings on the legal matter, and define further. The word éxecption, I think, has to be eliminated. We are not talking about an exception, because there is no exception where we would want to destroy the life of the mother or destroy the life of the child. So I think that is one area that specifically needs additional modification over the amendments that are presently pending; at least, consideration to be sure that the amendments pending do, in fact, answer that question.
Senator Bayh. Does the National Right to Life Committee support an amendment that permits the mother, father, and doctor to make a decision that there shall be an abortion performed, if it is necessary to save the life of the mother?
Mr. VAN DERHOEF. In light of the decision being made, likewise, to save the life of the child, not to the expense of the child, but to the life of the child as well; and there is, as I mentioned in my remarks, there are certain cases today in which the medical science has not achieved the sophistication to preserve that life. But we do not support an amendment that would allow the exclusion of those procedures that will, in fact, protect the life; and I think that is where the word exception becomes very dangerous—to say that a mother, father, and doctor have the right to determine that that child's life will be taken, when in fact that child's life could be saved. To prevent the death of the child as well as the death of the mother is our ultimate goal.
Dr. JEFFERSON. The diversity of this group obviously indicates that I think it would not be possible for anyone to write an amendment that every single person in the country would support. The Legal Advisory Committee of the National Right to Life Committee came up with the drafting of the amendment, that was introduced by—as I think it is identified now—as the Derwinski amendment, but it is the one that came out of the Legal Advisory Committee of the National Right to Life Committee. That one differs from the others in the sense that the protection of life is provided complete--more of a constitutional protection. But it also restores the States rights to act in that balancing of the lives, so that the States actions could be whatever the groups within the States did indeed determine, so that it had considerable support.
But I think the thing most people recognize is that an amendment as introduced is rarely the form that it comes out finally, so that we have at least enough, I think, to approach what any person who supports the human life amendment would like to work with.
Senator BAYH. The chairman of this committee, as one of 100 Members of the Senate, I am not permitted the luxury of dealing