CV NEWS FEED // Democrats on Wednesday held a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee titled “The Assault on Reproductive Rights in a Post-Dobbs America.” While the Democrats likely intended for the hearing to portray pro-life legislation in a bad light, a number of pro-life senators turned the event in their own favor.
Democrats arranged an all-female panel of witnesses to testify against efforts to protect women and children from abortion.
Michele Bratcher Goodwin, a chancellor’s professor at the University of California, Irvine, repeated the debunked claim that the abortion-inducing drug mifepristone is “safer than Tylenol.”
Amanda Zurawski testified that she was refused an emergency abortion for a miscarriage and accused Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton of intentionally putting her life at risk by pledging to enforce the state’s abortion restrictions.
Senator John Cornyn, R-TX, agreed that she should not have had to wait for treatment and “she’s got a good medical malpractice lawsuit.” A pro-life panelist pointed out that in her case, basic medical care would have been perfectly legal under Texas law, but her doctors received “poor legal advice.”
Dr. Nisha Verma, a Georgia-based ObGYN, described herself as “the only panelist who provides full-spectrum maternal care,” meaning she performs abortions. She urged lawmakers to instate federal policies that would allow abortions after the 20-week ultrasound for “fetal anomalies.”
Abortion Solves Nothing
Two pro-life panelists, Dr. Ingrid Skop and Dr. Monique Chireau Wubbenhorst, challenged the prevailing narrative that abortion is necessary for women to flourish and even survive.
Dr. Wubbenhurst, who has over 20 years’ experience as an OBGYN and has served at the federal level on international health policy, testified, “I have treated hundreds of women with compassionate care for both patients.”
“A procedure to save the life of the mother is not an abortion,” she said in response to Zurawski’s testimony, “Even though sometimes the child dies as a result of that procedure, the death of the child was not the intent.”
“Compassionate care takes into account both patients,” she noted. “The priority is always to save the life of the mother, and that can always be accomplished without performing an abortion.”
Dr. Skop testified that she regularly treats women who have been hurt by abortion and suffer “anxiety, depression, unresolved guilt, self-harm, and even death from complications.”
She challenged Ms. Goodwin’s and Dr. Veda’s contentions that abortions are safe and “necessary medical care,” noting that the United States has no federal mandates to report any data about abortion.
“We certainly don’t know deaths from abortion, and the CDC does not make any link between mental health deaths and abortion,” Skop said.
She testified that “abortion does not reduce maternal mortality.”
Senator Blumenthal, D-CT, accused Supreme Court Justices Neil Gorsuch, Amy Coney Barrett, and Brett Kavanaugh of lying at their confirmation hearings:“It was disingenuous” he said that these justices “saying that Roe vs. Wade was wrong just a few years after establishing their respect for it.” He accused them of undermining “the integrity of the Court.”
Blumenthal stated that he “wants to hear women” and “trusts women,” before calling on the Dr. Verma and Ms. Goodwin to correct the other women on the panel.
Dr. Verma repeated her claim that “the science is settled. Abortion care is incredibly safe care.”
She then called the testimony of Drs. Skop and Wubbenhorst “misinformation” and “medically irresponsible,” accusing them of “harming her patients.”
When asked about informing women about the mental anguish they may experience after abortion, Dr. Verma stated that “focusing on people experiencing regret” is a “disservice to our patients” who are “trying to make a decision for their own lives.”
“People should make decisions without legislative interference,” Verma said before claiming that “abortion up until the moment of birth simply doesn’t happen. It’s just not something that happens.”
Pro-Life Senators Push Back
Senator Mike Lee, R-UT, responded to multiple Democratic Senators’ condemnations of Dobbs vs. Jackson, noting that “SCOTUS corrects bad decisions, and I’m glad they do.” Like Plessy vs. Ferguson, he said, Dobbs corrected a prior error.
“Let’s not pretend we’re worried about the credibility of the Court,” he concluded, referring to Senator Blumenthal’s statements.
Senator Ted Cruz, R-TX, also fired shots across the aisle: Democrats, he said, “do not believe in democracy when it comes to abortion.”
“The reason… is quite obvious. The modern Democrat party is wildly out of step with the American people on the question of abortion [sic].”
“Every Democratic senator in this body agrees abortion should be available up until the moment of birth and even… after birth,” Cruz noted. “There should be no parental notification or parental consent. And all of it should be funded by taxpayer money.”
“That is an extreme and radical view,” he said. “Why do they take that view? That’s where the money is.”
“I suppose my Dem colleagues can comfort themselves with the company they’re in – Communist China, Iran, North Korea…. Those tyrannies are at least explicit in their belief that life has no value,” he said before inviting Dr. Skop to describe the partial birth abortion procedure supported in law by Senate Democrats.
Correcting the Record
Dr. Wubbenhorst, in response to an invitation from Senator Thom Tillis, R-NC, corrected the claim that maternal mortality is correlated with abortion restrictions.
The studies cited by Dr. Veda and Ms. Goodwin don’t take into account factors such as genetics, economics, rural populations, and family structure, said Wubbenhorst.
“Abortion does not improve maternal mortality. What does help?” she asked. “”Skilled help at birth. Running water. Proper sewage disposal.”
Dr. Skop noted that there has been confusion in Texas following the Dobbs decision, and the advice that Zurawski’s doctors received was bad legal advice.
“Those doctors were acting on bad advice and poor legal interpretation of the law. This should not have happened to you, but access to abortion would not have fixed your complications,” said Skop.
Senator John Kennedy asked Dr. Vega and Ms. Goodwin if they support abortion for any reason up until the moment of birth. Both women refused to answer, and Dr. Vega repeated her claim that abortions “at the moment of birth just don’t happen.”
After repeated attempts to elicit their opinions, Kennedy concluded:
When you won’t answer the questions, you have to understand… we’ve got a bill in front of us giving a woman an unfettered right to abort her child up until the moment of birth and that’s a gut check question. And you won’t answer it.