Friday, August 13, 2004

Boxer's babbles...

For those in California, Senator Barbara Boxer is being challenged by Bill Jones. In a recent L.A. Times (free registration) article which covered a debate between Boxer and Jones, it was stated:
Jones' relatively anonymity has been exacerbated by Boxer's advantage in raising money. As of the end of June, when the candidates filed their last fundraising reports, she had raised $14.1 million and had $7.1 million in cash. Jones had raised about $4 million, but had less than $1 million in cash.
The article finished off with:
Boxer has used her image as a standard-bearer for women's rights to raise money from a large number of supporters in other states.
Does Boxer hold the standard with regards to the rights of human beings as well as women? Per J. Budziszewski's book, What We Can't Not Know, we find a reference to a debate between Senator Boxer and Senator Santorum on October 20, 1999, with regards to Partial Birth Abortion. The congressional record can be found here (PDF). Read for yourself what the good Senator from California thinks: ------------- Mr. SANTORUM: ...So I look forward to this debate over the next couple of days. I know the Senator from California feels very passionately about this, but I think the issue of where we draw the line constitutionally is very important. I am sure the Senator from California agrees with me. I think the Senator from California would say that she and I, the Senator from Illinois, the Senators from Arkansas and Kansas, we are all protected by the Constitution with the right to life. Would you agree with that, Senator from California? Do you answer that question? Mrs. BOXER. I support the Roe v. Wade decision. Mr. SANTORUM. Do you agree any child who is born has the right to life, is protected by the Constitution once that child is born? Mrs. BOXER. I agree with the Roe v. Wade decision, and what you are doing goes against it and will harm the women of this country. And I will address that when I get the floor. Mr. SANTORUM. But I would like to ask you this question. You agree, once the child is born, separated from the mother, that that child is protected by the Constitution and cannot be killed? Do you agree with that? Mrs. BOXER. I would make this statement. That this Constitution as it currently is—some want to amend it to say life begins at conception. I think when you bring your baby home, when your baby is born—and there is no such thing as partial-birth—the baby belongs to your family and has the rights. But I am not willing to amend the Constitution to say that a fetus is a person, which I know you would. But we will get to that later. I know my colleague is engaging me in a colloquy on his time. I appreciate it. I will answer these questions. I think what my friend is doing, by asking me these questions, is off point. My friend wants to tell the doctors in this country what to do. My friend from Pennsylvania says they are rogue doctors. The AMA will tell you they no longer support the bill. The American Nurses don’t support the bill. The obstetricians and gynecologists don’t support the bill. So my friend can ask me my philosophy all day; on my own time I will talk about it. Mr. SANTORUM. If I may reclaim my time, first of all, the AMA still believes this is bad medicine. They do not support the criminal penalties provisions in this bill, but they still believe— I think you know that to be the case—this procedure is not medically necessary, and they stand by that statement. I ask the Senator from California, again, you believe—you said ‘‘once the baby comes home.’’ Obviously, you don’t mean they have to take the baby out of the hospital for it to be protected by the Constitution. Once the baby is separated from the mother, you would agree—completely separated from the mother—you would agree that baby is entitled to constitutional protection? Mrs. BOXER. I will tell you why I don’t want to engage in this. You had the same conversation with a colleague of mine, and I never saw such a twisting of his remarks. Mr. SANTORUM. Let me be clear, then. Let’s try to be clear. Mrs. BOXER. I am going to be clear when I get the floor. What you are trying to do is take away the rights of women and their families and their doctors to have a procedure. And now you are trying to turn the question into, When does life begin? I will talk about that on my own time. Mr. SANTORUM. If I may reclaim the time? The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. BUNNING). The Senator from Pennsylvania has the floor. Mr. SANTORUM. What I am trying to do is get an answer from the Senator from California as to where you would draw the line because that really is the important part of this debate. Mrs. BOXER. I will repeat. I will repeat, the Senator has asked me a question—— The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Pennsylvania has the floor. Mrs. BOXER. I am answering the question I have been posed by the Senator, and the answer to the question is, I stand by Roe v. Wade. I stand by it. I hope we have a chance to vote on it. It is very clear, Roe v. Wade. That is what I stand by; my friend doesn’t. Mr. SANTORUM. Are you suggesting Roe v. Wade covered the issue of a baby in the process of being born? Mrs. BOXER. I am saying what Roe v. Wade says is, in the early stages of a pregnancy, a woman has the right to choose; in the later stages, the States have the right—yes—to come in and restrict. I support those restrictions, as long as two things happen: They respect the life of the mother and the health of the mother. Mr. SANTORUM. I understand that. Mrs. BOXER. That is where I stand. No matter how you try to twist it, that is where I stand. Mr. SANTORUM. I say to the Senator from California, I am not twisting anything. I am simply asking a very straightforward question. There is no hidden question here. The question is—— Mrs. BOXER. I will answer it again. Mr. SANTORUM. Once the baby is born, is completely separated from the mother, you will support that that baby has, in fact, the right to life and cannot be killed? You accept that; right? Mrs. BOXER. I don’t believe in killing any human being. That is absolutely correct. Nor do you, I am sure. Mr. SANTORUM. So you would accept the fact that once the baby is separated from the mother, that baby cannot be killed? Mrs. BOXER. I support the right— and I will repeat this, again, because I saw you ask the same question to another Senator. Mr. SANTORUM. All the Senator has to do is give me a straight answer. Mrs. BOXER. Define ‘‘separation.’’ You answer that question. Mr. SANTORUM. Let’s define that. Let’s say the baby is completely separated; in other words, no part of the baby is inside the mother. Mrs. BOXER. You mean the baby has been birthed and is now in the mother’s arms? It is a human being? It takes a second, it takes a minute—— Mr. SANTORUM. Say it is in the obstetrician’s hands. Mrs. BOXER. I had two babies, and within seconds of them being born—— Mr. SANTORUM. We had six. Mrs. BOXER. You didn’t have any. Mr. SANTORUM. My wife and I did. We do things together in my family. Mrs. BOXER. Your wife gave birth. I gave birth. I can tell you, I know when the baby was born. Mr. SANTORUM. Good. All I am asking you is, once the baby leaves the mother’s birth canal and is through the vaginal orifice and is in the hands of the obstetrician, you would agree you cannot then abort the baby? Mrs. BOXER. I would say when the baby is born, the baby is born and would then have every right of every other human being living in this country, and I don’t know why this would even be a question. Mr. SANTORUM. Because we are talking about a situation here where the baby is almost born. So I ask the question of the Senator from California, if the baby was born except for the baby’s foot, if the baby’s foot was inside the mother but the rest of the baby was outside, could that baby be killed? Mrs. BOXER. The baby is born when the baby is born. Mr. DURBIN. Will the Senator yield? Mrs. BOXER. That is the answer to the question. Mr. SANTORUM. I am asking for you to define for me what that is. Mrs. BOXER. I can’t believe the Senator from Pennsylvania has a question with it. I have never been troubled by this question. You give birth to a baby. The baby is there, and it is born, and that is my answer to the question. Mr. SANTORUM. What we are talking about here with partial birth, as the Senator from California knows, is the baby is in the process of being born—— Mrs. BOXER. In the process of being born. This is why this conversation makes no sense, because to me it is obvious when a baby is born; to you it isn’t obvious. Mr. SANTORUM. Maybe you can make it obvious to me. What you are suggesting is if the baby’s foot is still inside of the mother, that baby can then still be killed. Mrs. BOXER. I am not suggesting that. Mr. SANTORUM. I am asking. Mrs. BOXER. I am absolutely not suggesting that. You asked me a question, in essence, when the baby is born. Mr. SANTORUM. I am asking you again. Can you answer that? Mrs. BOXER. I will answer the question when the baby is born. The baby is born when the baby is outside the mother’s body. The baby is born. Mr. SANTORUM. I am not going to put words in your mouth—— Mrs. BOXER. I hope not. Mr. SANTORUM. But, again, what you are suggesting is if the baby’s toe is inside the mother, you can, in fact, kill that baby. Mrs. BOXER. Absolutely not. Mr. SANTORUM. OK. So if the baby’s toe is in, you can’t kill the baby. How about if the baby’s foot is in? Mrs. BOXER. You are the one who is making these statements. Mr. SANTORUM. We are trying to draw a line here. Mrs. BOXER. I am not answering these questions. Mr. SANTORUM. If the head is inside the mother, you can kill the baby. Mrs. BOXER. My friend is losing his temper. Let me say to my friend once again—and he is laughing—— Mr. SANTORUM. I am not laughing. Mrs. BOXER. Let me say, this woman is not laughing right now because if this bill was the law of the land, she might either be dead or infertile. So if the Senator wants to laugh about this, he can laugh all he wants. Mr. SANTORUM. Reclaiming my time, Mr. President. All I suggest is I was not laughing about the discussions. It is a very serious discussion. Mrs. BOXER. Well, you were. Mr. SANTORUM. I was smiling at your characterization of my demeanor. I have not lost my temper. I think I am, frankly, very composed at this point. What I will say—and the Senator is walking away—is the Senator said, again, the baby is born when the baby is born. I said: If the foot is still inside the mother? She said: Well, no, you can’t kill the baby. If the foot is inside, you can’t, but if the head is the only thing inside, you can. Here is the line. See this is where it gets a little funny. Mrs. BOXER. Parliamentary inquiry, Mr. President. Let the RECORD show that I did not say what the Senator from Pennsylvania said that I did. Thank you. Mr. SANTORUM. Mr. President, I hate to do this, but could we have the clerk read back what the Senator from California said with respect to that question? I understand it will take some time for us to do that. I will be happy— Mrs. BOXER. I say to my friend, I know what I said. I am saying your characterization of what I said is incorrect. I didn’t talk about the head or the foot. That was what my colleague talked about. And I don’t appreciate it being misquoted on the floor over a subject that involves the health and life of the women of this country and the children of this country and the families of this country. Mr. SANTORUM. It also involves— and that is the point I think the Senator from California is missing—it also involves when in the process—that is why people on both sides of the abortion issue support this bill, because it also involves what is infanticide and what is not. A lot of people who agree with you on the issue of abortion say this is too close to infanticide. This is a baby who is outside the mother. Again, I will not put words in the Senator’s mouth, but what I heard— and again I am willing to have that corrected by the RECORD and the Senator can correct me right now—what I heard her say is if the foot is inside the mother, no, you cannot kill the baby, but when the head is, you can. That is a pretty slippery slope. Mrs. BOXER. I say to my friend, what I said was I wasn’t answering those questions. What the Senator was trying to do was to bait me on his terms of how he sees this issue. We have a situation where this procedure is outlawed. It will hurt the women and the families of this country. My friend can disagree with that, but I never got into the issue of when is someone born. I said to you I am very clear on that, and I understand that completely, but it was my friend who kept on asking these questions, which to me do not make any sense because the issue here is an emergency procedure that my friend from Pennsylvania wants to make illegal, and it will hurt the women and it will hurt the families of this country. Mr. SANTORUM. If I can reclaim my time, first off, the Senator from California said this was an emergency procedure. Name me an emergency procedure that takes 3 days. That is what the procedure takes. That is one of the things that was put forward early in the debate, now risen again, that this is somehow an emergency procedure. It is not an emergency procedure. It is a 3-day procedure. No emergency do you present yourself in an emergency condition and get sent home with pills for 3 days to present yourself back. Again, I want to finalize, and then the Senator from Arkansas has been waiting for quite sometime, and I want to allow him to speak. This is not a clean issue. This is not a removal of a tumor. We are talking about drawing the line between what is infanticide and what is abortion, and that is why many of us are disturbed about this. No one is trying to reach in and outlaw abortions. The Senator from Illinois and I were very clear about the limited scope of this bill. What we are saying is, this is too close to infanticide. This is barbaric. This fuzzies the line that is dangerous for the future of this country. And what you saw, as the Senator from California was hesitant to get involved in that because she realizes how slippery this slope is, that you can say the foot does, the head doesn’t, maybe the ankle—folks, we don’t want to go there. It is not necessary for the health of the mother, it is not necessary for the life of the mother, and if you don’t believe me, believe the person who developed it because they said so. I think we need to have a full debate, not just on narrow issues, but on the broader issue of what this means to the rights of every one of us born and unborn, sick and well, wanted and unwanted. I think the line needs to be a bright one. I yield the floor.

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