Rep. Mike Johnson asked an abortion activist during Wednesday's House Judiciary Committee hearing at what point is it not okay to abort a child, to which she could not give a response.
"Dr. Robinson, I asked you earlier, how one qualifies as being fully human—and you responded by saying that no one becomes a human, or that someone does become a human at the moment of birth. And I found that absolutely stunning since you are not a political activist or an advocate, but you present yourself and purport to be a medical doctor," Johnson said.
"Your answers deny the plain truth of science and medical technology, that anyone can see and understand, even if they don't have a medical degree. Obviously, I don't need to cite volumes of medical journals to prove the fact that an unborn child is a human being," he continued.
"From the earliest stages of development, the unborn are distinct, living, and whole human beings. They aren't mere parts of larger human beings like skin cells are, but whole human entities capable of directing their own internal growth and development. This is not just a religious view, but a matter of the science of embryology.
"In its 1859 report on criminal abortion, the American Medical Association, no less, acknowledged that 'the independent and actual existence of the child before birth as a living being is a scientific truth.' Nothing has changed since that time for more than 150 years, doctors have known that life begins at conception," he said.
Johnson then read from a 1981 report by the US Senate that says, "physicians biologists and other scientists agree that conception marks the beginning of a life of a human being, a being that is alive is a member of the human species. There is overwhelming agreement on this point, and countless medical, biological, and scientific writings."
"The picture up here, this," Johnson said, referencing a photo of a fetus, "this is not a mere clump of cells. This is not an animal or some unknown species, that is a human being. And all of you here confusing human value with human function, you're defining personhood by what somebody does rather than what they are."
"Since the medical doctor here wants to deny the facts and reality, let me ask the abortion advocate, Ms. Aimee Arrambide, to answer my questions on this subject. Ma'am you testified that you are 'unapologetic in seeking unrestricted abortion access,' so I'm wondering, at what point is it not okay to abort a child. What age of gestation?"
Arrambide said in response that she "trusts all people to determine what they can and can't do with their bodies, full stop. I also believe that human rights, including access to medical care that they need within their communities, is something that should be afforded to everyone."
"So you support late-term abortion?" Johnson said.
Arrambide began to reiterate her previous point, before Johnson said, "that means late-term abortion. Do you support partial term abortion? In other words, the child is half delivered and then the woman says, 'my right, I wanna take that one out.' Do you support that?"
She responded once again, stating "I trust people to make decisions about their bodies."
"Wow. What about—so abortion should be allowed then, by your definition for any reason, for any purpose at any stage, right?" he pressed further.
"I trust people to make decisions about their bodies and then when relevant, I think they need to consult their medical practitioners," she responded.
"Let me just ask you this question. If it is not lawful and morally acceptable to take the life of a ten-year-old child.. and a two-year-old child, the same thing, that would be murder, we'd all agree that's wrong.
"Then what is the principal distinction between the human being that is two years old, or nine months old, or one week old, or an hour old, than one that is 8 inches further up the birth canal... what's the difference? Why is it okay in the latter case and not the former case?"
She responded again: "... I trust people to determine what to do with their own bodies. Full stop."
"Wow, 'Full stop' indeed. And that describes right there exactly what this is about. There's a legal issue there, but underneath that is a moral issue, it's about reality, it's about science, the advancement of medical technology, you're talking about unborn children, and your 'full stop' is that you will support the termination of a child at any time."
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