What our Elected Officials Believe
I sent the following question to our elected officials and those running for office: "What is your view on abortion, and what will you do to help eliminate abortion?" Read their replies! But first read:
What the Nurse Saw: In September 1993, a registered nurse with thirteen years experience, was assigned by her nursing agency to an abortion clinic. Since she considered herself "very pro-choice," she didn't think this assignment would be a problem. She was wrong. This is what this nurse saw:"I stood at the doctor's side and watched him perform a partial-birth abortion on a woman who was six months pregnant. The baby's heartbeat was clearly visible on the ultrasound screen. The doctor delivered the baby's body and arms, everything but his little head. The baby's body was moving. His little finger was clasping together. He was kicking his feet. The doctor took a pair of scissors and inserted them into the back of the baby's head, and the baby's arms jerked out in a flinch, a startled reaction, like a baby does when he thinks that he might fall. Then the doctor opened the scissors up. Then he stuck the high-powered suction tube into the hole and sucked the baby's brains out. Now the baby was completely limp. I never went back to the clinic. But I am still haunted by the face of that little boy. It was the most perfect, angelic face I have ever seen." excerpt from the Christian Counseling and Education Ministries of Rome, GA.
Michael Coles's response:
Michael Coles is pro-choice but opposes partial birth abortions.
Max Cleland's response:
Thank you for your recent e-mail to me regarding the important public policy issue of "partial- birth" abortion.I believe that the difficult decision on whether or not to have an abortion is one best left to the family directly involved, not to the government. I believe the appropriate focus for government efforts should be to reduce the incidence of abortion, by such policies as pre- and post-natal care initiatives, adoption assistance, and family planning, including programs to promote abstinence.I know that we differ over the proper role for government when it comes to abortion, but I believe we share the desire to make abortions, whether legal or not, increasingly rare. I am pleased that recent findings by the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta show a reduced level of abortions in the United States. The rate of abortions (the number of abortion procedures per 1000 women) fell in 1995 by 5% compared to 1994, and is now 20% below 1980 levels, representing the lowest level in 20 years. In addition, the findings reveal that 88% of all abortions occurred in the first twelve weeks of pregnancy, and only 1.4% occurred after the 20th week. As you probably know, H.R. 1122, The "Partial-Birth" Abortion Ban Act of 1997, passed the United States Congress on October 8, 1997. H.R. 1122 would outlaw the procedure physicians refer to as "intact dilation and extraction" (intact D&X) at any stage of pregnancy- with no exception for the health of the mother- but allow other, sometimes more dangerous abortion procedures to be used in its place.I do not believe that H.R. 1122 represents an effective, or constitutional, approach to the issue of abortion and thus I did not support it. Consistent with the position I took during my campaign, I supported an amendment, introduced by Democratic Senator Tom Daschle and Republican Senator Olympia Snowe, that would have banned all late term abortions (whereas H.R. 1122 only outlawed the specific intact D&X procedure) except for those absolutely necessary to protect the life of the mother, or where the mother's health would be seriously impaired (such as serious heart damage). The exact language in this Amendment stated:"It shall be unlawful to abort a viable fetus unless the physician certifies that continuation of the pregnancy would threaten the mother's life or risk grievous injury to her physical health. 'Grievous injury' shall be defined as: a) a severely debilitating disease or impairment specifically caused by the pregnancy; orb) an inability to provide necessary treatment for a life-threatening condition.'Grievous injury' does not include any condition that is not medically diagnosable or any condition for which termination of pregnancy is not medically indicated."I believe that as laymen, we cannot anticipate every health complication a woman might face in pregnancy, but as legislators we can ensure that only complications that are sufficiently severe will permit an abortion after viability and the Daschle Amendment would have done just that. Unfortunately, in my opinion, this reasonable compromise did not receive the necessary number of votes needed to pass.You may be interested to know that legal challenges have been mounted in 20 of the 28 states that have passed "partial-birth" abortion laws, with 19 out of the 20 states having their laws enjoined or severely limited. In Georgia, on September 2, 1998, a judge in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia approved a settlement of a lawsuit challenging Georgia's ban on the "partial-birth" abortion procedure. I am pleased that the terms of the settlement, approved by the court, reflect my own position on this issue and bring enforcement of the Georgia statute into line with existing constitutional protections and Supreme Court decisions. The Georgia settlement limits the statute's application to abortions performed after viability and applies the ban only to abortions in which the intact D&X abortion procedure is used. In addition, the settlement stipulates that abortions necessary to preserve the life or health of the woman are not prohibited under Georgia law. Representatives of the Georgia Legislature were given an opportunity to intervene and object to the settlement and declined to do so. As you know, President Clinton vetoed H.R. 1122 on October 10, 1997. The House voted to override the President's veto by a vote of 296-132 on July 23, 1998. The Senate's attempt to override the veto failed by a vote of 64-36.I regret that my initial concerns with H.R. 1122, including providing an exception to protect the woman's health, were not addressed in the final bill. Thus, I was unable to support overriding the President's veto. I appreciate your taking the time to share your thoughts with me on this important, and difficult, public policy question. Sincerely,Max-
Roy Barnes' response:
Rep. Barnes is personally opposed to abortion, but he believes, in theearly stages of a pregnancy, the decision should be left to the woman andwhomever she wishes to consult, including her doctor, her family and herreligious advisor. He is opposed to any use of public funds to pay forabortion, except when the abortion is necessary to protect the life of themother, and in cases of rape or incest. He voted to ban partial-birthabortions, a bill which was signed by Governor Miller in 1997. He votedfor the parental notification statute that is now law in Georgia, and hesupports parental consent, provided there is adequate judicial bypass.
Guy Millner's response:
I am pro-life and oppose abortion except in the case of rape, incest,or when the life of a mother is in danger. I also oppose taxpayerfunding of abortions and support laws requiring parental notificationand consent when a minor is involved.If you have additional questions or would like to receive a copy of myplan to keep Georgia moving forward, please call my campaign office at(404)231-1489.Thanks again for your e-mail. I hope I can earn your support thisNovember.Guy
If you are sickened as I am over the murder of precious unborn babies. Please vote against any politician or would-be politician who is in favor of continuing this cruel and senseless act. Georgia and The United States of America deserve better than this.