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Oversight Republican Leader Griffith Opening Remarks in Hearing on Protecting Life


07.19.22

Washington, D.C. — Energy and Commerce Committee Republican Leader for Oversight and Investigations Morgan Griffith (R-VA) delivered opening remarks at today’s Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee hearing on protecting life and the Democrats’ radical and extreme agenda for abortion for all nine months.

Excerpts and highlights from his prepared remarks:

AN EXTREME AGENDA

“Just three years ago, in my home commonwealth of Virginia, an aggressive abortion bill introduced by Delegate Kathy Tran in the House of Delegates caused an uproar.

“During questioning by now Speaker of the House Todd Gilbert, the sponsor herself admitted that her bill would legalize abortion in the final moments before birth – even after a mother is dilated at 40 weeks – provided one doctor certified that continuation of the pregnancy would in some way impair the mother’s mental health.

“Even during follow-up questions by Delegate Gilbert, Delegate Tran confirmed that her bill’s language would allow for that possibility.

“Adding fuel to the fire, then-Governor Ralph Northam made the following public comments when asked about Delegate Tran’s bill: ‘If a mother is in labor, I can tell you exactly what would happen. The infant would be delivered. The infant would be kept comfortable. The infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired, and then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother.’

“This statement shocked many, who criticized it as being in favor of infanticide.

“It is inconceivable that a baby born alive should not have the same rights as any other newborn.

“It is inconceivable that if the life of a mother is not threatened, that you could abort a baby even after dilation.

“It is inconceivable to me that some would advocate for terminating the life of a child after he or she has been born.

“So inconceivable to me were these views that after learning of the Governor’s comments, I held off on releasing a strongly worded statement, assuming that he would quickly clarify his statement and rebut this horrific interpretation.

“Unfortunately, this did not happen.

“After widely being accused of supporting infanticide, the Governor stood by his comments the next day.

“The Governor doubled down and said he had ‘no regrets’ about his comments.

“It’s clear that some radical pro-abortion advocates have moved way past safe, legal, and rare. And this isn’t a recent development – we only need to look back to 2019 right across the river in Virginia.

“This is just one example of how some abortion supporters have failed to acknowledge the humanity of an unborn child or even a child born alive.”

THE RIGHT TO LIFE

“As a strong supporter of the right to life, I welcome the Dobbs opinion. The Supreme Court got the law right in Dobbs.

“The majority opinion made a well-reasoned and persuasive argument that Roe took power out of the hands of the people and the state legislators.

“The Court has restored democratic principles to this issue.”

SUPPORTING MOTHERS AND CHILDREN

“It is important for those of us who call ourselves pro-life to support mothers, children, and adoptive families. We have a foundation to build on.

“According to a report by the Charlotte Lozier Institute, there were more than 2,700 pregnancy help centers nationwide in 2019, providing free and low-cost services to millions of people annually.

“These centers provide help and alternatives to abortion.

“More than 800,000 lives were saved at pregnancy help centers from 2016 to 2020. In addition, the federal government offers programs to aid adoptive families.

“And we should do even more to help adoptive parents.

“It’s time for our country to move on from the grave constitutional and moral error of Roe and make progress on fulfilling the right to life.

“In closing, I am disappointed that the majority denied us a second witness on today’s panel.

“Particularly when reviewing a topic so important to many citizens in front of the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, I believe a more balanced representation of the merits from both sides of the debate would have been valuable to today’s conversation.

“I understand the practice is for the majority to host most of the witnesses for a hearing but to stack a panel 5 to 1 like this does not allow for a truly balanced, fact-finding hearing—particularly on such an important issue.

“We should strive to hear from multiple viewpoints, particularly on an issue as deeply personal as abortion.”

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