March 15, 2000 - Issue: Vol. 146, No. 29 — Daily Edition106th Congress (1999 - 2000) - 2nd Session
TRAFFICKING BABIES' BODIES AND ORGANS; Congressional Record Vol. 146, No. 29
(Extensions of Remarks - March 15, 2000)
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[Extensions of Remarks] [Pages E315-E316] From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov] TRAFFICKING BABIES' BODIES AND ORGANS ______ HON. BOB SCHAFFER of colorado in the house of representatives Wednesday, March 15, 2000 Mr. SCHAFFER. Mr. Speaker, the selling of aborted baby body parts for monetary consideration of any kind is evil. Unfortunately, this kind of commerce is one to which the Federal Government is enabler, facilitator, and partner. Although the current law hints against profiteering in the horrific destruction and dissection of babies for their tissue and organs, the weakly worded prohibition allows unscrupulous merchants to proceed without pause. Equally egregious and unconscionable is the Federal Government's involvement in the exploitation of mothers and destruction of babies in the name of research. Bill Clinton, Al Gore, and their researchers at the NIH are major buyers and users in this fundamentally immoral trade in aborted baby body parts. President George Bush banned Federal involvement in such merchandising in 1988. Currently, 10 States outlaw embryo harvesting. Clinton can attempt to mitigate the moral, ethical, and constitutional damage he and his administration have wrought upon the fiber and foundation of our great country by reinstating the Federal ban, eliminating Federal support for experimentation with aborted baby body parts, and closing the for-profit loophole. Mr. Speaker, I hereby submit for the Record the following letter I posted to Bill Clinton urging him to respect the fundamental right of all human beings, namely, the Right to Life, and completely stop the destruction of any human being for ``research.'' [[Page E316]] House of Representatives, Washington, DC, March 6, 2000. William J. Clinton, President of the United States, The White House, Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., Washington, DC. Dear President Clinton: In the waning days of your last term in office, you can still correct your unfortunate decision to allow the grossly immoral business of selling baby body parts for so-called ``fetal tissue'' research. Congress will soon hold hearings, and I ask you to join me in this effort to end the ongoing destruction of babies for the purpose of harvesting their tissue and organs. As you know, President George Bush demonstrated great moral courage by banning federal funding of ``fetal tissue'' research. Unfortunately, in 1993 you signed the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Revitalization Act (P.L. 103-43) into law, effectively lifting the previous ban and allowing the egregious and inhumane trafficking of baby body parts in the name of ``research.'' Distressingly, a number of private companies have sought to meet the demand of public and private research facilities for baby body parts. As outrageous as that practice is, many companies have exploited the vague language within the NIH Revitalization Act to sell these gruesome remnants of abhorrent abortive procedures for profit. Although the NIH Revitalization Act made it a federal felony for any person to knowingly purchase or sell baby body parts for ``valuable consideration,'' it did not define the term to include ``reasonable payments associated with the transportation, implantation, processing, preservation, quality control, or storage'' of baby body parts. (P.L. 103- 43, Sec. 112) Clearly, such loose language has given private merchants the incentive and means to evade federal law and felony charges while prospering through the harvesting and selling of tissue and organs from aborted babies. Modern America has apparently not learned the lessons of World War II. Then, the possessions of massacred Jewish people, including the gold fillings in their teeth, were sold, often for profit, by unscrupulous and evil perpetrators. Barbaric experiments were performed on innocent, living human beings by their Nazi captors. As a Representative to the United States Congress for Colorado's Fourth Congressional District, I am doing everything I can to end this malignant practice, whether it is for profit or for any ``reasonable payments.'' That is why I have repeatedly spoken against this horrendous commerce and called on Congress to hold hearings to investigate the full scope of the situation. The question remains, are you willing to end this unconscionable research and commerce by closing the loophole and stopping all activity involving the use of baby body parts or tissue for research? To kill the innocent and defenseless in the name of science contradicts and corrupts the very essence and foundation of our great country. Please join me in calling for a complete ban on the destruction of any baby's body for research. Very truly yours, Bob Schaffer, Member of Congress. ____________________