Cortney O'Brien

Representative Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) brought a picture of her grandson to Capitol Hill today. No, she didn’t simply show it to her colleagues to beam about her newest family member – she brought the picture straight to the Senate floor to testify against the pro-abortion S. 1696, or “Women’s Health Protection Act.”

S. 1696, which has 25 Senate cosponsors (all Democrats), would override nearly all federal and state laws limiting abortion, including third-trimester bans on abortion, limits on abortion after 5 months of pregnancy, and laws against sex-selection abortion, according to the pro-life organization SBA List, which sent out an urgent email to supporters this morning.

This sweeping legislation is what brought Rep. Blackburn to testify and hold up her grandson’s ultrasound for all her colleagues to see.

“This is the wonder of science,” Blackburn said. “I could see his arms and legs, I could see him peacefully resting in his mother’s womb.”

Because Blackburn understands the humanity of the unborn, she had some strong words for the legislation being considered.

“It is broad, loosely written. It would jeopardize hundreds of laws - laws that protect both mothers and unborn children. It would render impossible efforts by states to limit abortions based on sex of the child.”

The representative then provided some statistics revealing that women support abortion restrictions. The reason, she said, is obvious.

“It is no wonder women support this – we bear life.”

Blackburn’s pro-life colleagues shared her passion, including Rep. Diane Black (R-TN), who, as a former nurse, shared that abortion harms not only the unborn child, but the mother as well:

"One to 5 percent of abortions have infections, minors are up to twice as likely to experience lacerations and short term risks, and 37 percent have the risk of preterm birth in subsequent pregnancies."

Sen. Grassley (R-IA) offered a different perspective by suggesting S. 1696 is also a states’ rights issue:

“It would allow Congress to intrude on states’ rights. This is a weak political opportunity before midterms. They’re trying to appear compassionate, yet the law disregards common sense laws aimed at stopping murderers like Kermit Gosnell. The American people won’t support it.”

Of course, a few Congress members present defended the legislation with the now tiresome “war on women” rhetoric. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), for instance, said S. 1696 was necessary to retain women’s rights:

“Since Roe v. Wade, too many states have been trying to turn back the clock on access to high quality care […] The threat is clear. Some politicians think they know better than women and their doctors. Women are more than capable of making decisions without asking legislators.”

Perhaps the most ironic part of Baldwin’s testimony was when she insisted that Congress is responsible for enforcing Constitutional rights.

Funny. She must have forgotten about the right to life.

Rep. Blackburn suggested that the bill the Senate should be considering is the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act – legislation that would ban abortions after 20 weeks, the point at which unborn babies can feel pain.

But, Sen. Harry Reid and other Senate Democrats seem intent on spearheading an abortion agenda.

It is unlikely this bill will pass the House of Representatives, but still unnerving to see so many legislators trying to make it law.

Pro-lifers can at least be thankful to know they have courageous representatives like Marsha Blackburn fighting for the unborn.


Cortney O'Brien

Cortney O'Brien is a Townhall web editor. Follow her on Twitter @obrienc2.

Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography