Press releases

View Kennedy’s full exchanges here. 

WASHINGTON – A Democrat today cut off Sen. John Kennedy (R-La), a member of the Senate Budget Committee, in a hearing as he defended life and highlighted the horrors of abortion. 

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) chaired the committee. 

Key remarks from Kennedy’s exchange with Caitlin Myers and Leilah Zahedi-Spung, whom committee Democrats brought as witnesses, are below. Kennedy also questioned Leslie Ford, a witness for Republicans. 

Kennedy: “My good friend Senator Whitehouse said, I want to quote, ‘Reproductive justice is economic justice.’ Close quote. Do you agree with that?”

Myers: “I might, as an economist, use the word ‘rights,’ but yeah, I do agree with that.”

Kennedy: “Okay, that’s not true for the baby, is it?”

Myers: “Well, first of all, I would refer to a ‘fetus,’ not a ‘baby.’”

Kennedy: “Well, a ‘fetus’—I refer to it as a ‘baby’—that's not true for the baby, is it?

. . .

Myers: “I'm sorry. I don't really understand . . . I'm not here to talk about ethics, assignment of personhood. That’s not my role.”

Kennedy: “Well, but you said you agreed with the chairman's statement that, ‘Reproductive justice is economic justice.’ There is no economic justice for the baby because the baby's dead, right?”

Myers: “I don't really know how to answer your question.”

Kennedy: “Well, is the baby dead or alive?”

. . . 

Myers: “The fetus would be dead after an abortion.”

Kennedy: “All right. If the if the mother is healthy and the baby is healthy, do you support abortion up to the moment of birth?” 

Myers: “You know, I think that’s a really hard question to answer because that just doesn’t happen. You’re asking me about something that simply doesn’t happen—”

Kennedy: “Well, actually, I will tell you, it’s legal in Vermont, New Jersey, Oregon, Colorado, New Mexico, Alaska and the District of Columbia, and the loon wing of the Democratic Party supports abortion up to the moment of birth. So, do you support that or are oppose it?”

. . .

Kennedy: “It’s real simple: You either support abortion for a healthy mother and baby up to the moment of birth, or you don’t—and I don’t think it’s a difficult question.”

. . . 

Kennedy: “This is a baby at 21 weeks, okay? The baby can feel pain, right?”

Ford: “Yes.”

Kennedy: “And the baby’s pretty developed, right?”

Ford: “Yes.”

Kennedy: “And, do you know the name of the procedure that the doctor would use to abort that baby at 21 weeks? . . . It's called dilation and evacuation, is that right?” 

Ford: “As far as I understand it.”

Kennedy: “Yeah, and, first, the doctor would dilate the cervix, and then the doctor would take what's called [a sopher] clamp. It's really a pair of pliers with sharp teeth on the end, and, without giving the baby any pain medication, the doctor would go through the vagina, through the uterus, and start tearing the baby apart, is that right?” 

Ford: “As far as I understand the procedure.”

Kennedy: “And [the doctor] might start with the legs and pull them out, and the arms and pull them out, right? And then she might go for the heart or the spine and just pull the baby out piece by piece. Is that right? Without giving the baby pain medication?” 

Ford: “That's what I understand the procedure to be.”

Kennedy: “Okay, but then you've got to get the head out. The baby's dead. Maybe not. Maybe it's still in pain, but then you've got to get the head out, and—even with the cervix dilated--you've got to get the head out, which is hard. So, then the doctor would go in and use those pliers to crush the baby's head. Is that right?” 

Ford: “As far as I know.”

Kennedy: “And then she'd pull the head out, the crushed skull out, right?”

Whitehouse: “Senator Kennedy, your time has expired here . . .”

Kennedy: “Well, you gave the others plenty of time, Mr. Chairman.” 

Whitehouse: “Just letting you know your time's expired. [We have] other senators waiting.”

Kennedy: “Well, [I] was waiting when you were letting others—I'm sorry you don't want to hear about what happens in an actual abortion, but [I thought] that was what we were here to talk about.”

Whitehouse: “No one else has gone over. Some of the witnesses went a little bit long, but on both sides.”

Kennedy: “I thought we were here about protecting mothers and killing babies.”

Whitehouse: “I'm going to turn to Senator Stabenow.”

Kennedy: “Well, I'm sorry you don’t want to hear it.” 

View full remarks here.