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Occurrences in the Congressional Record

Entry Title Date
Combating Human Trafficking August 6, 2015
Benjamin Cardin, D-MD
"Mr. President, I rise today to discuss one of the great moral challenges of our time—human trafficking. The term human trafficking involves crimes of forced labor, sexual exploitation, debt bondage, forced marriage, and the sale and exploitation of children. Trafficking in persons destroys people and corrodes communities. It distorts labor markets and undermines stability and the rule of law. It is fueled by greed, violence, and corruption."
Remembering Sarah Anderson August 5, 2015
Barbara Boxer, D-CA
"However, one young campaign staff member named Matt Kagan seemed to notice all of Sarah’s unique gifts even more than anyone else. While working 20-hour days on our campaign, Sarah and Matt somehow managed to find time to fall in love. At the time, I would sometimes joke that while I was falling in the polls, they were falling in love. But the truth is, Matt and Sarah’s beautiful marriage and son were among the most important results of that first campaign. Sarah and Matt always shared a fierce commitment to making the world a better place."
Finance Committee’S Report On Its Investigation Of The Irs August 5, 2015
Ron Wyden, D-OR
"However, the actual evidence to support this theory is nonexistent. For example, the Republican views quote an email from Ms. Lerner’s husband in which on election day he told her he had written in the names of Socialist Labor candidates on his ballot. They quote an email from Ms. Lerner—an email she wrote—celebrating Maryland’s approval of same-sex marriage. And they note what they apparently consider to be particularly suspicious: that in the 1.5 million pages of documents, the Republican staff found no instance in which Ms. Lerner, members of her family, or her friends “expressed positive sentiments about the Republican Party, a specific Republican candidate, or the Tea Party.”"
Hire More Heroes Act Of 2015—Continued July 28, 2015
Charles Grassley, R-IA
"The Court also ruled this year on same-sex marriage. I support traditional marriage, as a sizable percentage of the American people still do. However, I do respect people of different views. The Constitution says nothing about whether same-sex marriage is required. That is for the people to decide through the democratic process. When the Supreme Court ruled otherwise, that prompted a significant portion of the populace to believe that the Justices were reading their own view into the Constitution. The decision was based on a doctrine called “substantive due process.” Substantive due process is really nothing more than an open invitation to Justices to read their own policy views into the Constitution."
The Price Of Fetal Parts July 28, 2015
Virginia Foxx, R-NC
"Planned Parenthood’s reaction to the release of a clandestinely recorded conversation about the sale of fetal body parts was highly revealing. After protesting that it did nothing illegal, it apologized for the “tone” of one of its senior directors. Her remarks lacked compassion, admitted Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards. As if Dr. Deborah Nucatola’s cold and casual discussion over salad and wine of how the fetal body can be crushed with forceps in a way that leaves valuable organs intact for sale is some kind of personal idiosyncrasy. On the contrary, it’s precisely the kind of psychic numbing that occurs when dealing daily with industrial scale destruction of the growing, thriving, recognizably human fetus. This was again demonstrated by the release this week of a second video showing another official sporting that same tone, casual and even jocular, while haggling over the price of an embryonic liver. “If it’s still low, then we can bump it up,” she joked, “I want a Lamborghini.” Abortion critics have long warned that the problem is not only the obvious—what abortion does to the fetus—but also what it does to us. It’s the same kind of desensitization that has occurred in the Netherlands with another mass exercise in life termination: assisted suicide. It began as a way to prevent the suffering of the terminally ill. It has now become so widespread and wanton that one-fifth of all Dutch assisted-suicide patients are euthanized without their explicit consent. The Planned Parenthood revelations will have an effect. Perhaps not on government funding, given the Democratic Party’s unwavering support and the president wishing it divine guidance. Planned Parenthood might escape legal jeopardy as well, given the loophole in the law banning the sale of fetal parts that permits compensation for expenses (shipping and handling, as it were). But these revelations will have an effect on public perceptions. Just as ultrasound altered feelings about abortion by showing the image, the movement, the vibrant living-ness of the developing infant in utero, so too, I suspect, will these Planned Parenthood revelations, by throwing open the door to the backroom of the clinic where that being is destroyed. It’s an ugly scene. The issue is less the sale of body parts than how they are obtained. The nightmare for abortion advocates is a spreading consciousness of how exactly a healthy fetus is turned into a mass of marketable organs, how, in the words of a senior Planned Parenthood official, one might use “a less crunchy technique”—crush the head, spare the organs—“to get more whole specimens.” The effect on the public is a two-step change in sensibilities. First, when ultrasound reveals how human the living fetus appears. Next, when people learn, as in these inadvertent admissions, what killing the fetus involves. Remember. The advent of ultrasound has coincided with a remarkable phenomenon: Of all the major social issues, abortion is the only one that has not moved toward increasing liberalization. While the legalization of drugs, the redefinition of marriage and other assertions of individual autonomy have advanced, some with astonishing rapidity, abortion attitudes have remained largely static. The country remains evenly split. What will be the reaction to these Planned Parenthood revelations? Right now, to try to deprive it of taxpayer money. Citizens repelled by its activities should not be made complicit in them. But why not shift the focus from the facilitator to the procedure itself? The House has already passed a bill banning abortion after 20 weeks. That’s far more fruitful than trying to ban it entirely because, apart from the obvious constitutional issue, there is no national consensus about the moral status of the early embryo. There’s more agreement on the moral status of the later-term fetus. Indeed, about two-thirds of Americans would ban abortion after the first trimester. There is more division about the first trimester because one’s views of the early embryo are largely a matter of belief, often religious belief. One’s view of the later-term fetus, however, is more a matter of what might be called sympathetic identification—seeing the image of a recognizable human infant and, now, hearing from the experts exactly what it takes to “terminate” its existence. The role of democratic politics is to turn such moral sensibilities into law. This is a moment to press relentlessly for a national ban on late-term abortions."

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