July 12, 2022

Grassley Statement at Hearing on “A Post-Roe America: The Legal Consequences of the Dobbs Decision.”

Prepared Statement by U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa
Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee
Hearing on “A Post-Roe America: The Legal Consequences of the Dobbs Decision.”
Tuesday, July 12, 2022
 
We’re here because the Supreme Court has corrected a wrong that has impacted millions of lives since 1973. We’re here because the Supreme Court, in a meticulous and well-reasoned opinion, returned the decision of abortion back to the states.
 
For many Americans, this decision is about far more than correcting a flawed legal analysis in Roe; it means protecting the rights of the unborn.
 
This ruling doesn’t ban the practice of abortion but instead empowers the people, through their accountable elected representatives, to make commonsense policy decisions. It takes policymaking out of the hands of unelected judges.
 
I understand with a decision of this magnitude comes differences of opinions and robust debate on next steps. That’s okay, and I welcome that. We live in a democracy and differences of opinion and passion for policy, followed by thoughtful debate, can lead us to the best outcomes for the American people.
 
However, the treatment of the Supreme Court justices, pregnancy centers and conservative women has been outrageous since the Dobbs decision was leaked. Eight out of ten Americans do not support abortion on demand until birth.
 
First, regardless of views on this issue, we should all respect the role of our impartial judiciary and the decisions that it renders.
 
Seeking to intimidate or attack the court, or undermine its credibility because of an outcome that you don’t agree with, is dangerous and not the answer. Justices have had their addresses published online, have been subjected to illegal pressure campaigns at their family homes and one justice was even the victim of an attempted assassination. I’ve called on the Justice Department to enforce the law and protect the justices and their families from these very real threats. The lack of a response from both the Justice Department and the White House is extremely disappointing.
 
Along with threats against the justices, threats against pro-life and crisis pregnancy centers have dramatically increased since the leak of the Dobbs decision, by pro-abortion extremists such as Jane’s Revenge and Ruth Sent Us. There’ve been at least 40 violent attacks on crisis pregnancy centers, religious institutions and other pro-life entities since the Dobbs leak and before the court even issued its final opinion.
 
The first picture I have with me is of a crisis pregnancy center in North Carolina that was vandalized with pro-abortion and pro-Antifa graffiti. That in the corner is an Antifa sign.
 
Another one in Oregon was set on fire, causing significant damage as you can see behind me. I pray for these centers and the thousands of patients they serve every day.
 
I encourage all my colleagues to condemn the violence and vandalism.
 
I want to ensure that these violent attacks are recognized by the FBI and are being properly investigated for what they are – cases of abortion-related violent extremism.
 
Let me be clear: Threats and violence are not the answer.
 
I also want to bring your attention to the incredible group of women we have here today.
 
We know women have been at the center of the pro-life movement and tirelessly advocating for the lives of the unborn and the well-being of mothers everywhere. I’d like to introduce you to a few of these women. In addition to our witnesses, who I’ll introduce in a moment, we have here with us today Dr. Christina Francis. Dr. Francis is an OB/GYN in Indiana.
 
She is a chair of the board of the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists and a board member of Indiana Right to Life. Dr. Francis spent time working with orphans in Romania and Burma, and working for three years as the only OB/GYN at a mission hospital in rural Kenya. She has dedicated her life, professionally and personally, to treating women, protecting the lives of the unborn and educating people on the dangers of the abortion industry. We are so fortunate to have someone like her in the practice of medicine.
 
Catherine Glenn Foster is here, who has in the past been a witness before the committee. She serves as president and CEO of Americans United for Life. Catherine often shares her story of having an abortion at 19 due to the extreme emotional and psychological pressure she faced. Catherine felt alone after her decision.
 
I’m sorry for the loss you experienced Catherine, and I hope we can do better to give young women the love and support they deserve no matter what.
 
Janet Durig is the executive director of the Capitol Hill Pregnancy Center, just down the road from us. Capitol Hill Pregnancy Center provides compassionate care as well as complete, accurate information pertaining to pregnancy and pregnancy options. They too have dealt with vandalism of their clinic. However, they continue to provide services such as counseling, childbirth and parenting classes.
 
Thank you Janet for the work the Center does in serving those in the D.C. area who need support the most.
 
I also want to thank the representatives of the incredible groups we have here: March for Life, Susan B. Anthony List, Concerned Women of America, Iowa Catholic Bishops, Family Research Council, to name a few. You all do incredible work in zealously advocating for the lives of the unborn as well as women’s health. For that I thank you.
 
Let’s have a productive discussion on how we can best support women and families going forward.
 
But as I said before, threatening justices, crisis pregnancy centers and churches is not the answer. I hope the extreme rhetoric that gives rise to this violence won’t be part of our conversation today.
 
Now Mr. Chairman, I would like to request to enter into the record statements from LiveAction and the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
 

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