Mr. SANTORUM. Mr. President, I appreciate the remarks of the Senator, and I appreciate his good faith in offering this amendment. I am not going to discuss that amendment specifically right now, although I certainly will.
I have a couple of comments. First off, it has to be noted here that partial-birth abortions are performed--this is according to the people who perform them--well over 90 percent of the partial-birth abortions that are performed--and some have suggested much higher than 90 percent--on healthy babies and healthy mothers. Healthy babies, healthy mothers. A very small percentage are the cases that you have heard brought up here today.
The question is then posed: Well, who are we to make the decision about these tough cases? I think even the Senator from Illinois would say, if it is a healthy mother and baby and this procedure isn't necessary, I have some problems. I think a lot of Members who have voted against this bill have said, if it is that case--but there are these cases. I am happy to address those cases, but let me do it in a broader context.
The reason we inject ourselves is the same reason the Supreme Court has injected itself into the debate on second- [Page: S12876] and third-trimester abortions. It is because we are not talking about removing a tumor. It is not where we are going to say you should not remove this cancerous tumor this way or that way or that appendix that way. What we are talking about here is killing a baby--from my perspective, particularly killing a baby in such a barbaric fashion--which is almost born and is almost protected by the Constitution. So I understand the concern that we should not be practicing medicine. No one is practicing medicine here. What we are doing here is drawing a very important line about what we will allow in our society when it comes to killing a living human being. I don't think anybody is going to question that the baby is living and it is a human being. So what we are talking about here is how can you kill a living human being? What we are saying is you should not be able to kill a living human being that is almost born, especially in a brutal fashion. The reason is because of how horrendous this is. It creates some real slippery slopes when the Senator from California gets up and says, ``I want every child to be wanted.'' So now if you are not wanted, you are not protected by the Constitution and that is the way it works? If you are not wanted as a child, you don't get protection. What if you're not wanted as a Senator.
Do you not get protection? I don't think we want to go down that road.
I am concerned, particularly as we talk about this procedure, where the baby is three inches away from protection from the Constitution, and when you get into this area and say, people have to have all the rights to do whatever they want. That is not what the Constitution says. That is not what we have said here. We have drawn a line because we think it is important for society to draw lines about what is, in fact, legal and what is not.