Perspectives; Thoughts; Comments; Opinions; Discussions

By: CHRIS ENLOE | April 28, 2023


Image source: YouTube screenshot

Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) outraged a congressional witness on Wednesday with a simple question about her perspective on abortion.

At a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing about “the assault on reproductive rights in a post-Dobbs America,” Kennedy asked University of California-Irvine Chancellor’s Professor of Law Michele Goodwin whether she supports unfettered abortion.

“I think this a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ question. Do you support it being legal to abort an unborn child up to the moment of birth?” Kennedy asked.

Goodwin, however, seemed uninterested in answering the question. She told Kennedy the question is more complicated than he believes, to which he said he simply wants her personal perspective.

“I’m just trying to understand your perspective, and I’m not accusing you of this. But, you know, people sort of talk around this issue,” he responded, before asking his question again: “If there were a bill that said that a woman has an unfettered right to abort an unborn baby for any reason up to the moment of birth, would you vote yes or would you vote no?”

Senator Kennedy, I refuse to be shackled by your question,” Goodwin shot back.

Democrat witnesses refuse to answer Kennedy: “Do you support abortion up to the moment of birth?”

After several moments of back-and-forth in which Goodwin and Kennedy talked over one another, Kennedy asked, “You’re advocating a law that says that an unborn baby can be aborted up to the moment of birth for any reason, are you not?”

“Let me clarify what the 14th Amendment says in the first sentence that citizens of the United States are individuals that are ‘born.’ That is what our Constitution says,” she responded. “Do you support our Constitution?”

It’s not exactly clear what Goodwin was trying to say with her reference to the Constitution. Either she was suggesting that the 14th Amendment does not apply to unborn children because they are not yet born, or she was making a reference to the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause.

The exchange ended when Kennedy reassured Goodwin that he didn’t want to argue with her, opining that he believed Goodwin was “afraid” to admit her support for “unfettered” abortion.

“You’re not going to answer it and that’s your right,” he said. “But I would respect you more if you would just say, ‘Here is my answer.'”

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