Tonight we are gathered at Mercy college in N.Y. for the first Presidential debate between Gov. Roy Mandina, Senator Olga Avery, and third party candidate former mayor Jacquelyn Roebuck. The moderator for the debate is Jim Lehrer of the NewsHour on PBS.
First response to you, Governor Mandina. You have five minutes.
I would like to start out by saying that it’s no secret that I’ve always been a pro-life candidate. However, if elected president, overturning the law of the land will not be part of my agenda. Being a governor, I think some decisions should be left up to the State. (chuckles from the audience)
But, as far as late term abortion, and partial birth abortion, I believe there exist some conflicts regarding the ethical issues involved. Jim, up until the 1970’s, for 24 centuries newly graduated doctors took the Solemn Hippocratic Oath (Alexander, p. 64). Part of that oath said, “I will not give to a woman an abortive remedy.” And even though there were doctors that still preformed abortions, they were viewed as shifty, and operated outside the realm of the medical profession.
Jim, let me say that both of my opponents have been on record to say that that was the old Hippocratic Oath, and that today’s graduating physicians take a different and more modern version of the Hippocratic Oath. And that’s true! They do swear a newer and more modern version of the oath. And I would like you and then rest of the country to know what that new oath says. In one part of it the new physicians swear to, and I’m paraphrasing here, to remember that they will remain a member of society, with special obligations to all their fellow human beings; those sound of mind and body (Vanderlinde). And it goes on, and on. At my age it’s difficult to remember. (Slight chuckle from audience)
Now, I’m not aware of any test done on any babies, while still in their mothers' wombs, that determines how sound their minds are. Are you? Are either of my opponents? If they are I’d like to be educated. It can very well be that when an unborn child is destroyed that a sound mind is being destroyed. Right there alone stands a conflict. And if you noticed, I said, “sound mind and body.” What can be more sound than the body of a baby not yet set upon the harsh environment of the world? There bodies are perfectly sound. Lord knows, and so does my wife and my doctor, that most of their bodies are a lot more sound than mine. Hell, my doctor became a rich man off of my body. (laughter from audience)
Another part of that oath says “ Above all, I must not play God.” I want to say that again! Above all, I must not play God! (momentary pause) Fellow Citizens, if taking the life of an unborn infant, by the hand of man, is not playing God, than I don’t know what is. (loud applause from audience)
Now I’m not a close minded man. I listen to the words of those with an opposing view of my own. I know that always there will be those with a different view. It’s part of the American way. It’s what makes America the greatest country God ever gave to man. Those with opposing views, even those that oppose the highest authority in the land, the office my opponents and myself are vying for, can have their say and not fear repercussions. I hear the words of those who say that an unborn child is not yet alive. Thereby, they are saying that a “life” was not taken. But, with this opinion lies another conflict.
Jim, when I was growing up there was a saying my mother used on many occasions. She would say it in Italian. In English that means “you can’t have it both ways.” An example of that would be, if I didn't go to school because I was too sick, then there was no way I was going out to play when school let out. It stands to reason. If I was too sick to sit in school, I was to sick to run around with my friends. The analogy I’m trying to make is that there have been several cases, where the murder of a woman who was pregnant, and most cases in the third trimester, the defendant was charged with a double homicide. An example of that is the Peterson case in 2003 in California. Well how is that possible? If the killing of an unborn child, notice I never use the word fetus, is considered a homicide in these cases, why not in all cases. This is America! What is good for one is good for all. You can’t have it both ways! If this child is not alive, a person can not be charged with a murder. And if a child is alive then destroying that life, via abortion, has to be murder. Ladies and gentlemen, I say again that I respect others opinions but a real conflict exist. This country is having it both ways.
Before I yield the remainder of my time Jim, there’s one more thing I’d like to touch on, and that’s pain. One has to wonder if these unborn babies feel pain. Well, ladies and gentlemen, I think I know the answer to that. Just last week I read a story about a doctor who was operating on a baby that was still inside the womb. The baby was being operated on to correct a condition known as Spina Bifida. The woman was 21 weeks into her term. When the surgery was over, and before the incision was closed, the entire arm of the baby came out of the incision, and then went back in until only the hand was showing. The doctor reached over and placed his little finger in the baby’s palm. And do you know what happened ladies and gentlemen? The baby’s hand grasped the doctor’s finger (Davis, p. 4). It grasped the finger! It felt the finger and closed it’s hand around the finger like my little girl did to me just a few short years ago. How can anyone convince themselves that an unborn baby can feel a finger and not feel pain?
Now, earlier this week, I used some influence and was able to go down to a local hospital where abortions are performed. And Jim, I can’t believe what I saw. I was not prepared for the horror. I held in my hand a jar with a baby in it. A fully formed baby with hands and feet and lips and eyelashes. If this child had not been aborted he would be 55 years old today. He might have been right here in this audience. He might have been right here next to me running for the office of the presidency. Next, a tray was brought out with a baby that was aborted just a couple of days ago. And though this might sound absurd, this baby wasn’t as lucky as the first one. This baby was aborted by a process called D&E; Dilation and Evacuation. This baby was five weeks more developed than the baby whose hand clasped the doctor’s finger. This baby, with his heart beating, moving around in his mother’s belly, was literally ripped apart, piece by piece. The first piece I saw was his hand and forearm. I fell to my knees! (gains composure) When I got up, I wondered how this could happen. What happened to the ethics of the surgeon? Of that institution? How is it possible, that we can show so much compassion that we operate on unborn children in one room, and then throw our ethics in a medical waste pale and mutilate unborn children in the next room?
Thank you Jim. I would also like to say thank you to the commission at Mercy College, and to Professor Juettner for making this all possible.