Monday, June 19, 2006

A Human Face on Abortion: Gianna Jessen in Denver

Ted Harvey, a Republican in the Colorado Legislature, reports on his guest Gianna Jessen's visit to the capitol:

I was leaving the House chambers for the weekend when our Democrat speaker of the House announced that the coming Monday would be the final day of this year's General Assembly. He went on to state that there were still numerous resolutions on the calendar which we would need to be addressed prior to the summer adjournment. Interestingly, he specifically mentioned that one of the resolutions we would be hearing was being carried by the House Majority Leader Alice Madden, honoring the 90th anniversary of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains.


Following a committee hearing, I rushed into the House chambers just as the opening morning prayer was about to be given. Between the prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance, I wrote a quick note to the speaker of the House explaining that Gianna is an advocate for cerebral palsy. I took the note to the speaker and asked if I could have my friend open the last day of session by singing the national anthem. Without any hesitation the speaker took the microphone and said, "Before we begin, Representative Harvey has made available for us Gianna Jessen to sing the national anthem."

Gianna sang the most amazing rendition of The Star Spangled Banner that you could possibly imagine. Every person in the entire chamber was completely still, quiet and in awe of this frail young lady's voice.


As I looked around the huge hall I listened to the unbelievable melody of Gianna's voice being accompanied by a choir of over 100 voices. I had chills running all over my body, and I knew that I had just witnessed an act of God.

As the song concluded the speaker of the House explained that Gianna has cerebral palsy and is an activist to bring awareness to the disease. "Let us give her a hand not only for her performance today, but also for her advocacy work," he said. The chamber immediately exploded into applause -- she had them all in the palm of her hand.


Members, I would like to introduce you to a new friend and hero of mine -- her name is Gianna Jessen. She is visiting us today from Nashville, Tennessee, where she is an accomplished recording artist.

She has cerebral palsy and was raised in foster homes before being adopted at the age of four.

She was born prematurely and weighed only 2 pounds at birth. She remained in the hospital for almost three months. A doctor once said she had a great will to live and that she fought for her life. Eventually she was able to leave the hospital and be placed in foster care.

Because of her cerebral palsy, her foster mother was told that it was doubtful that she would ever crawl or walk. She could not sit up independently. Through the prayers and dedication of her foster mother, she eventually learned to sit up, crawl, then stand. Shortly before her fourth birthday, she began to walk with leg braces and a walker.

She continued in physical therapy and after a total of four surgeries, she was able to walk without assistance.


As the applause began to die down, I raised my hand to be recognized one more time.

Mr. Speaker, members, if you would allow me just a few more moments I would appreciate your time.

My name is Ted Harvey, not Paul Harvey, but, please, let me tell you the rest of the story.

The cause of Gianna's cerebral palsy is not because of some biological freak of nature, but rather the choice of her mother.

You see when her biological mother was 17-years-old and 7-and-a-half months pregnant, she went to a Planned Parenthood clinic to seek a late-term abortion. The abortionist performed a saline abortion on this 17-year-old girl. This procedure requires the injection of a high concentration of saline into the mother's womb, which the fetus is then bathed in and swallows, which results in the fetus being burned to death, inside and out. Within 24 hours the results are normally an induced, still-born abortion.

As Gianna can testify, the procedure is not always 100 percent effective. Gianna is an aborted late-term fetus who was born alive. The high concentration of saline in the womb for 24 hours resulted in a lack of oxygen to her brain and is the cause of her cerebral palsy.

Members, today, we are going to recognize the 90th anniversary of Rocky Mountain Planned Parenthood?"

BANG! The gavel came down.

The Rocky Mountain News reports that Harvey angered the punctillious adherents of the sacred rituals of the legislature, including some of his fellow Republicans:

"I came this close to standing up and saying something," said Rep. Mark Larson, R-Cortez. He and others said Harvey violated House rules and protocol.

"It was despicable," said House Majority Leader Alice Madden, D-Boulder. "Ted Harvey doesn't care about proper decorum or the rules. He just wants to push his narrow agenda."

Such an indecorous human face is Ms. Jessen's.

The Denver Post also reports the reaction:
Rep. Ted Harvey Monday was rebuked Monday for introducing on the House floor a woman who said her cerebral palsy was caused by a botched late-term abortion.

Harvey, R-Highlands Ranch, said he told the woman's story on the same day the House planned to consider a resolution to recognize the 90th anniversary of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains because, "I just wanted to put a face to this celebration."

But Kate Horle, spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, said "There's no statistical evidence that cerebral palsy has been caused by failed abortions."

1 comment:

Monkimom said...

Thank you, take Gianna's story to the ends of the earth, God willing.
She is His question.