by Steven Ertelt
May 9, 2006
Denver, CO (LifeNews.com) — Colorado lawmakers hear the national anthem on Monday from a woman who was nearly the victim of abortion. Gianna Jessen, who has traveled the world to share the story of how she survived a botched abortion, sang the patriotic song to open the last day of the legislative session.
Rep. Ted Harvey, a Republican from Highlands Ranch, invited Jessen to sing for members of the House as they began their last floor session for the year.
Harvey explained that Jessen shouldn’t be there to sing the song and told lawmakers how she survived an abortion and was left with cerebral palsy as a result of it. Jessen, who is 29, wasn’t expected to even crawl as a toddler, but is now able to run marathons.
Jessen said she was surprised but humbled that Harvey told her story.
"We need to discuss the humanity of it. I’m glad to be able to speak up for children in the womb," she said. "If abortion is about women’s rights, where were my rights?"
"You could have heard a pin drop when Ted mentioned she had been aborted after the standing ovation they had given her for her song," Leslie Hanks of Colorado Right to Life told LifeNews.com about Jessen’s singing.
"Gianna stumbled on the words a bit and said she was so nervous but she got her bearings back and carried on with the whole legislature joining her. She had to lean on Ted as she sang due to her frailty from the cerebral palsy," Hanks added.
"I’m Ted Harvey not Paul Harvey but I do want you to know the rest of Gianna’s story," Harvey told his colleagues.
The Rocky Mountain News reported that some lawmakers were "touched" by Jessen’s appearance, but abortion advocates were livid.
Instead of appreciating the song and Jessen’s ability to sing it at all, abortion advocates called her appearance part of an "agenda" and lambasted Harvey.
"I came this close to standing up and saying something," Rep. Mark Larson, a Republican from Cortez, told the News. He claimed Harvey breached House protocol and violated House rules.
House Majority Leader Alice Madden, a Boulder Democrat, called Jessen’s appearance "despicable."
"Ted Harvey doesn’t care about proper decorum or the rules. He just wants to push his narrow agenda," she told the Rocky Mountain News.
Harvey responded that it wasn’t his intention to push any agenda but to honor a woman who has survived long odds to take on life.
Jessen’s song came on a day when the state legislature planned to vote on a resolution to honor the 90th anniversary of Planned Parenthood, Hanks told LifeNews.com.