Life Advocacy Briefing

October 17, 2011

Life Advocacy, Rewarded / House Passes Abortion Limit on ObamaCare
Debate Excerpts / House Voting Record: Passage

Life Advocacy, Rewarded

WE AT LIFE ADVOCACY TAKE PRIDE in the floor speech of first-term Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO) as she spoke in favor of HR-358, the Protect Life Act, when it passed the House last Thursday.  Rep. Hartzler participated in a Life Advocacy Winning with Life seminar when she was a candidate for the Missouri House of Representatives.

Life Advocacy will present Winning with Life on Saturday, Oct. 29, in Arlington Heights, Illinois. Information and reservations are available at 1-888/344-LIFE.

House Passes Abortion Limit on ObamaCare

UNDER THE TITLE ‘PROTECT LIFE ACT,’ the US House Thursday passed legislation to secure conscience protections for medical personnel and to bar tax-subsidized abortion coverage under insurance exchanges established pursuant to ObamaCare.

The legislation would apply the protections of the long-standing Hyde Amendment to ObamaCare. Contrary to popular misconception, Hyde Amendment protections apply to such welfare programs as Medicaid but do not apply government-wide.

Sponsoring HR-358 were Rep. Joseph Pitts (R-PA) and Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL), together with 145 co-sponsors. The House vote on the measure Thursday was 251 to 172. We publish the voting record at the close of this Life Advocacy Briefing.

We begin also the publication of excerpts – transcribed by Life Advocacy from recorded C-SPAN coverage – of the speechesadvocating passage of the bill in House debate. We plan to publish further excerpts in coming editions, along with two procedural roll calls leading to the final passage vote we publish this week, and hope our readers enjoy and find helpful the orations of our front-line advocates for Life in Congress.

We do not plan to publish the speeches opposing the legislation; our interest is in encouraging and informing pro-life advocates. We do note, however, that Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ), in managing the arguments against the measure, called protecting taxpayers from complicity in abortion “divisive, unnecessary and extreme.” He was later called out in the debate by Rep. Chris Smith, who noted Mr. Pallone’s pre-Congressional-career commitment to the right to life – a rather startling moment and perhaps the first time Mr. Pallone’s flip-flop has been cited in House debate; Rep. Pallone did not respond.


Debate Excerpts

Excerpts from the Oct. 13, 2011, House debate on HR-358, statutorily applying Hyde Amendment principles and medical conscience protections to ObamaCare, transcribed by Life Advocacy from C-SPAN television coverage.

Rep. Joseph Pitts (R-PA), presenting HR-358: I am humbled to stand in this Chamber and engage in debate over such a critical matter as this. Like the civil rights movement, the pro-life cause has always been one of securing rights for those who cannot speak for themselves and who cannot on their own obtain them. … Our forefathers must have deemed [the right to life] an indispensable right, for its placement [first in the Declaration] signifies it was not an afterthought. From the start of our great nation until now, countless men and women have fought and even sacrificed their own lives to protect that right for others. Yet in 1973, the US Supreme Court issued a decision that has changed the course of history in this country. A right that had been protected for nearly 200 years was tossed aside by a court decision to legalize abortion. Up until that point, an unwanted pregnancy was likely to lead to an adoption, a process that placed an unwanted child in a caring home. The legacy of the late Steve Jobs reminds us of the impact an adoption can have on the entire world. Fortunately for us, Jobs was born 18 years before Roe vs. Wade. Shortly after his birth to a single mother, Jobs was adopted by a married couple in central California. He would go on to be the founder of a tech company that has literally changed the world. His was the route of many unexpected children before 1973. Maya Angelou, Babe Ruth and Eleanor Roosevelt are just a few of the many adoptees that have transformed the world we live in today. Unfortunately since Roe vs. Wade, more and more women are being persuaded that abortion is nothing more than a simple medical procedure that will help them move on with their lives. This could not be further from the truth. … Adding harm upon harm, abortion is a procedure that brings mental trauma to the mother and irreparable damage to the unborn. Because of this, the policy of the federal government for the last 35 years has been to ban funding for such a procedure. … The American people – in large degree – agree with this policy. In fact as recently as last year, a survey revealed that 67% of Americans support a ban on abortion funding. But the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act failed to include this prohibition. That is why we are here today. … The issue of prohibiting taxpayer funds for abortion is important to the American people, and so it should be important to Congress as well. Protecting the unalienable right to life is important to the American people, and it should be to the Congress as well. I urge my colleagues to support this bill.

Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO): Today I rise in support of the Protect Life Act, which will ensure that taxpayer dollars are not used to pay for abortions through last year’s healthcare [law]. It is right and proper that we should do so. Every life deserves to be born and is worthy of life. Every life has a purpose and a plan. King David reminds us of the value of life in our Creator’s eyes, when he penned the following: “For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful; I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in a secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth, Your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days were written for me in the Book before one of them came to be.” I am thankful that our Declaration of Independence recognizes that we are endowed by our Creator with unalienable rights, including the right to life. Our founding fathers laid out the principle of life, and today we have an opportunity to affirm and to carry on that mantle by passing the Protect Life Act.

Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), speaking for the bill during adoption of the Rule for consideration of HR-358, responding to opponents’ claim that current federal law suffices: The actual Hyde Amendment has no legal effect whatsoever. Hyde only affects Labor/HHS programs, not the massive expansion of government-funded health care. Thus ObamaCare, when phased in fully in 2014, will open up the floodgate of public funding for abortion in a myriad of programs, including and especially in the exchanges, resulting in more dead babies and wounded mothers than would otherwise have been the case. Because abortion’s methods dismember, decapitate, crush, poison or starve to death or induce premature labor, pro-life Members of Congress and, according to every reputable poll, majorities of Americans want no complicity whatsoever in the destruction of human life. ObamaCare forces us to be complicit. Despite breathtaking advances in recent years in respecting and treating unborn children as patients in need of diagnosis and care and treatment for any number of diseases – just like any other patient – far too many people dismiss the baby in the womb as persona non grata. I respectfully submit: How can violence against children by abortion be construed as benign or compassionate or caring? The dangerous myth of “safe abortion” must be exposed. So-called “safe abortion” is the ultimate oxymoron, an Orwellian manipulation of language designed to convey focused respectability to a lethal act. Abortion is, by any reasonable definition, child mortality; its sole purpose is to kill a baby. I would also suggest that presumptuous talk that brands any child as “unwanted” or “an unwanted child” reduces that child to a mere object bereft of inherent dignity or value. We should not be paying for abortion … .

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), speaking for the bill during debate of the Rule for consideration of HR-358: … The American people … have made it quite clear that they do not want their taxpayer dollars used to fund abortions. The Stupak/Pitts Amendment [to the ObamaCare legislation], as we know – it was gutted in the Senate. The President’s executive order stating that the Hyde Amendment would apply is not enough. Why? It is flawed, because executive orders can disappear as quickly as they are issued. But the Protect Life Act will create a solid framework that will safeguard taxpayer dollars. We must protect the sanctity of an innocent human life; we must stand behind the rights of the unborn, and we must prevent taxpayer dollars from being used to fund abortions. That’s why I am proud to support the Protect Life Act and the Rule for it.

Rep. John Fleming MD (R-LA): … I’ve been a doctor for 36 years, father of four, grandfather of two, and I can tell you that the taking of innocent life is not health care. It is not health care. Having said that, this country’s still divided on whether or not a woman should have the right to take an unborn infant. However the country is not divided on this issue [of] who should pay for it. And that issue [involves] taxpayers. Two-to-one, Americans say taxpayers should not be footing the bill. And that’s what this is about, as well as the conscience clause. This protection is critical for pro-life and religious healthcare providers and entities. … This bill protects life, and it does not require taxpayers to foot the bill for those who choose to take innocent life.

Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA): When we look at a time right now when our country is going broke, it’s offensive to most Americans that taxpayer money can still be used to subsidize abortion in this country. We had this debate during the President’s healthcare law; we tried to put real language that would protect that from happening, and unfortunately we weren’t able to get that protection. And for those of us that want to repeal the President’s healthcare law completely, we’ve already passed that bill and sent it to the Senate, and they’ve taken no action. But we’re here today to address specifically this problem and say there should be no taxpayer money that is allowed to be used to subsidize abortion. … It gives conscience protections so that if there’s a medical professional that doesn’t want to participate in abortion, they don’t have to. These are all common-sense proposals that should pass and have bipartisan support. And they should also pass the Senate.

Rep. Phil Gingrey MD: As a practicing ob/gyn for nearly 30 years, I believe that all life is sacred. Having delivered more than 5,000 babies into this world, I have a deep appreciation for how wonderful life is. The issue of abortion is a very personal matter for me as it is for many in this country, and on both sides of the aisle of this issue. However, the decades-old debate on the issue of abortion in this country – that’s not why we’re on the floor today. We’re here today to answer one question: Should taxpayer dollars be used to fund abortions? And when an elective procedure – a choice – can decide between life and death, I would suggest that it is an important question to answer. The Protect Life Act is a piece of legislation that seeks to answer that question and set right what the Congress got wrong. Speaking as a grandfather, a father, a son and an ob/gyn physician, I will be voting to ensure that our government does not put taxpayer dollars behind any person who seeks an elective abortion.

Rep. Diane Black (R-TN): For over 30 years the Hyde Amendment, in conjunction with a patchwork of other policies, has regulated the federal funding of abortions under programs such as Medicaid. Together these various policies ensure the American taxpayer is not involved in funding the destruction of human life. And despite the assurances from President Obama, the Patient Protection & Affordability Care Act will allow for funds to subsidize abortions for the first time since 1976 through state high-risk pools and community health centers. While the President’s executive order was an attempt to reassure Congress after the Stupak amendment did not make it into the bill’s final version, … the executive order is not law, and it can change all too easily. This bill … is about ensuring that the proper restrictions are in place in order to assure that taxpayer funds are not used to fund abortion or abortion coverage under the Patient Protection & Affordability Care Act.

Rep. Steve King (R-IA): I rise in support of the Protect Life Act, and I think we should talk about what is really going on behind those dollars that would go into abortion clinics. It’s been called cruel legislation; think about how cruel it is to take a pair of forceps and pull a baby apart piece by piece in dilation and extraction, or D&E – 14 to 24 weeks, a fully-formed, perfect, perfectly formed and perfectly innocent baby pulled apart, piece by piece, put into a pan and added up to see that all the pieces are there. It’s ghastly; it’s gruesome; it’s ghoulish, and it’s grotesque, and we should never compel taxpayers to pay for something that we couldn’t bear the sight of. … It is a process that degrades our entire culture. … So, Madam Speaker, I urge support for the Protect Life Act, and I congratulate the people that have stood for innocent, unborn human life so many times on the floor of the House of Representatives.

House Voting Record: Passage

HR-358 – ‘Protect Life Act’ Barring Tax-Subsidized Coverage of Abortion under ObamaCare – Rep. Joseph Pitts – Final Passage – Thursday, Oct. 13, 2011 – Passed 251-172 – Democrats in italics; new Members in ALL CAPS.

Voting “yes” / pro-Life: AL/Aderholt, Bachus, Bonner, Brooks, Roby, Rogers; AK/Young; AZ/Flake, Franks, Gosar, Quayle, Schweikert; AR/Crawford, Griffin, Ross, Womack; CA/Bilbray, Bono-Mack, Calvert, Campbell, Denham, Dreier, Gallegly, Herger, Hunter, Issa, Lewis, Lungren, McCarthy, McClintock, McKeon, Gary Miller, Nunes, Rohrabacher, Royce; CO/Coffman, Gardner, Lamborn, Tipton; FL/Adams, Bilirakis, Buchanan, Crenshaw, Diaz-Balart, Mack, Mica, Miller, Nugent, Posey, Rivera, Rooney, Ros-Lehtinen, Ross, Southerland, Stearns, Webster, West, Young; GA/Bishop, Broun, Gingrey, Graves, Kingston, Price, Austin Scott, Westmoreland, Woodall; ID/Labrador, Simpson; IL/Costello, Dold, Hultgren, Johnson, Kinzinger, Lipinski, Manzullo, Roskam, Schilling, Schock, Shimkus, Walsh; IN/Bucshon, Burton, Donnelly, Pence, Rokita, Stutzman, Young; IA/King, Latham; KS/Huelskamp, Jenkins, Pompeo, Yoder; KY/Davis, Guthrie, Rogers, Whitfield;  LA/Alexander, Boustany, Cassidy, Fleming, Landry, Scalise; MD/Bartlett, Harris; MI/Amash, Benishek, Huizenga, McCotter, Miller, Rogers, Upton, Walberg; MN/Cravaack, Kline, Paulsen, Peterson; MS/Harper, Nunnelee, Palazzo; MO/Akin, Emerson, Graves, Hartzler, Long, Luetkemeyer; MT/Rehberg; NE/Fortenberry, Smith, Terry; NV/Heck; NH/Bass, Guinta; NJ/Frelinghuysen, Garrett, Lance, LoBiondo, Runyan, Smith; NM/Pearce; NY/Buerkle, Gibson, Grimm, Hayworth, King, Lee, Reed, TURNER; NC/Coble, Ellmers, Foxx, Jones, McHenry, McIntyre, Myrick, Shuler; ND/Berg; OH/Austria, Chabot, Gibbs, Johnson, Jordan, LaTourette, Latta, Renacci, Schmidt, Stivers, Tiberi, Turner; OK/Boren, Cole, Lankford, Lucas, Sullivan; OR/Walden; PA/Altmire, Barletta, Critz, Dent, Fitzpatrick, Gerlach, Holden, Kelly, Marino, Meehan, Murphy, Pitts, Platts, Shuster, Thompson; SC/Duncan, Gowdy, Mulvaney, Tim Scott, Wilson; SD/Noem; TN/Black, Blackburn, DesJarlais, Duncan, Fincher, Fleischmann, Roe; TX/Barton, Brady, Burgess, Canseco, Carter, Conaway, Cuellar, Culberson, Farenthold, Flores, Gohmert, Granger, Hall, Hensarling, Sam Johnson, Marchant, McCaul, Neugebauer, Olson, Poe, Sessions, Smith, Thornberry; UT/Bishop, Chaffetz, Matheson; VA/Cantor, Forbes, Goodlatte, Griffith, Hurt, Rigell, Wittman, Wolf; WA/Hastings, Herrera-Beutler, McMorris-Rodgers, Reichert; WV/Capito, McKinley, Rahall; WI/Duffy, Petri, Ribble, Ryan, Sensenbrenner; WY/Lummis.

Voting “no” / anti-Life: AL/Sewell; AZ/Grijalva, Pastor; CA/Baca, Bass, Becerra, Berman, Capps, Cardoza, Chu, Costa, Davis, Eshoo, Farr, Filner, Garamendi, HAHN, Honda, Lee, Lofgren, Matsui, McNerney, George Miller, Napolitano, Pelosi, Richardson, Roybal-Allard, Linda Sanchez, Loretta Sanchez, Schiff, Sherman, Speier, Stark, Thompson, Waters, Waxman, Woolsey; CO/DeGette, Perlmutter; CT/Courtney, DeLauro, Himes, Larson, Murphy; DE/Carney; FL/Castor, Deutch, Hastings, Wasserman-Schultz; GA/Barrow, Johnson, Lewis, David Scott; HI/Hanabusa, Hirono; IL/Biggert, Davis, Gutierrez, Jackson, Quigley, Rush, Schakowsky; IN/Carson, Visclosky; IA/Boswell, Braley, Loebsack; KY/Chandler, Yarmuth; LA/Richmond; ME/Michaud, Pingree; MD/Cummings, Edwards, Hoyer, Ruppersberger, Sarbanes, VanHollen; MA/Capuano, Frank, Keating, Lynch, Markey, McGovern, Neal, Olver, Tierney, Tsongas; MI/Clarke, Conyers, Dingell, Kildee, Levin, Peters; MN/Ellison, McCollum, Walz; MS/Thompson; MO/Carnahan, Clay, Cleaver; NV/Berkley; NJ/Andrews, Holt, Pallone, Pascrell, Payne, Rothman, Sires; NM/Heinrich, Lujan; NY/Ackerman, Bishop, Clarke, Crowley, Engel, Hanna, Higgins, Hinchey, HOCHUL, Israel, Lowey, Maloney, McCarthy, Meeks, Nadler, Owens, Rangel, Serrano, Tonko, Towns, Velazquez; NC/Butterfield, Kissell, Miller, Price, Watt; OH/Fudge, Kaptur, Kucinich, Ryan, Sutton; OR/Blumenauer, DeFazio, Schrader; PA/Brady, Doyle, Fattah, Schwartz; RI/Cicilline, Langevin; SC/Clyburn; TN/Cohen, Cooper; TX/Doggett, Al Green, Gene Green, Hinojosa, Jackson-Lee, E.B. Johnson; VT/Welch; VA/Connolly, Moran, Scott; WA/Dicks, Inslee, Larsen, McDermott, Smith; WI/Baldwin, Kind, Moore.

Not voting: AZ/Giffords; CO/Polis; FL/Brown & Wilson; MI/Camp; MN/Bachmann; NY/Slaughter; OH/Boehner; TX/Gonzalez, Paul & Reyes.