Life is the most fundamental right that our Declaration of Independence recognizes. It is more fundamental even than our cherished right to liberty, and it is a right that we must protect and defend. This is a right endowed by God, not men. Every human being has value, and we should strive to protect and improve the lives of all Americans.
As a conservative Republican, a medical provider, and a father, I strongly support the sanctity of human life. Nothing is more precious. I believe that life begins at conception. For my efforts in Congress, I have a 100% lifetime rating from the National Right to Life Committee.
However, our society has increasingly grown callous in its discussion of life—from the unborn to the elderly. Since the passage of Roe v. Wade on January 22, 1973, nearly 60 million human lives have been aborted in the Land of the Free. That figure alone should shock the consciences of most Americans. Add to that the horrifying videos released by the Center for Medical Progress of the discussions with Planned Parenthood officials about selling baby parts and even completely intact fetuses, and Americans should be outraged and ashamed that we have created and supported a culture that fails to protect life in this country.
One of the reasons I stand against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, is that it does not maintain strict prohibitions on federal funding for abortion. While Americans have closely held and passionate views about abortion, we have maintained a long national consensus that taxpayer funds should not be expended for abortion services. The Hyde Amendment is just one example: it has successfully been attached to the Labor, Health and Human Services Appropriations Bill every year since 1976 and prohibits funds in that bill from being used for abortion services.
However, abortion provider Planned Parenthood receives millions of dollars in federal funding every year—a fact that is unconscionable in a nation that was built on the promise of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” I have cosponsored multiple pieces of legislation to protect life and to ensure that Obamacare and future laws do not allow any taxpayer funds to be used to abort innocent human life.
Prohibiting Federal Funding for Planned Parenthood
I am absolutely appalled and disgusted by reports that Planned Parenthood has been harvesting unborn baby parts. Videos released by the Center for Medical Progress show Planned Parenthood leaders discussing prices for organs and aborted babies. This blatant disregard for human life should repulse all Americans, regardless of political ideology. I have called on Planned Parenthood to fire Senior Director of Medical Services Deborah Nucatola for her disturbing statements and tone following the release of these incidents. Furthermore, I fully support House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte’s call for a Congressional investigation into the inhumane acts described in these reports. I also support terminating all federal funding to Planned Parenthood and believe that the people engaged in any of these illegal acts should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
In the wake of the barbarous, inhumane videos released by the Center for Medical Progress, I have signed three letters written by my congressional colleagues that call for the defunding of Planned Parenthood. I am also a cosponsor of H.R.3134, the Defund Planned Parenthood Act of 2015, which terminates all federal funds for Planned Parenthood and redirects those resources to community health centers that provide important services for women but do not perform hundreds of thousands of abortions every year. The House passed this legislation with my support in September 2015.
The Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act
I am a cosponsor of H.R.36, the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, introduced by my friend and fellow Arizonan Trent Franks. This bill prohibits late term abortions for unborn babies after 20 weeks post-fertilization. I believe that life begins at conception, and this legislation represents a vital step towards eliminating abortions altogether. Scientific evidence overwhelmingly proves babies are capable of feeling the pain from horrific abortion procedures after 5 months and the vast majority of Americans agree that abortions should be prohibited after 20 weeks. During the 113th Congress, a version of this bill passed the House, but it never came up for a vote in Harry Reid’s obstructionist Senate. In the 114th Congress, the House passed this legislation in May 2015 with my support. CLICK HERE to read more.
The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act
I am a cosponsor of H.R. 3504, the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. This important legislation protects children who are born-alive by creating criminal penalties for any health care practitioner who doesn’t provide immediate treatment and care or for any individual who causes harm to the child. CLICK HERE to read more.
The No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act
I am proud to be a cosponsor of the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, introduced by Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ). This bill would guarantee that no funds authorized or appropriated by federal law would be expended for any abortion. Unlike the Hyde Amendment, once passed into law, it would not need to be renewed every year. It also would eliminate certain tax benefits relating to abortion. This bill became an amendment to the Continuing Resolution that passed the House during the 113th Congress, but that bill eventually died in the Senate. However, a similar version of this bill, H.R. 7, was introduced early in the 114th Congress and passed the House with my support in January 2015. CLICK HERE to read more.
The Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act
During the 114th Congress, I also cosponsored H.R.217, the Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act, which would prohibit abortion providers such as Planned Parenthood from receiving federal dollars. CLICK HERE to read more.
Restoring Americans' Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act of 2015
In addition, I voted in favor of H.R. 3762, Restoring Americans' Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act of 2015. This legislation eliminated federal funding for Planned Parenthood and redirected those funds to community health centers that do not provide abortions. It also defunds particularly harmful provisions of Obamacare including the individual and employer mandates, the excise tax on medical devices, and the “Cadillac tax.” While I would prefer complete defunding of Planned Parenthood and full repeal of Obamacare, this legislation is at least a step in the right direction.