Vitter's View: Fighting to Protect the Culture of Life
The new make-up of this Democratic Congress and the Obama administration has resulted in an environment that is much friendlier to abortion advocates. And in the coming weeks, months and years, we will likely see a number of attempts to erode our recent progress in promoting a culture of life as Democrats make moves to undue some of the work we've done to reduce abortion in America.
One particularly onerous piece of legislation is the Freedom of Choice Act, a bill that is widely supported by liberal Democrats. While FOCA has not yet been introduced in the 111th Congress, I have already signaled my intent to use every procedural tool under my senatorial rights to filibuster, "hold" or block this bill from moving forward in the Senate.
The Freedom of Choice Act would nullify all state and federal laws that interfere with access to abortion. It would overturn partial birth abortion bans, eliminate parental notification statutes and force taxpayers to fund abortion.
FOCA also invalidates federal and state laws regarding full disclosure to the patient - including ultrasound of the baby, information about pain inflicted on the baby or possible complications to the mother. In addition, parental notification or consent for minors seeking abortion, waiting periods for mothers considering abortions, restrictions based on fetal viability - allowing for abortions to occur at any point during the nine months of pregnancy - protections for doctors and nurses who decline to participate in an abortions due to moral and religious beliefs, protections for religiously-affiliated hospitals and public hospitals that do not perform abortions and exclusions for abortion coverage from health care plans of federal employees would be at risk.
This bill is one of the largest attacks against the culture of life we've seen in government ever and I'm going to fight to ensure that those who support life have their voices and concerns heard about this divisive bill.
In the first days of the 111th Congress, I introduced a number of measures to protect the unborn, including my Title X legislation that would prohibit taxpayer funding for abortions. I also introduced the Abortion Nondiscrimination Act that would prevent federal, state and local governments from discriminating against all health care providers - including hospitals, provider sponsored organizations, HMOs and health insurance plans - on the basis that they refuse to perform, provide coverage of or pay for abortions. Finally, the Pregnant Women Health and Safety Act would require any physician that performs an abortion to have admitting privileges at a local hospital and that they further provide their patient with the location of the nearest hospital where the patient can receive follow-up care in case complications do occur.
I'll continue to fight in the U.S. Senate to preserve the sanctity of life with these and other measures before Congress.
Please let me know about any issues of importance to you and your family by contacting me at any of my state offices or in my Washington office by mail at U.S. Senator David Vitter, U.S. Senate, 516 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20510, or by phone at 202-224-4623. You can also reach me on the web at http://vitter.senate.gov.