Over a million abortions are taking place every year in the United
States. Despite this, I am encouraged that our country is succeeding
in reducing the number of surgical abortions taking place. As a woman,
and as a mother, I believe that abortion is a very personal issue that
must be left to a woman and her physician, and not to elected
During my time in the Senate, I have consistently supported the Hyde
Amendments that since 1976 have prohibited any federal dollars from
funding abortion or abortion-related services. And one of the most
important bills that I supported, which was ultimately signed into law
by President Bush in 2003, is the law banning partial-birth abortions.
The law, which imposes a fine and up to two years in prison for those
who unlawfully perform the procedure, was challenged on constitutional
grounds but was ultimately upheld as the law of the land by the U.S.
Supreme Court in 2007.
During debate of the recently enacted health care reform law, I
offered the first amendment that would have closed the abortion
loophole on prevention services by prohibiting the Secretary of Health
and Human Services from defining or classifying abortion or abortion
services as preventive care. This would ensure that abortions could
not become a required benefit under the preventive services
I also supported a bipartisan amendment to the health care reform law
that was offered by my colleagues, Sens. Nelson and Hatch, which would
have barred federal funding of elective abortions except in the case
of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother. This amendment
would have also prohibited insurance companies from selling federally
subsidized health insurance policies that cover elective abortion
As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee that controls
federal spending, I will continue to use my position on this committee
to block any measure that would allow federal dollars to be spent on
abortion or abortion-related services.