On the day of the national March for Life in Washington, DC, Congressman John Shimkus (R, Illinois-19) is pleased to announce his continued support for pro-life positions and is cosponsoring several pieces of related legislation and joined in a letter on the issue.
"I believe the issue of life is not a Republican or Democrat issue; it is not a liberal or conservative issue; it is a moral issue," Shimkus said. "You cannot have a middle position on this issue."
Shimkus is cosponsoring:
* HR 3 -- No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act. This bill would impose a consistent government-wide ban on abortion funding. Various current policies affect different government agencies, and this bill would make permanent the Hyde Amendment (HHS funding), the Helms Amendment (overseas funding), the Smith FEHBP Amendment (federal employee insurance), the Dornan Amendment (DC funding), the Hyde-Weldon conscience clause, and other program policies.
* HR 217 -- the Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act. This bill prohibits federal funds from going to any organization that provides abortions or that contributes funds to another group that provides abortions.
* HR 358 -- the Protect Life Act. This bill provides that no federal funds could cover abortion under the new health care law, removes the mandate that private insurance cover abortion, and prohibits the government from administering health plans that cover abortion. Basically, it applies the Hyde Amendment to health care.
* HR 374 -- the Life at Conception Act. This bill would guarantee constitutional rights to an unborn child.
In addition, Shimkus has joined in signing a letter to Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Kathleen Sebelius that opposes the use of telemedicine to prescribe mifepristone, more commonly known as RU-486, the abortion drug. It has become known that Planned Parenthood clinics in Iowa are prescribing the drug via teleconference without a doctor physically present.
"Our letter to Secretary Sebelius points out that federal funds could have been used to establish the telehealth centers and that the use of RU-486 is not without risks and a doctor's presence "violates FDA protocols,'" Shimkus explained.
Shimkus is scheduled to meet in Washington, DC, with some of the Illinois' groups attending the March for Life.