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Ms. FOXX. Well, I thank the gentlewoman from Ohio, my colleague, for organizing this time to speak about the importance of protecting unborn children in this country.
March is national Women's History Month, and each year other Members and I of the Pro-Life Women's Caucus make a point of coming to the House floor to celebrate the achievements of women and talk about the detrimental impact of abortions on women.
Last year, it was brought to my attention that the University of North Carolina's system, which I attended, three of the universities in the system required its students to purchase health care through the university if they did not have acceptable coverage through their parents or on their own. These plans automatically enrolled students in abortion coverage, regardless of gender or their feelings regarding abortion.
Pro-life groups in North Carolina, as well as the Students for Life of America, wrote to the UNC system, as well as North Carolina Governor Bev Purdue, requesting that they not force students to purchase abortion coverage as part of their student health plan. The UNC system responded by allowing students to opt-out of abortion coverage. However, a student still pays the same amount for health care coverage regardless of whether or not abortions are included on his or her plan.
This situation was brought to my attention because the UNC system, along with at least 37 other university systems across the country, requires their students to purchase health care coverage that includes abortion. These universities are including the cost of this health care plan in the total cost of attendance, which means there may be Federal money covering these health insurance plans and thereby covering abortion.
My concerns about unborn children not only in North Carolina but across the United States prompted me to send a letter to the Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, requesting that he look into the UNC situation and
determine if, in fact, taxpayer money was being used to purchase these health insurance plans. Secretary Duncan responded last month and said the Department of Education was not able to determine if students were able to use Federal, also known as taxpayer, student aid money to purchase these health insurance plans, which can include abortion coverage.
This is unacceptable. There should be no question whatsoever that taxpayer money should not be used to purchase abortion coverage, regardless of whether it is through a student health plan at a university or at an abortion clinic. I will continue to work with the Department and the UNC system to ensure that taxpayer money is not being used to pay for abortions.
As a Christian, I am adamantly opposed to the practice of abortion, and I'm especially opposed to American taxpayers being forced to pay for it. This is why last month I voted with 239 of my colleagues to stop subsidizing Planned Parenthood's radical abortion agenda with taxpayer money. In 2009 alone, Planned Parenthood reported that the organization performed over 332,000 abortions nationwide, and in the next 2 years will require each and every one of its 87 affiliates to have at least one abortion clinic.
The vast majority of my constituents do not want their hard-earned money paying for abortions, and as their elected Representative, I will continue fighting to protect unborn children and taxpayers from the scourge of abortion.
Congresswoman Schmidt, I have here a chart that I'd like to make sure people watching can see. This is from a Quinnipiac poll in December 2009. It is a little hard to read Quinnipiac down here, but it was a poll that asked women: Do you support or oppose allowing abortions to be paid for by public funds under a health care reform bill? Only 25 percent of the women polled said they support it, 70 percent opposed, and 5 percent didn't know or didn't care. That is an astounding number to have.
Mrs. SCHMIDT. Especially for women because we're always cast as the ones that really want abortion, and it's the men that don't want it, but you're telling me that 70 percent of the women in that December 2009 study adamantly opposed Federal funding of abortion under the health care bill?
Ms. FOXX. That's correct. I'm sorry I couldn't be on the floor for your entire presentation. I was in the Rules Committee and could not leave to come down. But as I came in, I heard you talking about the fact that pro-life women can be feminists, and I think that's very important for us to point out. I do quote from Alice Paul, who worked very hard for equality for women, who said, ``Abortion is the ultimate exploitation of women.'' And I think that as we work hard to see that women are treated equally in our society under the law that we make sure that they are not exploited by abortion.
And there is another quote from Elizabeth Cady Stanton. I don't know if you have used it. But she said, ``When we consider that women are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit.'' That was in a letter to Julia Ward Howe in October 1873 and was recorded in Howe's diary.
I think, again, that it's so important that women be here during Women's History Month to speak in favor of rights for women and that we point out that we are opposed to abortion, which is the ultimate exploitation of women.
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