U.S. Rep. Tom Marino, PA-10, on Thursday voted in favor of HR358, the Protect Life Act, which closes any abortion funding loopholes in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act passed during the last Congress.
Marino, one of 145 co-sponsors of the legislation, said the measure was necessary because the health care bill passed last year did not ensure that taxpayer dollars would not be used to fund abortions.
"Some members of Congress relied on President Obama's executive order as an excuse to support Obama Care," Marino said. "However, that was not a guarantee."
HR358 would prohibit federal funds from going toward any health care plan that covers abortion services, and require any benefit plan offered through an exchange to also offer a similar plan that does not cover abortions. It also would prohibit a federal agency or program or any state or local government that receives federal assistance from withholding funds from a health care organization that refuses to provide abortions.
Marino, a staunch pro-life advocate, said the issue hits close to home.
"As the father of two adopted children, I greatly value the sanctity of life," he said. "My daughter and son are the two best things that ever happened to my wife and me. No words can describe the joy and richness they bring to our lives every day."
Marino said his 16-year-old daughter Chloe is starting to drive and discuss college plans while his 12-year-old son Victor has written several books and is an avid reader.
"That is why I am pro-life," Marino said. "I look at their beautiful minds and personalities and am grateful every day that their mothers chose life. We have to speak for these children because they do not have a choice."
Marino said constituents who are not as passionate about the abortion issue favor HR358.
"I hear over and over again from people throughout the district that they do not want their hard-earned tax dollars being used to end the lives of the unborn," he said. "They do not want governments to subsidize abortions."