Today, U.S. Representative Diane Black (R-TN), a cosponsor of H.R. 358, "The Protect Life Act," celebrated its passage in the House by a vote of 251-172.
"As a nurse for over 40 years, I took an oath to protect life," said Black. "Today, I am incredibly proud to see this vital piece of legislation pass the House. When the president's health care law was forced through Congress last year, protection of the unborn was left behind. Now the House of Representatives has come together to right that wrong and ensure that no taxpayer dollars will fund abortion through the health care law."
H.R. 358, The Protect Life Act, prohibits funding of abortions and abortion coverage under the health care law. The legislation also provides conscience protection for health care professionals and ensures that private insurance companies are not forced to cover abortion. The language is consistent with the Stupak-Pitts amendment to the health care law adopted by the House in 2009, but was excluded from the final law. Black spoke on the House floor in support of the legislation. To view her speech, click here.
"This bill does what should have been done in the first place: applying the Hyde Amendment across the board in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The president's executive order--which was designed to address abortion-finding concerns--only succeeded in showing the great need to codify the protection of life in law. Put simply, an executive order that could be overturned by a judge or rescinded at any time by the current or future president does not go far enough to protect innocent children. We in Congress must do everything we can to ensure no taxpayer dollars are used for abortions."
In April of this year, Black introduced her first piece of legislation, HConRes36, which would defund Planned Parenthood in the Continuing Resolution spending bill. The bill passed the House by a vote of 241-185 but failed in the Senate. Black has a long history as a pro-life legislator, dating back to her time in the Tennessee General Assembly. As a member of the State Senate, Black worked to deny funding to Planned Parenthood in Tennessee. While serving as a Member of the Tennessee House of Representatives, Black was named Tennessee Right to Life Legislator of the Year in 2004.