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Public Statements

Protect Life Act

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

* Mr. GENE GREEN of Texas. Madam Speaker, I rise in strong opposition to H.R. 358, the Protect Life Act.

* At a time when the current unemployment rate is 9.1 percent, we need to focus on creating jobs and spurring economic growth.

* Instead, the Majority has chosen to focus on unnecessary legislation aimed at endangering the health of women across this country.

* The Majority has spent weeks and months in the House trying to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care act. After those attempts failed they began attacking individual provisions in the health reform law.

* The Protect Life Act is another attack on health reform. Beyond that, the legislation is unnecessary.

* We already established that no federal funds will be used to perform abortion under health reform because these protections are already included in the underlying law of the land known as the Hyde amendment, which simply states that no federal funds from being used to perform abortions.

* Supporters of the Protect Life Act assert that they are ensuring no federal funds being used for abortions, but this argument ignores the overreaching nature of the bill and the dangerous consequences for women associated with this legislation.

* Under this legislation, health care entities could refuse to ``participate in'' abortions. This could mean that a hospital employee could refuse to process bills, handle medical records, or set up an examination room.

* The bill also endangers women's health and lives by creating a dangerous loophole in longstanding state and federal laws that require hospitals to provide appropriate emergency care to pregnant women and would eliminate existing protections for women seeking care in emergency circumstances--allowing a hospital to deny abortion care to a woman, even if it would save her life.

* The Protect Life Act also allows states to enact sweeping ``conscience'' laws that would allow health plans to refuse to cover women's preventive services, including birth control, without cost-sharing--potentially undoing a new protection that 66 percent of Americans support.

* This legislation goes far beyond any legislation passed by the House with regard to abortion. Quite simply, it endangers the health and lives of women.

* Beyond that, we are wasting valuable time on a bill that cannot pass the Senate and will be vetoed by President Obama instead of debating and voting on the American Jobs Act.

* Our constituents both Republicans and Democrats want us to work on creating jobs and reducing our deficit. I fail to see how this legislation accomplishes either of those goals.

* I strongly urge my colleagues to oppose this legislation.


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