I wholeheartedly believe that we should look for ways to curb and stop abortions in the United States. The rights of the unborn continue to be of the utmost concern to me. All life is precious. When people discuss abortion there is a tendency to couch the argument in terms of it being simply a choice or decision.
That's not what it's about.
It's about protecting the innocent lives of the most vulnerable among us. The following is a list of some of the most important legislation of the last several years which I have supported dealing with the abortion issue.
H.R. 4965, Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2002: I was a cosponsor of this legislation banning partial birth abortions, a brutal, barbaric procedure that I believe is simply unconscionable. This was a long-term effort - passing the House by overwhelming majorities in both 1997 and again in 2000 but failing to become law. This bill became law after passing the House of Representatives and the Senate in 2003 and was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court on April 18, 2007.
H.R. 6099, The Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act: During the 109th Congress, I also co-sponsored this piece of legislation that would require abortion providers to notify women who want to have an abortion 20 weeks after fertilization that the evidence suggests their unborn child feels pain and they may request anesthesia for their unborn child in order to reduce or eliminate the pain. While a clear majority of Representatives supported this bill, 250-162 on December 6, 2006, it failed to pass under rules requiring two-thirds support for passage.
H.R. 748, Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act: This particular piece of legislation has been presented to the House several times over the years I've been in Congress. In the 109th Congress, I co-sponsored this particular bill that strengthened parental notification laws. These laws are intended to protect children from rash or uninformed decisions and from coercion or exploitation at a vulnerable time in their lives. Parental notification laws are on the books in many states, however, there are states that don't or have lesser requirements. This bill would prevent minors from crossing state lines and having abortions performed in states with less stringent notification laws if their home state has stricter requirements.
The rational is that if parents are required to be notified before their child can be given an aspirin, then certainly they should be notified before a procedure like abortion is performed. While the House passed a similar measure to what passed the Senate, the bill ultimately failed to come out of a necessary House-Senate Conference Committee.