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Public Statements


Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. PITTS. Thank you, Jean. I really want to commend the lady from Ohio for her leadership and for the Pro-Life Women's Caucus for having this Special Order.

You know, there are really no more eloquent voices for women and children than pro-life women. You're not only eloquent; you're elegant. I want to thank you for your wonderful statements on the issue of life and of women and of the unborn child.

Abortion is an exploitation of women and children. I remember hearing a few years ago the President of Feminists for Life, Frederica Mathewes-Green, when she spoke to the Congressional Life Forum. She said abortion breaks a woman's heart. She said there are always two victims with an abortion. One is the baby. The other is the mother. One is dead. One is wounded. We should keep that in mind as we talk about this issue.

I am very sad to see this administration act so quickly in going towards promoting abortion policies. Three days after the President was inaugurated, on Friday evening at about 5:30, he issued an order overturning the Mexico City Policy. Mexico City was started by President Reagan, and it has been in our policy for many years. He overturned Mexico City. By eliminating the Mexico City Policy, what that does is permits all of the family planning funds that go to international organizations to go to organizations that promote and provide abortions. He has given them that money. Not only did he overturn Mexico City, but in the omnibus bill, he raised the amount of money this year to $545 million to go to these international organizations that promote and provide abortions. It's a tragedy. He is becoming known by many in the pro-life community as the ``abortion President.'' It's very unfortunate. It's very sad.

The next thing he did shortly after that was to issue an executive order overturning the Federal ban that President Bush had put on the stem cell policies, expanding the use of taxpayer funds for the use of destroying embryos so that they could harvest the stem cells and use them for experimentation. Not only did he do that, but he issued an order to discourage adult stem cell research. Now, we all know, having followed this for many years, that for the last 25 years, they've done research on mice and, for the last 12 or 13 years, on humans. The only thing that has worked as far as treating humans are adult stem cells. There are something like 73 successful treatments and several protocols using adult stem cells, but there is nothing using embryonic stem cells, which kills the tiniest of human beings, the human embryo.

Then he proposed a rule shortly after that to remove the critical regulations that were put in place to protect the right of conscience of health care workers so that now health care workers--doctors, nurses, those in health care--can be compelled against their consciences to provide abortion services, which are referrals and providing abortion services. This is another promotion, if you will, of abortion.

Then, in the omnibus bill, they removed the provisions that would have prevented funds from going to the UNFPA--the groups in China that promote abortion and that force abortion and sterilization. They now are eligible to get those funds for that practice.

I remember a few weeks ago that Harry Wu, the great human rights activist from China, who spent 19 years in their laogai, in the gulag there, presented testimony before the Human Rights Caucus. He said, in China, having a baby is not a human right. He said, if you have a second pregnancy, they will forcibly abort that woman. They will forcibly sterilize her. They will find her and tear down her house and sometimes imprison her. We are putting taxpayer funds into organizations that promote and provide that kind of service in China? It is really a terrible thing that American taxpayers, who have consciences against their funds being used for these things, are now seeing this administration open the floodgates for these kinds of provisions in our country and around the world.

Now, in this budget, in the Obama budget, he has included a loophole that will allow taxpayer funds for abortions in the District of Columbia.

The best way to reduce abortion is to limit taxpayer funding for abortion. There has been a lot of talk about abortion reduction, and the one thing that everyone seems to agree on is that public funding for abortion increases the number of unborn babies lost to abortion. Even the Alan Guttmacher Institute, the arm of Planned Parenthood, routinely issues reports showing that, when public funding is not available, 30 percent fewer women in the covered population have abortions. That means 30 percent of babies whose mothers receive government-subsidized health care survive because of an abortion funding restriction. So undermining commonsense policies like the restriction on taxpayer funding for abortion flies in the face of the President's claims that he is working to reduce abortion in America. It is very unfortunate.

I just want to commend the pro-life women for this Special Order tonight. They have an understanding like no one else on this issue, and it is so heartening to hear their eloquent testimony and their voices on behalf of women and children here in our country and around the world. So thank you. Thanks to the gentlelady for inviting me down. I really commend you for your Special Order tonight.


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