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Statement On The Stupak-pitts Amendment To The Affordable Health Care For America Act (H.R. 3962)

Press Release

Location: Washington, D.C.

"From my first day in Congress to today, I have voted consistently and affirmatively to ban the use of taxpayer funds for abortion. However, I am in favor of a woman's right to choose. Personal decisions, such as deciding whether or not to have an abortion, should involve a woman, her family and her faith. If an abortion is a personal decision, the government should not interfere nor should taxpayers fund such procedures.

It is for these reasons that today I intend to vote against the Stupak-Pitts Amendment to the Affordable Health Care for America Act (H.R. 3962). Supporting the Capps compromise language represents a continuation of my voting record. The Capps language already included in H.R. 3962 expressly prohibits the use of taxpayer funds for abortions--establishing a stringent segregation policy that goes even beyond the Hyde Amendment's application to Medicaid. This language ensures that both pro-choice and pro-life Americans can find a plan that meets their needs--requiring no one to purchase a policy that covers abortion.

The Stupak-Pitts Amendment, however, goes far beyond a restriction on taxpayer funds by limiting what private citizens can do with their own funds. The amendment wrongly entangles the health care debate with the ongoing battle over abortion.

Should the amendment pass, however, I remain committed to voting in favor of H.R. 3962 because the stakes are simply too high. Americans have waited too long for the promise of affordable, quality health care. I have the utmost respect for both the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and my colleague Representative Bart Stupak, and appreciate that with the inclusion of the Stupak amendment, we can count on their support for this historic legislation."

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