U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson (MO-08) today commemorated the 37th anniversary of the Supreme Court's decision in the case of Roe v. Wade.
"Life issues are no less important today than they were 37 years ago. In legislation from health care to annual funding decisions by Congress, important decisions are being made that directly affect the availability and prevalence of abortion in America," Emerson said. "It is absolutely essential that we continue to work to protect all Americans in every stage of life, as well as to protect the conscience of the American taxpayer."
Emerson and some 40 other members of Congress penned a letter to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi this week expressing serious concern about provisions of the health care bill that would enable government funding of abortion. Ensuring that the bipartisan Stupak/Pitts Amendment to the health care bill survives in any final health care legislation is key to preventing taxpayer-funded abortion, she says.
"The Stupak/Pitts Amendment is a clear statement by a bipartisan majority of members of the U.S. House of Representatives that it should not be the policy of the federal government to subsidize the practice of abortion. Health care is complicated and controversial enough without adding this issue to the thousand pages of legislation under discussion. This is just another reason why congressional leadership ought to slow down the process of health care reform to allow the process to be public and transparent. The American people have an absolute right to know what is in this bill before it is voted on," Emerson added.
Health care discussions are currently taking place between the leadership offices of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, where any provision of the bills passed earlier in each chamber have the potential to change. Emerson opposed the House health care reform bill passed in 2009, though she supported the Stupak/Pitts Amendment to prevent federal funding of abortion.