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Statement on H.R. 3


Location: Unknown

As you may know, I first commented on this matter on February 4, 2011. Here is what I said about H.R. 3 at the time:

"I welcome yesterday's news that Congressman Chris Smith of New Jersey, the author of H.R. 3, is going to strike the word "forcible' from the bill. Doing so will bring the bill's language in line with the language of the Hyde Amendment, which has been the law of the land for 35 years. The intention of the bill, as originally drafted, was not to change existing law regarding the use of taxpayer dollars for abortion-related services in cases of rape. Rape is a violent and despicable act in every circumstance. It is my firm belief that our laws should always reflect that fact."

My position has not changed. I feel as strongly today as I did then that rape is a violent and despicable act in every circumstance. As for H.R. 3, I would have voted against it had it not been amended to remove the word "forcible." Between the plain language of the bill, which no longer includes the word "forcible," and eighteen years of precedent of not differentiating between rape and statutory rape, I expect that the status quo will be maintained.

Finally, as you probably know, I am opposed to abortion. I understand that this issue, more than almost any other, is deeply personal and gives rise to very strong thoughts and feelings. My position is informed by my personal faith and, like you, I feel strongly about the issue. However, even though I know we may never agree on this particular issue, I sincerely believe that people on both sides can find common ground toward the betterment of our communities.

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