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Public Statements

Protect Life Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

* Mr. HOLT. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong opposition to H.R. 358, the Protect Life Act.

* Our first priorities in the House of Representatives must be helping to foster job creation and supporting middle class families. We are now 280 days in this Congress without passing a jobs plan.

* Instead, the Republicans have chosen to continue their radical assault on reproductive health care in the guise of preventing the use of federal funds to pay for abortion procedures. These bills and amendments are as unnecessary as they are offensive. Federal law already prohibits the use of federal funds to pay for abortion services except when a woman's life is endangered or she is a victim of rape or incest.

* H.R. 358 would impose unprecedented limitations on comprehensive reproductive health services that go far beyond current law.

* The bill would force health plans to drop comprehensive coverage in state health insurance exchanges. The bill would allow hospitals to refuse to provide life-saving care to women--even if they are facing an imminent threat of death. Further, the provisions in this bill are so broad that it would allow states to prohibit access to birth control, including providing emergency contraception to sexual-assault survivors.

* This bill claims that it would protect life. But the bill could end the lives of women who are in need of life-saving emergency care. Sadly, we have all heard of the stories of women who are faced with the heart-wrecking decision to terminate their pregnancies when they are told that their baby will not survive to term. This bill will prevent women in that difficult situation from receiving needed health care services even if they are facing a life-threatening situation themselves.

* This bill goes farther than ever in an extreme attempt to limit health coverage for American women, and make a legal, constitutionally protected medical procedure inaccessible to women.

* Instead of debating how to put Americans back to work, we are again spending our time debating a bill that would result in substandard health care for millions of Americans.

* I strongly oppose H.R. 358 and urge my colleagues to vote ``no'' on this dangerous piece of legislation.

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