U.S. Rep Rodney Alexander, R-Quitman, released the following remarks in support of H.R. 358, the Protect Life Act, which the House is expected to vote on this afternoon. A bipartisan bill introduced by Reps. Joseph Pitts and Dan Lipinski, the Protect Life Act will guarantee no taxpayer funds authorized and appropriated through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) will be used to pay for abortions or abortion coverage. In addition to protecting taxpayer dollars from being used to pay for this procedure, the bill will guard the conscience rights of health care providers by barring state and local governments that receive funds under PPACA from discriminating against those unwilling to perform, participate in or train, refer, or pay for abortions.
"I strongly support the Protect Life Act, which amends the health care reform law so that it truly protects the sanctity of human life. With 146 bipartisan cosponsors, including myself, H.R. 358 has broad support in the House.
"More importantly, the American people--who time and time again have opposed tax dollars going toward abortions--will be protected from funding such a contentious and divisive practice.
"It is equally essential we ensure that no health care provider is forced to infringe upon their conscience by participating in abortions, or discriminated against for not performing procedures that go against their moral or religious convictions.
"So that enough support was garnered to enact the health care reform law, President Obama did sign an Executive Order saying that taxpayer funds cannot be used for abortions. However, it is critical to remember this order can be revoked or disregarded at any time as it does not have the force of law. By passing H.R. 358, we will clarify another ambiguity the PPACA has controversially created.
"As a member of the Congressional Pro-life Caucus, I will continue to make certain that protections are in place to give those who cannot speak a voice.
"Our hard-working citizens should not be forced to financially back initiatives that go against their moral fiber, and our doctors should not be discriminated against for adhering to their beliefs. Congress must act now to fight for the right to life and to support needed safeguards for the unborn."