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Providing for Consideration of H.R. 358, Protect Life Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. CASSIDY. Madam Speaker, if anyone is concerned about our jobs program, go to That's all the bills we've introduced so far that we have passed--most of the time you have not participated, but indeed it directly addresses the need for more jobs.

Secondly, I think we may have some common ground, it just may be that we have not read the same bill. For example, folks keep saying that this will not allow women to purchase coverage even with their own money. May I direct folks to page 6, line 8: Premiums for such coverage or plan--it goes on to say--may be used as long as it's not government money. It can be the individual's own money.

Third, there is this kind of myth that this will prevent women from having abortions. Medicaid currently does not pay for abortions; there are many Medicaid women who get abortions. The Federal Employees Health Benefits Program does not cover abortion. I suspect--although I don't know--that there are many women covered by the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program who indeed get abortions. Empirically, we know what's being asserted is not true.

Then there is the question of whether or not they're going to be denied lifesaving health care. If you go to page 4, line 20: This does not apply in the case where a pregnant woman suffers from physical disorder, physical injury, or physical illness that would, as certified by a physician, place the female in danger of death unless an abortion is performed.

So I think we have common ground.

The leader on the other side's next point said that this is a dramatic departure from current law, but that's kind of a curious term or phrase, because we know that current law is the President's health care plan. It is current law that has turned upside down the equilibrium that had been reached between freedom of faith for the provider to practice versus the dicta of State as to what to provide. So she is right; it dramatically overturns current law--that's the point--because the Affordable Care Act dramatically overturned that delicate balance.

Lastly, I want to point out something else. I'm a physician. I work in a hospital for the uninsured, and I teach medical students. I was there last Monday teaching medical students. You know, over 50 percent of the residents, probably 60 percent of the residents doing OB/GYN are women, and many of them are concerned about issues like this.

As we speak about women, let's not also forget the woman's right to practice her faith. And if she chooses to practice her faith in a way which preserves life, she should not be coerced by the dictates of an overreaching State.


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