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Public Statements

Protect Life Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

* Mr. BLUMENAUER. Madam Speaker, today I voted against the badly flawed H.R. 358, a Republican bill brought to the floor today that will have a profoundly negative impact on a woman's ability to make personal healthcare decisions. I am deeply troubled by any congressional action that restricts a woman's right to choose. I oppose this legislation and reiterate my support for a women's right to make her own decision about her healthcare decisions and obtain access to emergency care.

* Instead of advancing policies to put Americans back to work, Republicans instead have decided to debate legislation restricting the health care choices available to women and their families. If enacted, H.R. 358 would limit the choices individuals and families have regarding their health insurance coverage, even forcing individuals to drop coverage they have already selected. It gives hospital workers the right to refuse treatment to women in need, even in the case of rape, incest or life-threatening complications. To force insurance companies and healthcare providers to deny a woman access to a legal procedure would be a very disturbing step backwards.

* Already federal law prohibits federal funds from being used for abortions, except in cases of rape or incest, or when the life of the woman would be endangered. This legislation further restricts the ability of individuals and families to make personal decisions about their health care.

* At a time when my colleagues are saying that they want to make government smaller, it is hypocritical and dangerous to pretend that a small government gets to make personal health care decisions for women and families. There is no room for government involvement in the personal and difficult decisions around women's reproductive choices. I strongly oppose this legislation.

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