Protect Life Act

Floor Speech

By: Sam Farr
By: Sam Farr
Date: Oct. 13, 2011
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. FARR. Madam Speaker, I rise in strong opposition to H.R. 358, the Protect Life Act. This legislation intrudes on women's reproductive freedom and access to health care and unnecessarily restricts the private insurance choices that women and their families have today. Proponents say that it would simply ban federal funding of abortion. However, as we all know, current law prohibits federal funding of abortion.

The American people want us to work together to address their top priority: creating jobs. We are now at 280 days in this Congress without passing a jobs plan. Yet the Republican Majority continues to bring legislation to the floor that restricts women's reproductive health care.

H.R. 358 is another attempt by the Majority to pass an anti-abortion policy that already failed during the health care reform debate.

Current law allows policy holders to buy abortion coverage by making separate payments, but H.R. 358 would prohibit any insurance plan from offering abortion coverage if they have even one enrollee that receives federal subsidies. Thus, it effectively forces plans to choose between not offering abortion care to the entire population of a state and offering a plan to only a small number of enrollees--which choice makes more economic sense? What do you think insurance companies will choose?

H.R. 358 also supersedes current law by expanding the current definition of health care providers to include any employee of a health care entity that provides abortion services, whether they actually provide patient care or not. Make no mistake: these newly designated health care entities can refuse to provide or refer a woman for abortion care, even when a woman's life is in critical danger.

Madam Speaker, H.R. 358 makes it clear to the American people that the Republican Majority is much more interested in dismantling health reform and playing politics with divisive social issues than creating jobs and fixing our broken economy.