Protecting the Right to Life
By Congressman Simpson
Throughout my time in Congress, I have considered it one of my most important responsibilities to protect the God-given right to life by supporting life-affirming federal policies.
March 4, 2022
OPED Word Count: 740
By Congressman Mike Simpson
Washington, D.C. – “Throughout my time in Congress, I have considered it one of my most important responsibilities to protect the God-given right to life by supporting life-affirming federal policies. At a time when the pro-life message of hope is being questioned within the halls of Congress, this mission is more important than ever, and I am pleased to share some of my recent actions in Congress aimed at fighting for the rights of the unborn.
“Like most Americans, I oppose using taxpayer dollars to support abortion activities. For several decades, federal appropriations legislation has carried language that prohibits federal funding for abortions and protects conscience rights of healthcare providers and entities. These provisions are commonly known as the Hyde and Weldon amendments, respectively, named for their chief Congressional architects.
“Though the majority of Americans do not want their tax dollars to fund abortions, U.S. House of Representatives Democrats stripped the Hyde and Weldon amendments from the Fiscal Year 2022 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. To remedy this extreme omission, Republicans on the Appropriations Committee offered an amendment to restore these funding restrictions. As a member of the Appropriations Committee, I cosponsored this amendment and spoke in support of Hyde and Weldon during the markup of that bill. Despite strong remarks from Republicans on the panel, the amendment failed by a vote of 27-32 and was not included in the bill. It is now being conferenced with the Senate version of the bill. The Hyde and Weldon amendments must be restored before the final Fiscal Year 2022 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill can become law.
“Another recent opportunity I had to defend the right to life included opposing H.R. 3755, the Women’s Health Protection Act. This bill would cement access to abortion services nationwide up until the birth of the child and would void nearly every state law that protects unborn children, including parental consent laws and limits on late-term abortions. Unfortunately, H.R. 3755 passed in the House of Representatives on September 24, 2021, on a largely party-line vote of 218-211 and now awaits further consideration in the Senate. Republicans in Congress remain committed to blocking this bill from becoming law, and I am eager to vote against the bill again if it comes back before me in the House.
“I voted against H.R. 3755 and am appalled at the extreme pro-abortion language contained in this legislation. In addition to granting a green light for late-term abortions, H.R. 3755 includes vague language that could jeopardize conscience protections for medical professionals. It would also allow discriminatory abortions based off sex, race, and disability. This is contrary to the will of most Americans, a majority of whom oppose abortions with no limits.
“I have always supported efforts to curb the practice of abortion, including several bills in the 117th Congress which I have cosponsored:
· H.R. 6060, the Conscience Protection Act of 2021 – This bill would prohibit governmental discrimination against health care providers that do not participate in abortion.
· H.R. 1080, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act – This bill would establish a new criminal offense for performing or attempting to perform an abortion on unborn children who are 20 weeks gestation and older.
· H.R. 18, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act of 2021 – This bill would create a government wide prohibition on any taxpayer funding of abortion and provides for conscience protections for physicians employed by the federal government. It also would ensure that no federal tax dollars are entangled in abortion coverage under Obamacare.
· H.R. 705, the Heartbeat Protection Act of 2021 – This bill would make it a crime for a physician to knowingly perform an abortion (1) without determining whether the fetus has a detectable heartbeat, (2) without informing the mother of the results, or (3) after determining that a fetus has a detectable heartbeat.
· H.R. 619, the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act – This bill would require health practitioners to exercise the same degree of care to preserve the life of the child as any health practitioner would to a child born alive at the same gestational stage.
“While progress on this front has certainly been made, the fight is far from over. Upholding this commitment is not something I take lightly. I will continue to use my seat in Congress to ensure the rights of the unborn are protected as the 117th Congress proceeds.”