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Allyson Schwartz on Abortion

Democratic Representative (PA-13)


Voted NO on banning federal health coverage that includes abortion.

Proponent's Argument for voting Yes:
[Rep. Fortenberry, R-NE]: Americans deserve to know how the government spends their money, and they are right to refuse the use of their tax dollars for highly controversial activities--in this case, abortion. Abortion harms women. It takes the lives of children, and it allows a man to escape his responsibility. The abortion industry many times profits from all of this pain. We can and must do better as a society, and at a minimum, taxpayer dollars should not be involved. This issue has manifested itself most intently during the health care debate. Unless a prohibition is enacted, taxpayers will fund abortion under the framework of the new health care law. Abortion is not health care.

Opponent's Argument for voting No:
[Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-NY]: H.R. 3 is actually dangerous for women's health. By refusing to provide any exceptions to women who are facing serious health conditions--cancer, heart or whatever that may be--you are forcing women to choose to risk their health or to risk bankruptcy, and I think that is morally unacceptable. Under H.R. 3, a woman facing cancer who needs to terminate a pregnancy in order to live might have to go into debt over the $10,000 that the legal and necessary procedure could cost. Despite having both health insurance and tax-preferred savings accounts, this bill would prevent her from having that.

Reference: No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act; Bill H.3 ; vote number 11-HV292 on May 4, 2011

Voted YES on expanding research to more embryonic stem cell lines.

Allows federal funding for research that utilizes human embryonic stem cells, regardless of the date on which the stem cells were derived from a human embryo, provided such embryos:
  1. have been donated from in vitro fertilization clinics;
  2. were created for the purposes of fertility treatment;
  3. were in excess of the needs of the individuals seeking such treatment and would otherwise be discarded; and
  4. were donated by such individuals with written informed consent and without any financial or other inducements.

Proponents support voting YES because:

Since 2 years ago, the last Stem Cell bill, public support has surged for stem cells. Research is proceeding unfettered and, in some cases, without ethical standards in other countries. And even when these countries have ethical standards, our failures are allowing them to gain the scientific edge over the US. Some suggest that it is Congress' role to tell researchers what kinds of cells to use. I suggest we are not the arbiters of research. Instead, we should foster all of these methods, and we should adequately fund and have ethical oversight over all ethical stem cell research.

Opponents support voting NO because:

A good deal has changed in the world of science. Amniotic fluid stem cells are now available to open a broad new area of research. I think the American people would welcome us having a hearing to understand more about this promising new area of science. As it stands today, we will simply have to debate the bill on the merits of information that is well over 2 years old, and I think that is unfortunate.

The recent findings of the pluripotent epithelial cells demonstrates how quickly the world has changed. Wouldn't it be nice to have the researcher before our committee and be able to ask those questions so we may make the best possible judgment for the American people?

Reference: Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act; Bill HR 3 ("First 100 hours") ; vote number 2007-020 on Jan 11, 2007

Voted YES on allowing human embryonic stem cell research.

To provide for human embryonic stem cell research. A YES vote would:
Reference: Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act; Bill HR 810 ; vote number 2005-204 on May 24, 2005

Voted NO on restricting interstate transport of minors to get abortions.

To prevent the transportation of minors in circumvention of certain laws relating to abortion, and for other purposes, including:
Reference: Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act; Bill HR 748 ; vote number 2005-144 on Apr 27, 2005

Expand contraceptive services for low-income women.

Schwartz co-sponsored expanding contraceptive services for low-income women

OFFICIAL CONGRESSIONAL SUMMARY: Amends Medicaid to:

  1. prohibit a state from providing for medical coverage unless it includes certain family planning services and supplies; and
  2. include women who are not pregnant but who meet income eligibility standards in a mandatory "categorically needy" group for family planning services purposes.

EXCERPTS OF BILL:

    Congress makes the following findings:
  1. Rates of unintended pregnancy increased by nearly 30% among low-income women between 1994 and 2002, and a low-income woman today is 4 times as likely to have an unintended pregnancy as her higher income counterpart.
  2. Abortion rates decreased among higher income women but increased among low income women in that period, and a low income woman is more than 4 times as likely to have an abortion as her higher income counterpart.
  3. Contraceptive use reduces a woman's probability of having an abortion by 85%.
  4. Levels of contraceptive use among low-income women at risk of unintended pregnancy declined significantly, from 92% to 86%.
  5. Publicly funded contraceptive services have been shown to prevent 1,300,000 unintended pregnancies each year, and in the absence of these services the abortion rate would likely be 40% higher than it is.
  6. By helping couples avoid unintended pregnancy, Medicaid-funded contraceptive services are highly cost-effective, and every public dollar spent on family planning saves $3 in the cost of pregnancy-related care alone.The Social Security Act is amended by adding [to the Medicaid section] the following: COVERAGE OF FAMILY PLANNING SERVICES AND SUPPLIES -- a State may not provide for medical coverage unless that coverage includes family planning services and supplies.

    LEGISLATIVE OUTCOME:Referred to Senate Committee on Finance; never came to a vote.

    Source: Unintended Pregnancy Reduction Act (S.2916/H.R.5795) 06-S2916 on May 19, 2006

    Emergency contraception for rape victims at all hospitals.

    Schwartz co-sponsored for emergency contraception for rape victims

    OFFICIAL CONGRESSIONAL SUMMARY: Prohibits any federal funds from being provided to a hospital unless the hospital provides to women who are victims of sexual assault:

    1. accurate and unbiased information about emergency contraception;
    2. emergency contraception on her request; and
    3. does not deny any such services because of the inability of the woman to pay.

    SPONSOR'S INTRODUCTORY REMARKS: Sen. CLINTON: This bill will help sexual assault survivors across the country get the medical care they need and deserve. It is hard to argue against this commonsense legislation. Rape--by definition--could never result in an intended pregnancy. Emergency contraception is a valuable tool that can prevent unintended pregnancy. This bill makes emergency contraception available for survivors of sexual assault at any hospital receiving public funds.

    Every 2 minutes, a woman is sexually assaulted in the US, and each year, 25,000 to 32,000 women become pregnant as a result of rape or incest. 50% of those pregnancies end in abortion.

    By providing access to emergency contraception, up to 95% of those unintended pregnancies could be prevented if emergency contraception is administered within the first 24 to 72 hours. In addition, emergency contraception could also give desperately needed peace of mind to women in crisis.

    The FDA recently made EC available over the counter for women 18 years of age and older. Despite the ideologically driven agenda against this drug, the research has been consistently clear--this drug is safe and effective for preventing pregnancy. Women deserve access to EC. For millions of women, it represents peace of mind. For survivors of rape and sexual assault, it offers hope for healing and a tomorrow free of painful reminders of the past.

    LEGISLATIVE OUTCOME:Referred to Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions; never came to a vote.

    Source: Compassionate Assistance for Rape Emergencies Act (S.3945) 06-S3945 on Sep 26, 2006

    Rated 0% by the NRLC, indicating a pro-choice stance.

    Schwartz scores 0% by the NRLC on abortion issues

    OnTheIssues.org interprets the 2006 NRLC scores as follows:

    About the NRLC (from their website, www.nrlc.org):

    The ultimate goal of the National Right to Life Committee is to restore legal protection to innocent human life. The primary interest of the National Right to Life Committee and its members has been the abortion controversy; however, it is also concerned with related matters of medical ethics which relate to the right to life issues of euthanasia and infanticide. The Committee does not have a position on issues such as contraception, sex education, capital punishment, and national defense. The National Right to Life Committee was founded in 1973 in response to the Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court decision, legalizing the practice of human abortion in all 50 states, throughout the entire nine months of pregnancy.

    The NRLC has been instrumental in achieving a number of legislative reforms at the national level, including a ban on non-therapeutic experimentation of unborn and newborn babies, a federal conscience clause guaranteeing medical personnel the right to refuse to participate in abortion procedures, and various amendments to appropriations bills which prohibit (or limit) the use of federal funds to subsidize or promote abortions in the United States and overseas.

    In addition to maintaining a lobbying presence at the federal level, NRLC serves as a clearinghouse of information for its state affiliates and local chapters, its individual members, the press, and the public.

    Source: NRLC website 06n-NRLC on Dec 31, 2006

    Ban anti-abortion limitations on abortion services.

    Schwartz co-sponsored Women's Health Protection Act

    Congressional summary:: Women's Health Protection Act: makes the following limitations concerning abortion services unlawful and prohibits their imposition or application by any government:

    Opponent's argument against (Live Action News): This is Roe v. Wade on steroids. The bill is problematic from the very beginning. Its first finding addresses "women's ability to participate equally"; many have rejected this claim that women need abortion in order to be equal to men, or that they need to be like men at all. The sponsors of this pro-abortion bill also seem to feel that pro-life bills have had their time in this country, and that we must now turn back to abortion. The bill also demonstrates that its proponents have likely not even bothered attempting to understand the laws they are seeking to undo, considering that such laws are in place to regulate abortion in order to make it safer. Those who feel that abortion is best left up for the states to decide will also find this bill problematic with its overreach. Sadly, the bill also uses the Fourteenth Amendment to justify abortion, as the Supreme Court did, even though in actuality it would make much more sense to protect the lives of unborn Americans.

    Source: H.R.3471 & S.1696 14-H3471 on Nov 13, 2013

    Ensure access to and funding for contraception.

    Schwartz co-sponsored ensuring access to and funding for contraception

    A bill to expand access to preventive health care services that help reduce unintended pregnancy, reduce abortions, and improve access to women's health care. The Congress finds as follows:

    1. Healthy People 2010 sets forth a reduction of unintended pregnancies as an important health objective to achieve over the first decade of the new century.
    2. Although the CDC included family planning in its published list of the Ten Great Public Health Achievements in the 20th Century, the US still has one of the highest rates of unintended pregnancies among industrialized nations.
    3. Each year, 3,000,000 pregnancies, nearly half of all pregnancies, in the US are unintended, and nearly half of unintended pregnancies end in abortion.
    4. In 2004, 34,400,000 women, half of all women of reproductive age, were in need of contraceptive services, and nearly half of those were in need of public support for such care.
    5. The US has the highest rate of infection with sexually transmitted diseases of any industrialized country. 19 million cases impose a tremendous economic burden, as high as $14 billion per year.
    6. Increasing access to family planning services will improve women's health and reduce the rates of unintended pregnancy, abortion, and infection with sexually transmitted diseases. Contraceptive use saves public health dollars. For every dollar spent to increase funding for family planning programs, $3.80 is saved.
    7. Contraception is basic health care that improves the health of women and children by enabling women to plan and space births.
    8. Women experiencing unintended pregnancy are at greater risk for physical abuse and women having closely spaced births are at greater risk of maternal death.
    9. A child born from an unintended pregnancy is at greater risk of low birth weight, dying in the first year of life, being abused, and not receiving sufficient resources for healthy development.
    Source: Prevention First Act (S.21/H.R.819) 2007-HR819 on Feb 5, 2007

    Focus on preventing pregnancy, plus emergency contraception.

    Schwartz signed Prevention First Act

    Source: S.21&H.R.463 2009-S21 on Jan 6, 2009

    Other governors on Abortion: Allyson Schwartz on other issues:
    PA Gubernatorial:
    Mark Critz
    Michael Nutter
    Tom Corbett
    Tom Wolf
    PA Senatorial:
    Bob Casey
    Pat Toomey

    Election 2013:
    NJ-R: Chris Christie (won)
    NJ-D: Barbara Buono (lost)
    VA-R: Bob McDonnell(Retiring)
    VA-R: Ken Cuccinelli (lost)
    VA-D: Terry McAuliffe (won)

    Gubernatorial Debates 2014:
    AL: Bentley(R) vs.Griffith(D)
    AR: Ross(D) vs.Hutchinson(R) vs.Griffin(R,Lt.Gov.)
    CO: Hickenlooper(D) vs.Beauprez(R) vs.Tancredo(R) vs.Hess(L)
    CT: Malloy(D) vs.Foley(R) vs.Walker(R,Lt.Gov.)
    FL: Scott(R) vs.Crist(D)
    GA: Deal(R) vs.Carter(D)
    HI: Abercrombie(D) vs.Aiona(R)
    IA: Branstad(R) vs.Hoefling(R) vs.Hatch(D)
    MA: Coakley(D) vs.Grossman(D) vs.Berwick(D) vs.Baker(R)
    ME: LePage(R) vs.Michaud(D) vs.Cutler(I)
    MI: Snyder(R) vs.Schauer(D)
    NM: Martinez(R) vs.King(D)
    NY: Cuomo(D) vs.Astorino(R) vs.Hawkins(G) vs.Teachout(D)
    OK: Fallin(R) vs.Boren(D)
    PA: Corbett(R) vs.Wolf(D) vs.Schwartz(D,lost primary) vs.Critz(D,Lt.Gov.,lost primary)
    Up for re-election 2014:
    AK-R: Sean Parnell
    AL-R: Robert Bentley
    CA-D: Jerry Brown
    CO-D: John Hickenlooper
    CT-D: Dan Malloy
    FL-R: Rick Scott
    GA-R: Nathan Deal
    HI-D: Neil Abercrombie
    IA-R: Terry Branstad
    ID-R: Butch Otter
    IL-D: Pat Quinn
    KS-R: Sam Brownback
    ME-R: Paul LePage
    MI-R: Rick Snyder
    MN-D: Mark Dayton
    NH-D: Maggie Hassan
    NM-R: Susana Martinez
    NV-R: Brian Sandoval
    NY-D: Andrew Cuomo
    OH-R: John Kasich
    OK-R: Mary Fallin
    OR-D: John Kitzhaber
    PA-R: Tom Corbett
    SC-R: Nikki Haley
    SD-R: Dennis Daugaard
    TN-R: Bill Haslam
    VT-D: Peter Shumlin
    WI-R: Scott Walker
    WY-R: Matt Mead
    Abortion
    Budget/Economy
    Civil Rights
    Corporations
    Crime
    Drugs
    Education
    Energy/Oil
    Environment
    Families/Children
    Foreign Policy
    Free Trade
    Govt. Reform
    Gun Control
    Health Care
    Homeland Security
    Immigration
    Infrastructure/Technology
    Jobs
    Local Issues
    Principles/Values
    Social Security
    Tax Reform
    War/Iraq/Mideast
    Welfare/Poverty

    Term-Limited or Retiring 2014:
    AR-D: Mike Beebe
    AZ-R: Jan Brewer
    MA-D: Deval Patrick
    MD-D: Martin O'Malley
    RI-I: Linc Chafee
    TX-R: Rick Perry


    Contact info:
    Fax Number:
    202-226-0611
    Mailing Address:
    Cannon HOB 330, Washington, DC 20515
    Official Website

    Page last updated: Jul 10, 2014