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Harold Ford on Abortion

Former Democratic Representative (TN-9, 1997-2007)


Pro-life; education before pregnancy to reduce abortions

Q: What would you do about abortion?

CORKER: I am pro-life. I support the culture of life. Iíd appoint judges who donít create law from the bench, but interpret the laws that are on the books. Iíd love to incrementally work to lessen the number of abortions in this country.

FORD: Iím pro-life too. Weíve got to take steps early on, even before a woman gets pregnant, by putting character education & abstinence programs in our schools, and other legislation to reduce the number of abortions.

Source: 2006 TN Senate debate, at Univ. of Chattanooga, x-ref Corker Oct 10, 2006

Supports stem cell research of all types

Q: What about stem cell research on fertilized eggs that would otherwise be destroyed?

CORKER: My dad has Alzheimerís, and I know a lot of people are afflicted. I want to use every piece of science available to cure those diseases -- adult stem cells; cord research -- those types of stem cell research that have actually been proven, I want to see those carried out. I was incredibly disappointed that this last Congress did not add the money necessary to make sure that those types of technology are carried on. I do not support the type of stem cell research that destroys human life. But I strongly support those kinds that are proven to cure diseases, where we have tremendous breakthroughs.

FORD: When it comes to stem cells, Iím with [the people]. His party has blocked it. He claims that the Congress blocked it -- I would remind my opponent that the Republicans who control the House, the Senate, and the White House.

Source: 2006 TN Senate debate, at Univ. of Chattanooga, x-ref Corker Oct 10, 2006

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 YES 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

Voted NO on making it a crime to harm a fetus during another crime.

Vote to pass a bill that would make it a criminal offense to harm or kill a fetus during the commission of a violent crime. The measure would set criminal penalties, the same as those that would apply if harm or death happened to the pregnant woman, for those who harm a fetus. It is not required that the individual have prior knowledge of the pregnancy or intent to harm the fetus. This bill prohibits the death penalty from being imposed for such an offense. The bill states that its provisions should not be interpreted to apply a woman's actions with respect to her pregnancy.
Reference: Unborn Victims of Violence Act; Bill HR 1997 ; vote number 2004-31 on Feb 26, 2004

Voted YES on banning partial-birth abortion except to save motherís life.

Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003: Vote to pass a bill banning a medical procedure, which is commonly known as "partial-birth" abortion. The procedure would be allowed only in cases in which a women's life is in danger, not for cases where a women's health is in danger. Those who performed this procedure, would face fines and up to two years in prison, the women to whom this procedure is performed on are not held criminally liable.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Santorum, R-PA; Bill S.3 ; vote number 2003-530 on Oct 2, 2003

Voted NO on funding for health providers who don't provide abortion info.

Abortion Non-Discrimination Act of 2002: Vote to pass a bill that would prohibit the federal, state and local governments that receive federal funding from discriminating against health care providers, health insurers, health maintenance organizations, and any other kind of health care facility, organization or plan, that decline to refer patients for, pay for or provide abortion services. In addition the bill would expand an existing law "conscience clause" that protects physician training programs that refuse to provide training for abortion procedures.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Bilirakis, R-FL; Bill HR 4691 ; vote number 2002-412 on Sep 25, 2002

Voted NO on banning Family Planning funding in US aid abroad.

Vote to adopt an amendment that would remove language reversing President Bush's restrictions on funding to family planning groups that provide abortion services, counseling or advocacy.
Reference: Amendment sponsored by Hyde, R-IL; Bill HR 1646 ; vote number 2001-115 on May 16, 2001

Voted NO on federal crime to harm fetus while committing other crimes.

Vote to pass a bill that would make it a federal crime to harm a fetus while committing any of 68 federal offenses or a crime under military law. Abortion doctors and women whose own actions harmed their fetuses would be exempt.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Graham, R-SC; Bill HR 503 ; vote number 2001-89 on Apr 26, 2001

Voted YES on banning partial-birth abortions.

HR 3660 would ban doctors from performing the abortion procedure called "dilation and extraction" [also known as ďpartial-birthĒ abortion]. The measure would allow the procedure only if the life of the woman is at risk.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Canady, R-FL; Bill HR 3660 ; vote number 2000-104 on Apr 5, 2000

Voted YES on barring transporting minors to get an abortion.

The Child Custody Protection Act makes it a federal crime to transport a minor across state lines for the purpose of obtaining an abortion.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Ros-Lehtinen, R-FL; Bill HR 1218 ; vote number 1999-261 on Jun 30, 1999

Rated 30% by NARAL, indicating a pro-life voting record.

Ford scores 30% by NARAL on pro-choice voting record

For over thirty years, NARAL Pro-Choice America has been the political arm of the pro-choice movement and a strong advocate of reproductive freedom and choice. NARAL Pro-Choice America's mission is to protect and preserve the right to choose while promoting policies and programs that improve women's health and make abortion less necessary. NARAL Pro-Choice America works to educate Americans and officeholders about reproductive rights and health issues and elect pro-choice candidates at all levels of government. The NARAL ratings are based on the votes the organization considered most important; the numbers reflect the percentage of time the representative voted the organization's preferred position.

Source: NARAL website 03n-NARAL on Dec 31, 2003

Protect the reproductive rights of women.

Ford co-sponsored protecting the reproductive rights of women