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Kendrick Meek on Abortion

Democratic Representative (FL-17)


I have a 100% voting record on abortion, unlike Gov. Crist

Crist said he left the Republican Party this spring on principle, because the party had become intolerant: "The Republican Party and the right wing of that party went so far right," said Crist. "He wants to overturn--listen to me, women watching--overtur Roe vs. Wade. He does not support stem-cell research; you know, these are extreme views that I am not comfortable with."

Meek said Crist's decision was more pragmatic. "We know why the governor is running as an independent--because he couldn't beat Marco Rubio," Meek said. Meek was quick to block Crist's effort to outflank him on abortion.

Meek said he has "a 100 percent voting record when it comes down to a woman's right to choose" in his eight years in Congress. "He's been all over the board, first a Republican, then he became an independent," Meek said of Crist. As a state legislator, education commissioner, attorney general and governor, Crist mostly supported GOP positions on economic and "family values" issues.

Source: Ft. Myers News-Press coverage of 2010 Florida Senate debate Oct 24, 2010

Endorsed by NARAL; opposed Stupak amendment

I voted against the Stupak amendment that would limit women's reproductive freedom. My strong progressive record has recently been recognized by endorsements from key groups such as the AFL-CIO and NARAL.
Source: Democracy for America 2010 endorsements Aug 11, 2010

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

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 NO 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 forbidding human cloning for reproduction & medical research.

Vote to pass a bill that would forbid human cloning and punish violators with up to 10 years in prison and fines of at least $1 million. The bill would ban human cloning, and any attempts at human cloning, for both reproductive purposes and medical research. Also forbidden is the importing of cloned embryos or products made from them.
Reference: Human Cloning Prohibition Act; Bill HR 534 ; vote number 2003-39 on Feb 27, 2003

Rated 100% by NARAL, indicating a pro-choice voting record.

Meek scores 100% 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

Rated 9% by the NRLC, indicating a pro-choice stance.

Meek scores 9% 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

Opposes prohibiting human embryonic stem cell research.

Meek opposes the CC survey question on banning stem-cell research

The Christian Coalition voter guide [is] one of the most powerful tools Christians have ever had to impact our society during elections. This simple tool has helped educate tens of millions of citizens across this nation as to where candidates for public office stand on key faith and family issues.

The CC survey summarizes candidate stances on the following topic: "Prohibiting human embryonic stem cell research". [Supporting this statement means the candidate would ban such research; opposing it means the candidate would allow such research].

Source: Christian Coalition Survey 10-CC-q1a on Aug 11, 2010

Supports federal abortion funding.

Meek supports the CC survey question on funding abortion

The Christian Coalition voter guide [is] one of the most powerful tools Christians have ever had to impact our society during elections. This simple tool has helped educate tens of millions of citizens across this nation as to where candidates for public office stand on key faith and family issues.

The CC survey summarizes candidate stances on the following topic:"Public funding of abortions, (such as govt. health benefits and Planned Parenthood)"

Source: Christian Coalition Survey 10-CC-q1b on Aug 11, 2010

Focus on preventing pregnancy, plus emergency contraception.

Meek signed Prevention First Act

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

Other candidates on Abortion: Kendrick Meek on other issues:
FL Gubernatorial:
Rick Scott
FL Senatorial:
Bill Nelson
Marco Rubio

Retiring as of Jan. 2011:
CT:Dodd(D)
DE:Kaufman(D)
FL:Martinez(R)
FL:LeMieux(R)
IL:Burris(D)
IN:Bayh(D)
KS:Brownback(R)
KY:Bunning(R)
MO:Bond(R)
ND:Dorgan(D)
NH:Gregg(R)
OH:Voinovich(R)
PA:Specter(R)
UT:Bennett(R)
WV:Goodwin(D)

Unseated as of Jan. 2011:
AR:Lincoln(D)
UT:Bennett(R)
WI:Feingold(D)


Newly elected, Nov. 2010:
AR:Boozman(R)
CT:Blumenthal(D)
CO:Bennet(D)
DE:Coons(D)
FL:Rubio(R)
IL:Kirk(R)
IN:Coats(R)
KS:Moran(R)
KY:Paul(R)
MO:Blunt(R)
ND:Hoeven(R)
NH:Ayotte(R)
NY2:Gillibrand(D)
OH:Portman(R)
PA:Toomey(R)
UT:Lee(R)
WI:Johnson(R)
WV:Manchin(D)


Re-elected, Nov. 2010:
AK:Murkowski(I)
AL:Shelby(R)
AZ:McCain(R)
CA:Boxer(D)
GA:Isakson(R)
HI:Inouye(D)
IA:Grassley(R)
ID:Crapo(R)
LA:Vitter(R)
MD:Mikulski(D)
NC:Burr(R)
NV:Reid(D)
NY6:Schumer(D)
OK:Coburn(R)
OR:Wyden(D)
SC:DeMint(R)
SD:Thune(R)
VT:Leahy(D)
WA:Murray(D)
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Page last updated: Nov 27, 2010