Thad McCotter on Abortion
Republican Representative (MI-11)
Roe let government decide which life deserves protection
In another day, people used a phrase to express where a human being was most secure: "You are as safe as in your mother's womb." Today, one no longer hears this phrase. By denying an unborn child's God-given right to life, the Roe v.
Wade ruling ended the legal protections of unborn children and, unconscionably, their lives. Roe v. Wade empowered government to determine arbitrarily which innocent human lives deserved protection.
The decision ushered in other life denying and destroying practices--such as assisted suicide--which are premised on the assertion that innocent life is conditional and subject to government. Moreover, by seizing the contentious abortion issue from the
hands of the voters, the Supreme Court--deliberately designed as the least publicly accountable branch of American government--disenfranchised the American people from deciding the issue among themselves through democratic processes and institutions.
Source: Seize Freedom, by Rep. Thad McCotter, p.146
, Feb 8, 2011
Voted YES on banning federal health coverage that includes abortion.
Congressional Summary:Prohibits the expenditure of federal funds for any abortion.
- Prohibits federal funds from being used for any health benefits coverage that includes coverage of abortion. (Currently, federal funds cannot be used for abortion services and health plans must keep federal funds segregated from any funds for abortion services.)
- Disallows any tax benefits for amounts paid or incurred for an abortion.
- Provides exceptions for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest; or life-endangering maternal condition.
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:
Reference: No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act;
; vote number 11-HV292
on May 4, 2011
[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.
Voted NO 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:
- have been donated from in vitro fertilization clinics;
- were created for the purposes of fertility treatment;
- were in excess of the needs of the individuals seeking such treatment and would otherwise be discarded; and
- 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 NO 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
- Call for stem cells to be taken from human embryos that were donated from in vitro fertilization clinics
- Require that before the embryos are donated, that it be established that they were created for fertility treatment and in excess of clinical need and otherwise would be discarded
- Stipulate that those donating the embryos give written consent and do not receive any compensation for the donation.
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
- Allowing for exemptions to the law if the life of the minor is in danger or if a court in the minor's home state waive the parental notification required by that state
- Allocating fines and/or up to one year imprisonment of those convicted of transporting a minor over state lines to have an abortion
- Penalizing doctors who knowingly perform an abortion procedure without obtaining reasonable proof that the notification provisions of the minor's home state have been satisfied
- Requiring abortion providers in states that do not have parental consent laws and who would be performing the procedure on a minor that resides in another state, to give at least a 24 hour notice to the parent or legal guardian
- Specifying that neither the minor nor her guardians may be prosecuted or sued for a violation of this act
Voted YES 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;
; vote number 2003-530
on Oct 2, 2003
Voted YES 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 0% by NARAL, indicating a pro-life voting record.
McCotter scores 0% 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 100% by the NRLC, indicating a pro-life stance.
McCotter scores 100% by the NRLC on abortion issues
OnTheIssues.org interprets the 2006 NRLC scores as follows:
About the NRLC (from their website, www.nrlc.org):
- 0% - 15%: pro-choice stance (approx. 174 members)
- 16%- 84%: mixed record on abortion (approx. 101 members)
- 85%-100%: pro-life stance (approx. 190 members)
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
Prohibit transporting minors across state lines for abortion.
McCotter co-sponsored prohibiting taking minors across state lines for abortion
A bill to prohibit taking minors across State lines in circumvention of laws requiring the involvement of parents in abortion decisions.
Source: Child Custody Protection Act (S.2543&H.R.1063) 08-SR2543 on Jan 22, 2008
- Amends the federal criminal code to prohibit transporting a minor child across a state line to obtain an abortion (deems such transporting to be a de facto abridgment of the right of a parent under any law in the minor's state of residence that requires parental involvement in the minor's abortion decision).
- Makes an exception for an abortion necessary to safe the life of the minor.
- Makes it an affirmative defense to a prosecution or civil action under this Act that a defendant reasonably believed that required parental consent or judicial authorization took place.
- Imposes a fine and/or prison term of up to one year on anyone who has committed an act of incest with a minor and knowingly transports such minor across a state line to obtain an abortion.
Bar funding for abortion under federal Obamacare plans.
McCotter signed H.R.5939
A bill to prohibit taxpayer funded abortions and to provide for conscience protections, and for other purposes:
Source: No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act 10-HR5939 on Jul 29, 2010
- No funds authorized or appropriated by federal law, and none of the funds in any trust fund to which funds are authorized or appropriated by federal law, shall be expended for any abortion.
- None of the funds authorized or appropriated by federal law, and none of the funds in any trust fund to which funds are authorized or appropriated by federal law, shall be expended for health benefits coverage that includes coverage of abortion.
- No credit shall be allowed under the internal revenue laws with respect to amounts paid or incurred for an abortion or with respect to amounts paid or incurred for a health benefits plan (including premium assistance) that includes coverage of abortion.
- No health care service furnished or operated by the Federal government may include abortion.
Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as prohibiting purchasing separate abortion coverage or health benefits coverage that includes abortion so long as such coverage is paid for entirely using non-federal funds.
- Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as restricting the ability of any nonfederal health benefits coverage provider from offering abortion coverage, so long as only non-federal funds are used and such coverage shall not be purchased using matching funds required for a federally subsidized program.
- The limitations shall not apply to an abortion if the pregnancy is the result of an act of forcible rape, or incest with a minor; or in the case the woman is in danger of death unless an abortion is performed.
Ban abortions for sex selection or race selection.
McCotter co-sponsored PRENDA: Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act
Congressional Summary: Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act of 2011: Imposes criminal penalties on anyone who knowingly or knowingly attempts to:
Deems a violation of this Act to be prohibited discrimination under the Civil Rights Act of 1964. (Violators lose federal funding.)
- perform an abortion that is sought based on the sex, gender, color or race of the child, or the race of a parent;
- use the threat of force to intimidate any person for the purpose of coercing a sex-selection or race-selection abortion;
- solicit or accept funds for the performance of such an abortion; or
- transport a woman across a state line for the purpose of obtaining such an abortion.
Sponsor's Letter (Rep. Trent Franks):PRENDA restricts sex-selection abortion and race-selection abortion, and the coercion of a woman to obtain either.
The woman seeking an abortion is exempted from prosecution, while abortion providers are held to account.
Opponents' Opinion (Erin Gloria Ryan on jezebel.com):Rep. Franks, a white man, has claimed that his desire to disallow "race-selective abortions" is based on his concern that the black community is having so many abortions. He doesn't say how, exactly, doctors are supposed to determine that a black woman seeking an abortion is doing so because her fetus would be black or whether she's just doing it because she doesn't want to be pregnant. Let's be honest here: this isn't really about saving girls and minorities; it's about eventually making abortion illegal. A sex-selection ban would present the Supreme Court with a dilemma: it dares the pro-abortion justices to embrace an abortion right to kill girls for being girls.
Source: H.R.3541 11-H3541 on Dec 1, 2011
Prohibit federal funding for abortion.
McCotter signed No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act
TITLE I: Prohibiting Federally-Funded Abortions and Providing for Conscience Protections
- Prohibits federal funds from being used for any health benefits coverage that includes coverage of abortion. (Currently, federal funds cannot be used for abortion services and plans receiving federal funds must keep federal funds segregated from any funds for abortion services.)
- Excludes from such prohibitions an abortion if: the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest; or the woman would be place in danger of death unless an abortion is performed.
TITLE II: Elimination of Certain Tax Benefits Relating to Abortion
Source: H.R.3 &S.906 11-HR0003 on May 5, 2011
- Disqualifies, for purposes of the tax deduction for medical expenses, any amounts paid for an abortion.
- Excludes from the definition of "qualified health plan" after 2013, for purposes of the refundable tax credit for premium assistance for such plans, any plan that includes coverage for abortion.
Prohibiting forced abortions by UN Population Fund.
McCotter signed Prohibition on Funding to United Nations Population Fund
A BILL: To prohibit funding to the United Nations Population Fund.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives: Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Secretary of State may not make a contribution to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
[Explanation from Wikipedia.com]: UNFPA has been accused of providing support for government programs which have promoted forced-abortions and coercive sterilizations. Controversies regarding these allegations have resulted in a sometimes shaky relationship between the organization and the US government, with three presidential administrations, that of Ronald Reagan, George H. Bush and George W. Bush withholding funding from the UNFPA.
From 2002 through 2008, the Bush Administration denied funding to UNFPA that had already been allocated by the US Congress, partly on the grounds that the UNFPA supported Chinese government programs which include forced abortions and coercive sterilizations, thus violating the
UNFPA says it "does not provide support for abortion services". Its charter includes a strong statement condemning coercion. UNFPA's connection to China's administration of forced abortions was disputed by investigations carried out by various US, UK, and UN teams sent to examine UNFPA activities in China. A three-person US State Department fact-finding team was sent on a two week tour throughout China, concluding that it found "no evidence that UNFPA has supported or participated in the management of a program of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization in China," as has been charged by critics. However, according to then-Secretary of State Colin Powell, the UNFPA contributed vehicles and computers to the Chinese to carry out their population control policies.
The EU and Japan decided to fill the gap left behind by the US. In America, nonprofit organizations worked to compensate for the loss of US federal funding by raising private donations.
Source: H.R.2059 11-HR2059 on May 31, 2011
Supports the Pro-life Presidential Leadership Pledge.
McCotter signed the Pro-life Presidential Leadership Pledge
The Susan B. Anthony List's 2012 Pro-life Presidential Leadership Pledge asks declared presidential candidates to commit to key pro-life goals if elected to the presidency in 2012. While this is by no means a complete list of all pro-life objectives, having a President that actively supports these pro-life aims will keep up the momentum to achieve our ultimate goal of ending abortion in this country. The Pro-life pledge:
I PLEDGE that I will only support candidates for President who are committed to protecting Life. I demand that any candidate I support commit to these positions:
Source: Pro-life Presidential Leadership Pledge 12-SBA on Jan 1, 2012
- FIRST, to nominate to the U.S. federal bench judges who are committed to restraint and applying the original meaning of the Constitution, not legislating from the bench;
SECOND, to select only pro-life appointees for relevant Cabinet and Executive Branch positions, in particular the head of National Institutes of Health, the Department of Justice, and the Department of Health & Human Services;
- THIRD, to advance pro-life legislation to permanently end all taxpayer funding of abortion in all domestic and international spending programs, and defund Planned Parenthood and all other contractors and recipients of federal funds with affiliates that perform or fund abortions;
- FOURTH, advance and sign into law a Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act to protect unborn children who are capable of feeling pain from abortion.
Grant the pre-born equal protection under 14th Amendment.
McCotter co-sponsored granting the pre-born equal protection under 14th Amendment
Bill would implement equal protection under the 14th Amendment to the Constitution for the right to life of each born and preborn human person. The Right to Life Act declares that the right to life guaranteed by the Constitution is vested in each human being, and defines "human being" to encompass all stages of life, including the moment of fertilization or cloning.
Source: Right to Life Act (H.R.618) 2007-HR618 on Jan 22, 2007
Declare preborn as persons under 14th amendment.
McCotter signed Life at Conception Act
A bill to implement equal protection under the 14th article of amendment to the Constitution for the right to life of each born and preborn human person. Declares that the right to life guaranteed by the Constitution is vested in each human being beginning at the moment of fertilization, cloning, or other moment at which an individual comes into being. Prohibits construing this Act to authorize the prosecution of any woman for the death of her unborn child.
Source: S.346&HR.881 2009-S346 on Feb 4, 2009
Page last updated: Feb 23, 2012