As an obstetrician who has delivered nearly 5,000 babies, I strongly support the sanctity of life. As a member of the Congressional Pro-Life Caucus, I will always be a strong and constant voice for the right to life.
Life is a precious miracle from God that begins at conception. Advanced technology like the 3-D ultrasound shows unborn children as living, breathing, feeling human beings. We must make our laws consistent with our science and provide full legal protections to the unborn. We have a responsibility and privilege as legislators to defend those who do not have a voice. If government has any legitimate function at all, it is to protect the most innocent among us, and I will do my best to uphold that protection.
I am a proud cosponsor of and voted for H.R. 7, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act, which provides a cohesive framework for prohibiting government funding for abortion, when it passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 238 to 183 on January 24, 2017. This important legislation closes any loopholes that could allow Obamacare to cover abortion services while Congress works with President Trump to repeal it. H.R. 7 would provide the necessary protections for innocent life as well as protecting the conscience rights of thousands of health care professionals who choose not to provide abortion services. Most importantly, this legislation again codifies that no taxpayer dollars should ever be used to pay for abortions.
In addition, I am also a cosponsor of H.R. 36, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would prohibit abortions from being performed on any unborn child twenty weeks or more into development, with exceptions for the mother’s safety and instances of rape or incest. I have seen firsthand that after twenty weeks of development, babies have fingers, toes and some even begin to hiccup. They have developed nerve centers for their senses, meaning they can hear, taste, smell, see, and most importantly feel.
I also joined several of my colleagues in writing to President Trump and Vice President Pence to urge them to take several actions that will enhance the right to life, including the appointment of pro-life justices to the Supreme Court. I am excited to work with the Trump administration to advance our pro-life principles, and was glad to see President Trump moved quickly to sign an executive order to reinstate the “Mexico City policy”, which prohibits any non-governmental organization that receives federal funding from providing abortions or advocating for abortion laws abroad.
I strongly oppose federal funding for Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood receives about $500 million in government funds each year, and, while they claim none of these dollars directly support abortion services because it is prohibited by federal law, these tax dollars undoubtedly add to the bottom line of an organization whose main business is abortion. These federal funds should be directed instead to the numerous federally qualified health centers across Tennessee and the U.S. that provide essential care to women but do not perform abortions.
I proudly cosponsored and voted for H.J.Res. 43 when it passed the House on February 16, 2017. This resolution repeals a Department of Health and Human Services rule that would limit states’ ability to choose to withhold Title X funding from abortion providers. I oppose this rule because I believe states should be able to consider whether or not an organization provides abortions when granting them taxpayer funding.
I am an original cosponsor of H.R. 217, the Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act, which prohibits organizations that offer abortions, like Planned Parenthood, from receiving Title X family planning funds.