Cathy McMorris Rodgers

Cathy McMorris Rodgers Supports H.R. 36- May 13, 2015

Cathy McMorris Rodgers
May 13, 2015— Washington, D.C.
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Madam Speaker, we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal. That they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these rights are the rights of Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. The bill before the house today affirms what a majority of Americans believes. That over halfway through a pregnancy, an unborn baby deserves the full protection of the law and the constitution. As a mother of three and a legislator, I have always believed that every life has value. Every life has the opportunity to reach it’s full potential. We live in an extraordinary time in which we’re not bound by the conditions of our birth. We are not set by circumstance. And we should not define what limits us, but be empowered by what we become. As lawmakers, it is our responsibility to ensure that our laws reflect that.

Medical science continues to evolve to create greater potential for life. Emerging research is challenging what we thought to be true of the earliest stages of human life. Just last week, the New York Times highlighted a study that showed a growing number of premature infants surviving after the point at which this bill would make abortion illegal. As a society, we need to ask, whether we want to move forward, with a better standard of living, or if we want to rely on the outdated scientific research of the past. I want to legislate for the future. And the future will be defined by how we use the advancements taking place today to advance, protect and improve human life. Those who represent the future are already there. There was a recent poll that fifty-seven percent of all millennials support this legislation.

And they echo the voice of America. Sixty percent of Americans, democrat, republicans, independents, support the pain capable act. Abortion is really a symptom of larger challenges that exist in our society, and these challenges demand attention of lawmakers. Pretending that there is a one size fits all approach to abortions ignores the complex circumstances that surround each woman who is forced to consider choosing an abortion. This bill recognizes, that at the halfway point of a pregnancy, a baby, who has developed five months. Those circumstances are increasingly more unique. Research shows that abortion becomes riskier to a woman’s health later it occurs in pregnancy.

We should not trivialize the decision to undertake an abortion at 20 weeks by suggesting it should be made with additional medical or emotional support. We should write laws that empower women to make these decisions. We should support laws that show compassion for women. We should trust individuals to make the best decisions for themselves. And we want to empower every single person to reach their full potential. This country has made great strives in empowering all people, no matter where they started. That’s why I’m here, to stand as a fierce protector of every life. The human rights and dignity of each person should be reflected in every single piece of legislation that we bring to the floor.

This bill asked us to consider whether we as a society want to tolerate abortion at any point of development, even though we know babies can feel pain at twenty weeks, and survive outside the womb. This bill asked us to consider if it is compassionate to maintain a system that does nothing to offer emotional or medical support for a woman who is making the difficult decision to choose abortion five months into her pregnancy. These are questions that we must ask. And I am prepared to answer them, by supporting the pain capable unborn child protection act. And I urge my colleagues to reject the motion to recommit.