Jean M Schmidt

Life and the Health Care Reform Bill - July 16, 2009

Jean M Schmidt
July 16, 2009— Washington, DC
Congressional floor speech
Print friendly

Thank you, Dr. Fleming.

I am actually not from New Jersey, but my husband was raised there. I'm from Ohio. And I'm very proud of that because I'm from the area where the right-to-life movement was actually born under the direction of Dr. Jack and Barbara Wilke. I'm also the Chair of the Congressional Women's Pro-Life Caucus, and I truly believe that our movement is at its best when we speak for those populations that are most vulnerable. We all believe that human life is sacred, and we are the female voices for the fight for life here in Congress.

Our movement has made great strides in creating a culture of life. A recent Gallup poll shows that a majority of Americans do consider themselves pro-life. And a recent Zogby poll said that 69 percent of respondents support the Hyde amendment to prevent taxpayer dollars from funding abortions under Medicaid. Most Americans, I truly believe, feel that abortion should be rare and we should be looking for ways to reduce the number of abortions performed.

Unfortunately, the massive health care bill that this House is considering seeks to take us in the opposite direction. Unless amended, this bill will mandate abortion coverage for nearly every insurance plan in America, because--as has been stated before and I'll state it again--if abortion mandates are not specifically excluded, the courts will rule that they must be included.

The coming days and weeks are the most important, I believe, for the pro-life movement since Roe v. Wade. As our Congress, this body, takes up comprehensive health care reform, I believe we the pro-life group in this body must mobilize and ensure that our voices are heard so that our Nation's voices are heard. Because if we don't act, every American will be forced to pay for these services, whether through their premiums or taxes. Abortion rates have fallen over the last 30 years, but if we fail to act, I wholeheartedly believe we will see abortion rates skyrocket.

Health care, you know, Dr. Fleming, and you know this all too well--you took that oath--is about saving lives. It's about providing our help, our love, our compassion, our prayers to the young women who need it. Health care reform should be about finding ways to do that better, not mandating coverage that we all agree will not do that. We should be doing things to make abortion rare. After all, everyone, including that unborn child, deserves the right to life.

Dr. Fleming, thank you so much for bringing this to the attention of this body and of the American people. You are a great American and hopefully you will save a life because of this action.

Speech from