Cliff Stearns on Abortion
Republican Representative (FL-6)
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 mother’s 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
Voted YES on funding for health providers who don't provide abortion info.
Abortion Non-Discrimination Act of 2002: Vote to pass a bill that would prohibit the federal, state and local governments that receive federal funding from discriminating against health care providers, health insurers, health maintenance organizations, and any other kind of health care facility, organization or plan, that decline to refer patients for, pay for or provide abortion services. In addition the bill would expand an existing law "conscience clause" that protects physician training programs that refuse to provide training for abortion procedures.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Bilirakis, R-FL;
Bill HR 4691
; vote number 2002-412
on Sep 25, 2002
Voted YES on banning Family Planning funding in US aid abroad.
Vote to adopt an amendment that would remove language reversing President Bush's restrictions on funding to family planning groups that provide abortion services, counseling or advocacy.
Reference: Amendment sponsored by Hyde, R-IL;
Bill HR 1646
; vote number 2001-115
on May 16, 2001
Voted YES on federal crime to harm fetus while committing other crimes.
Vote to pass a bill that would make it a federal crime to harm a fetus while committing any of 68 federal offenses or a crime under military law. Abortion doctors and women whose own actions harmed their fetuses would be exempt.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Graham, R-SC;
Bill HR 503
; vote number 2001-89
on Apr 26, 2001
Voted YES on banning partial-birth abortions.
HR 3660 would ban doctors from performing the abortion procedure called "dilation and extraction" [also known as “partial-birth” abortion]. The measure would allow the procedure only if the life of the woman is at risk.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Canady, R-FL;
Bill HR 3660
; vote number 2000-104
on Apr 5, 2000
Voted YES on barring transporting minors to get an abortion.
The Child Custody Protection Act makes it a federal crime to transport a minor across state lines for the purpose of obtaining an abortion.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Ros-Lehtinen, R-FL;
Bill HR 1218
; vote number 1999-261
on Jun 30, 1999
Rated 0% by NARAL, indicating a pro-life voting record.
Stearns 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
Prohibit transporting minors across state lines for abortion.
Stearns 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.
Stearns 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.
Prohibit federal funding for abortion.
Stearns 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.
Stearns 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
Page last updated: Jun 10, 2012