Dear Congressman Holt,
The only consistent, rational answer is to say that as soon as the child gets its full genetic makeup that makes it its own unique being. And that is at conception. It's a scientific fact, not a belief, not a religious issue.
Dear Mr. Little:
Thank you for contacting me about health care. I appreciate hearing from you and I apologize for the delay in my reply.
As your voice in the U.S. House of Representatives, I always strive to represent my constituents' concerns and interests and provide personal service to them. I truly value your input and suggestions on the issues before the House. In a representative government such as ours, it is essential that I know what you are thinking in order to do my job.
I appreciate learning of your support for H.R. 1179, introduced by Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE). H.R. 1179 would amend the health reform law to permit a health plan to decline coverage of specific items and services that are contrary to the religious beliefs of the sponsor, issuer, or purchaser without penalty. This legislation has been referred to the Energy and Commerce Committee for further consideration. I will keep your thoughts in mind as this bill progresses through the legislative process.
As you may know, current law has prohibited the use of any federal funding to be used for abortion services since 1976. Since then the law has been subsequently expanded to cover federal health care programs so that federal government employees who wish to have abortions must pay for them "out-of-pocket". In addition, abortion services are not provided for U.S. military personnel and their families, Peace Corps volunteers, Indian Health Service clients, or federal prisoners.
You may be interested to know that the health reform law made no changes to existing prohibitions on the use of taxpayer dollars for abortion services. The law further maintains federal conscience rights for physicians and health practitioners. I believe that this amendment to the health care law is unnecessary, and have heard from many constituents who agree.
I believe that there are some matters that should not be legislated, and this is one of them. The choice of whether or not to have an abortion should be left up to a woman, her doctor, her family and her religion, not the federal government. If we are to reduce the need for abortion, it is essential that we provide women with the information and services they need to make responsible and educated family planning decisions.
Although we disagree on this issue, thank you for contacting me. To learn more about my work in Congress, please visit my website at http://holt.house.gov.I look forward to hearing from you again about this and other issues.
Member of Congress