Friday, December 2, 2011

My Recent Exchange with Congressman Holt on Abortion

Below is an email exchange today between my Congressman, Rush Holt, and me about abortion. I wonder if he'll reply again. 


Dear Congressman Holt,

Of course you realize how ludicrous it would be to say that 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 abortion means killing a human being, right?

I ask you, how can you determine when a conceived child becomes a human whose basic right to life should be protected by the government?  At birth? Why--what change in its nature occurs at that point to make a human worth protecting at that point?  Some time before?  Why? Explain at what objective point, based on science, a conceived child becomes a human being.

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.

I am 100% for supporting women's choice, but choice is never an absolute. I should not be allowed to choose to beat my wife, and my wife--or any other woman--should certainly not be allowed to choose to kill her unborn child. What we need to do is give women real choices, choices that are moral--helping them to raise the child or, at worst, facilitating them putting the child up for adoption.  


Mr. J. Ambrose Little, O.P.
An American Citizen and Your Constituent

P.S. If the existing law does what you say it does and makes the proposed law unnecessary, why is it being proposed?

On Fri, Dec 2, 2011 at 12:06 PM,  wrote:

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 look forward to hearing from you again about this and other issues.

Member of Congress