Things Happening in Congress - 2005

by Marlene Johnson
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Here are some of the bills that were before the 108th Congress which will hopefully be introduced in the current 109th congress.

Senate

Bill # Title Co-sponsors
S. 1558 Religious Restoration Act 12: 11 R, 1 D
S. 851 Child Custody Protection Act 25: 25 R
S. 245 Brownback Human Cloning Ban 29: 28 R, 1 D
S.J. Res. 30 Federal Marriage Amendment 17: 16 R, 1D
S. 340 Informed Choice Act
S. 51 The Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act 32

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist announced on January 24 that the Child Custody Act is one of the l09th Congress' "Top Ten" legislative agenda objectives. It would make it a federal offense to take minors across state lines in order to avoid state laws requiring parental or judicial consent before a child can have an abortion.

Senator Wayne Allard (R-Colorado) introduced his Marriage Protection Amendment in the Senate Monday January 24, Senate Joint Resolution 1, with 24 cosponsors.

Senator Sam Brownback reintroduced S. 51, The Unborn child Pain Awareness Act, in the Senate on Wednesday, January 26. It would require those who perform abortions on unborn children 20 weeks after fertilization or later to inform the woman seeking an abortion of the medical evidence that the unborn child feels pain. This information would be provided through a verbal statement given by the abortion provider and by supplying the woman with a brochure developed by the Department of Health and Human Services which goes into more detail than the verbal statement. The bill would also ensure that the woman, if she chooses to continue with the abortion procedure after being given the medical information, has the option of choosing anesthesia for the child so that the unborn child's pain is less severe.

House of Representatives

Bills before the House of Representative of the 108th Congress which will hopefully be reintroduced for the 109th Congress:

Bill # Title Co-sponsors
H.R. 486 RU-486 Patient Health and Safety Protection Act 43: 42 R, 1 D
H.R. 235 Houses of Worship Free Speech Restoration Act 168: 165 R, 3 D
H.R. 3190 Safeguarding our Religious Liberties Act 54: 52 R, 2 D
H.R. 1755 Child Custody Protection Act 111: 103 R, 8 D
H.J. Res. 56 Federal Marriage Amendment 132: 123 R, 9 D
H.R. 105 Informed Choice Act
H.R. 4420 Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act 116: 107 R, 9 D

H.R. 4420 has been reintroduced by Congressman Chris Smith (R. New Jersey) on January 26th, as H.R.356, Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act, with 31 cosponsors.

Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen is scheduled to introduce on February 9th the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act which includes all the provisions of H.R. 1755, Child Custody Protection Act.

Congressman Stearns reintroduced the Informed Choice Act (H.R. 216) in the House of Representatives. This critical pro-life bill authorizes $3,000,000 in federal grants for Crisis Pregnancy Centers to purchase ultrasound equipment for free examinations to pregnant women.

The Marriage Protection Amendment is to be reintroduced in the U.S. House of Representatives. A similar proposal gained a majority of votes in the House last year, but did not receive the super majority needed. Last fall, 14,000,000 voters in 11 states voted for state constitutional amendments defining marriage as being between one man and one woman.

Raising our consciousness level in important areas of concern is often the first step. There is a need to protect the rights of persons of conscience and institutions so that they are not legally bound to provide abortions, assist in abortions or provide drugs which result in abortions when such action is against their belief system. There has been little concern about the fact that the unborn child of 20 weeks development experiences pain during the abortion process if not anesthetized; the need for notification of both parents before an abortion is carried out on a minor; the need for federal, state and local health requirements with licensure and inspection for abortion facilities; the availability of RU486 and rules for its administration; requirements regarding informing women on all aspects of abortion and requiring a waiting period before performing an abortion; the need to support abstinence programs; the need to stop federal funding of abortions by some organizations as Planned Parenthood. These are some of the areas that will come the attention of the general public only as each of us become more informed and willing to communicate the information.


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Posted 13 Mar 2005.

Copyright 2005 by Greene County Right to Life
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