Congressman Pete Olson

Representing the 22nd District of Texas

The New Congress's Opportunity to Turn the Tide on Abortions

January 24, 2017
Op-Ed
The Hill

Thomas Jefferson once said, “The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only object of good government.”  As a staunch defender of the unborn, I believe life begins at conception and every life has a soul. That’s why I work hard to enact policies that protect the unborn. As long as I am blessed to serve in Congress, I will continue to defend life.

Hillary Clinton ran for president on a platform to join Planned Parenthood in dismantling a 30 year, bipartisan agreement that protects American taxpayers from being forced to pay to end human life. Regardless of where Americans fall on pro-life issues, a majority oppose their tax dollars being spent on abortion. Thankfully, our incoming president wants to protect the unborn.

As we begin the 115th Congress with a unified Republican government, we have a unique opportunity to turn the tide on defending the unborn.  That’s why my fellow pro-life colleagues and I are gearing up to usher in an era of defending the unborn through thoughtful policies that protect life. First and foremost, we need pro-life jurists on the Supreme Court. We intend to work closely with President Trump and our former House colleague, Vice-President Pence to ensure a strong pro-life justice is appointed to the Supreme Court to replace pro-life Justice Antonin Scalia.

We will also work to send our new administration bills that protect the unborn. A top legislative priority is outlawing late-term abortions that result in excruciating pain for the unborn child. We must also end taxpayer funding of the abortion industry by defunding Planned Parenthood. Community health centers that strive to improve access to quality healthcare for women outnumber Planned Parenthood clinics by a startling margin of 20 to 1. Instead of directing tax dollars to big abortion, we should direct them to community health centers and increase women’s access to needed care. I applaud House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and our House leadership for making this a priority in the upcoming budget bill.

For 40 years, American taxpayers have been protected from having to fund most abortions and abortion coverage through government programs like Medicaid thanks to a funding mechanism called the Hyde Amendment. This amendment originated with the late, pro-life champion Rep. Henry Hyde (R-Ill.) and has been included to annual spending bills by both Republican and Democrat majorities. Planned Parenthood has decided that the taxpayer dollars they have received isn’t enough, and they want to strip this bipartisan, pro-life protection from our federal spending process. That’s why my colleagues and I are committed to ensuring this amendment becomes permanent law.  We plan to pass these pro-life bills and send them to our new president to be signed into law.

I am also fighting for transparency for the American taxpayers, which is why since coming to Congress, I have led a bicameral effort to require the General Accounting Office to issue a required report on how much taxpayer dollars are allocated to organizations that perform or promote abortion. It is my greatest hope that the need for these reports will be eliminated by enactment of permanent, pro-life policies that give a voice to the most defenseless among us – the unborn.

Rep. Olson represents Texas' 22nd District.

 

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