Ben Chandler on Abortion
Democratic Representative (KY-6)
Voted NO 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 YES 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 YES 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
Rated 55% by the NRLC, indicating a mixed record on abortion.
Chandler scores 55% by the NRLC on abortion issues
OnTheIssues.org interprets the 2006 NRLC scores as follows:
About the NRLC (from their website, www.nrlc.org):
- 0% - 15%: pro-choice stance (approx. 174 members)
- 16%- 84%: mixed record on abortion (approx. 101 members)
- 85%-100%: pro-life stance (approx. 190 members)
The ultimate goal of the National Right to Life Committee is to restore legal protection to innocent human life. The primary interest of the National Right to Life Committee and its members has been the abortion controversy; however, it is also concerned with related matters of medical ethics which relate to the right to life issues of euthanasia and infanticide. The Committee does not have a position on issues such as contraception, sex education, capital punishment, and national defense.
The National Right to Life Committee was founded in 1973 in response to the Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court decision, legalizing the practice of human abortion in all 50 states, throughout the entire nine months of pregnancy.
The NRLC has been instrumental in achieving a number of legislative reforms at the national level, including a ban on non-therapeutic experimentation of unborn and newborn babies, a federal conscience clause guaranteeing medical personnel the right to refuse to participate in abortion procedures, and various amendments to appropriations bills which prohibit (or limit) the use of federal funds to subsidize or promote abortions in the United States and overseas.
In addition to maintaining a lobbying presence at the federal level, NRLC serves as a clearinghouse of information for its state affiliates and local chapters, its individual members, the press, and the public.
Source: NRLC website 06n-NRLC on Dec 31, 2006
Ensure access to and funding for contraception.
Chandler co-sponsored ensuring access to and funding for contraception
A bill to expand access to preventive health care services that help reduce unintended pregnancy, reduce abortions, and improve access to women's health care. The Congress finds as follows:
Source: Prevention First Act (S.21/H.R.819) 2007-HR819 on Feb 5, 2007
- Healthy People 2010 sets forth a reduction of unintended pregnancies as an important health objective to achieve over the first decade of the new century.
- Although the CDC included family planning in its published list of the Ten Great Public Health Achievements in the 20th Century, the US still has one of the highest rates of unintended pregnancies among industrialized nations.
- Each year, 3,000,000 pregnancies, nearly half of all pregnancies, in the US are unintended, and nearly half of unintended pregnancies end in abortion.
- In 2004, 34,400,000 women, half of all women of reproductive age, were in need of contraceptive services, and nearly half of those were in need of public support for such care.
US has the highest rate of infection with sexually transmitted diseases of any industrialized country. 19 million cases impose a tremendous economic burden, as high as $14 billion per year.
- Increasing access to family planning services will improve women's health and reduce the rates of unintended pregnancy, abortion, and infection with sexually transmitted diseases. Contraceptive use saves public health dollars. For every dollar spent to increase funding for family planning programs, $3.80 is saved.
- Contraception is basic health care that improves the health of women and children by enabling women to plan and space births.
- Women experiencing unintended pregnancy are at greater risk for physical abuse and women having closely spaced births are at greater risk of maternal death.
- A child born from an unintended pregnancy is at greater risk of low birth weight, dying in the first year of life, being abused, and not receiving sufficient resources for healthy development.
Focus on preventing pregnancy, plus emergency contraception.
Chandler signed Prevention First Act
Source: S.21&H.R.463 2009-S21 on Jan 6, 2009
Page last updated: Apr 14, 2020