Mark Pryor on Abortion

Last Updated : Nov 16, 2012

Summary

Senator Pryor's record on abortion is not completely clear. He has not specifically asserted his position on the floor (that we could find) or in any press statements. His voting record is largely pro-life, but he has not co-sponsored any significant legislation in the pro-life or pro-choice areas. According to the site ontheissues.org, Senator Pryor indicated that he was pro-life but allowed for the exceptions when the mother's life was at stake or the pregnancy was the result of a rape or incest.

Unborn Victims Act

In 2004, Senator Pryor supported the Unbron Victim's Act to allow for prosecution when harm is done to an unborn fetus. He stated that it was tragic that perpetrators who seek to harm pregnant women often slip through our legal system and go unpunished.

Voting Record

Senator Prior has twice voted in favor of a ban on partial birth abortion. He has also voted against a resolution expressing the sense of the Senate supporting the Roe vs Wade decision. However, he has also voted against amendments to prevent funds from going to groups that encourage or provide abortions.

 

Unborn Victim's Act

In March of 2004, Senator Pryor issued a press statement noting his support for the Unbron Victim's Act to allow for prosecution when harm is done to an unborn fetus. He noted concerns that aspects of the bill could entangle courts and juries in abortion politics, however, he believes the bill is very important and will help stop inexcusable crimes against mothers and their unborn victims.

Voting Record

Amendment - Funds to coercive abortions

On March 2, 2009, Senator Wicker submitted amendment SA 607. The amendment was made to the omnibus appropriations act for fiscal year 2009, and it sought to ensure that money which was sent to the United Nations from the US was not used in programs the sought to limit populations through forced sterilization or coercive abortion. The amendment specifically mentions the programs in China. Most Republicans supported the amendment and most Democrats opposed it. The amendment failed 55-39. Mark Pryor voted against the amendment to prevent aid funds from being used for coercive abortions.

Mark Pryor voted against the amendment to prevent aid funds from being used for coercive abortions.

Amendment - SCHIP and unborn children

On March 14, 2008 the Senate attempted to pass an amendment to the congressional budget for 2008. The amendment was to clarify the definition of a child for SCHIP purposes. SCHIP is the State Children\'s Health Insurance Program. The program covers children up to the age of 18 with health care. Although the program is funded by the federal government, implementation of the program is left up to the states. Many states provide health care to pregnant women above the age of 18, but justify the care as necessary for the health of the unborn child. This amendment sought to clarify such legislation by establishing a sets of codes for when such care can be given by the states. It is an attempt to put into writing when the pregnancy is considered a "child" and therefore enters into the realm of abortion as designating an embryo as a child for the purposes of giving it care under SCHIP would also imply that an abortion at or later than that time would amount to the killing of a child, and not an undefined mass of cells. The amendment failed to pass with most Republicans supporting it and most Democrats opposing it in roll call 81. Those supporting the bill can be seen as attempting to establish when the definition of a "child" can be given to a developing fetus. Mark Pryor voted against the amendment to define a child for SCHIP purposes.

Mark Pryor voted against the amendment to define a child for SCHIP purposes.

Amendment - Funding for enforcement

Congress has passed laws which prohibit an adult from taking a minor across state lines when the state laws require parental consent for an abortion. On March 13, 2008 the Senate voted on an amendment for funding of "vigorous enforcement" of the law. The amendment got the support of most Republicans and the opposition of most Democrats. If failed in a 49-49 vote. Mark Pryor voted against the amendment to provide funding to enforce abortion laws.

Mark Pryor voted against the amendment to provide funding to enforce abortion laws.

Amendment to Prohibit Funds

In October of 2007, the Senate voted on an amendment to prohibit funds from being dispersed to groups that encourage or perform abortions. The measure failed to pass the Senate 41-52. Mark Pryor voted against the amendment.

Mark Pryor voted against the amendment.

Amendment - funds to abortion providers

Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas placed an amendment into the Consolidated Appropriations spending bill to ensure that funding did not go to groups that may support coercive abortion. The amendment failed in a 48-45 vote. Mark Pryor voted against the amendment to ensure that funding does not go to abortion providers.

Mark Pryor voted against the amendment to ensure that funding does not go to abortion providers.

Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act

The second vote on the legislation came as the bill returned from the US House. In roll call 263, supporters of the bill failed to get the 60 votes required for cloture. The bill did not proceed further as most Republicans supported the legislation and most Democrats oppossed it. Mark Pryor supported the legislation by voting for cloture.

Mark Pryor supported the legislation by voting for cloture.

Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act

There have been 2 votes in the Senate concerning the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act S 403. The Act prohibited transporting a minor child across a state line to obtain an abortion. There was an exception in the bill if the life of the mother was at risk, and those transporting the minor could not be prosecuted if there was reason to believe that the transporters were under the impression that permission had been given from the minor\'s parents. The first vote on this bill came as the bill passed through the Senate. The bill passed the senate in a 54-34 vote with most Republicans supporting it, and about 1/3 of Democrats supporting it. Mark Pryor supported the Notification Act.

Mark Pryor supported the Notification Act.

Unborn Victims of Violence Act

The Unborn Victim\'s of Violence Act of 2004 (also known as Laci and Connor\'s Law) provides that persons who commit certain Federal violent crimes and thereby cause the death of, or bodily injury to, a child who is in utero shall be guilty of a separate offense. The bill came up vote a vote in March of 2004, and passed with the support of a vast majority of Republicans and about 1/3 of the Democrats. Mark Pryor voted in favor of the Unborn Victims of Violence Act.

Mark Pryor voted in favor of the Unborn Victims of Violence Act.

Partial Birth Abortion

In 1999 the US Senate voted to ban Partial Birth Abortions. The bill defined the term "partial birth abortion" and then made it a crime for a physician to commit such an act. The act defined partial birth abortion as an abortion in which the person performing the abortion deliberately and intentionally: vaginally delivers some portion of an intact living fetus until the fetus is partially outside the body of the mother, for the purpose of performing an overt act that the person knows will kill the fetus while the fetus is partially outside the mother's body; performs the overt act that kills the fetus while the intact living fetus is partially outside the mother's body. The bill initially passed the Senate in Roll Call 51 in 2003. Mark Pryor voted in favor of the ban when it initially came up in the Senate.

Mark Pryor voted in favor of the ban when it initially came up in the Senate.

Expressing the Sense of the Senate in Roe vs Wade

In March of 2003, the Senate voted on a sense of the Senate resolution affirming their support for the Supreme court's decision in Roe vs Wade. The measure passed the Senate 52-46. Mark Pryor voted against the measure and opposed the sense of the Senate in Roe vs Wade.

Mark Pryor voted against the measure and opposed the sense of the Senate in Roe vs Wade.

Partial Birth Abortion

The 2003 Partial Birth Abortion Ban defined the term as an abortion in which the person performing the abortion: deliberately and intentionally vaginally delivers a living fetus until, in the case of a head-first presentation, the entire fetal head is outside the mother's body, or, in the case of a breech presentation, any part of the fetal trunk past the navel is outside the mother's body; performs the overt act, other than completion of delivery, that kills the partially delivered living fetus. The bill was voted on separately and in a conference report. Mark Pryor voted in favor of the ban when it came up in the conference report.

Mark Pryor voted in favor of the ban when it came up in the conference report.

 

Sponsored and Cosponsored Legislation

This representative has not been identified as sponsoring or cosponsoring significant legislation related to this title.

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