Claire McCaskill on Abortion

Last Updated : Oct 16, 2012

Summary

Senator McCaskill has not been vocal or active on the subject of abortion. In a debate for the 2006 election, she stated that abortion should be safe, legal, and rare in the early term. She also stated that she supported banning partial-birth abortion but opposed a ban proposed within Missouri on the grounds that it was not constitutional and did not have an exception for the life of the mother.

Voting Record

While in office, Senator McCaskill has voted against measures to prevent funds from going to organizations that provide abortion, and against an amendment to the SCHIP legislation that would clarify when life begins. While there have been dozens of pro-life and pro-choice bills proposed since Senator McCaskill took office, she has not co-sponsored any of that legislation.

 

Meet the Press Debate

On October 6, 2006 Claire McCaskill debated Senator Jim Talent as part of the 2006 Senate campaign. When the issue of abortion was raised, Mrs McCaskill stated that she opposed partial-birth abortion but opposed a ban that was put forth in the legislature as not constitutional.

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. Claire McCaskill voted against the amendment to prevent aid funds from being used for coercive abortions.

Claire McCaskill 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. Claire McCaskill voted against the amendment to define a child for SCHIP purposes.

Claire McCaskill 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. Claire McCaskill voted against the amendment to provide funding to enforce abortion laws.

Claire McCaskill 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. Claire McCaskill voted against the amendment.

Claire McCaskill 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. Claire McCaskill voted against the amendment to ensure that funding does not go to abortion providers.

Claire McCaskill voted against the amendment to ensure that funding does not go to abortion providers.

 

Sponsored and Cosponsored Legislation

Session-110; Bill Number-S 21; Prevention First Act - Title X Family Planning Services Act of 2007 - Cosponsor

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.

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