John Cornyn on Abortion

Last Updated : Nov 08, 2010

Summary

Although Senator Cornyn does not use the phrase, his views can best be described as pro-life. During the 2008 campaign cycle, Senator Cornyn was asked about his views on assisted suicide and stated that he cherished the sanctity of life from conception to a natural death. This statement echoed one made in a press statement on partial birth abortions. Senator Cornyn voted for and supported the Unborn Victims of Violence Act that allowed for a second offense to be brought up in the name of a fetus if that fetus was harmed in an already identified federal assault. He also voted in favor of legislation to make it illegal to transport a minor across state lines for the purposes of an abortion with the consent of the minor's parents.

Senator Cornyn has voted for, and been a vocal supporter of a ban on partial birth abortions. This included penalties for doctors that perform the procedure and possible civil action against the doctor by the father and mother (if the mother was a minor). Senator Cornyn was highly critical of a court decision overturning a 2003 ban on the practice and referred to it as barbaric.

 

Partial Birth Abortion Ban

In February of 2003, Senator Cornyn released a press statement noting his support for a bill he recently cosponsored to ban the practice of partial birth abortions. 

In June of 2004, Senator Cornyn released a press statement noting his disapproval of a recent court decision which held that the partial birth abortion ban was unconstitutional.

 

Unborn Victims of Violence

In April of 2004, Senator Cornyn released a press statement noting his support for the President's recent signing of the unborn victim of violence act.

 

Life from Conception to Death

On his 2008 campaign website, Senator Cornyn is asked about assisted suicide laws. In his response, he notes that he defines life as from conception to a natural death.

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. John Cornyn voted in favor of the amendment to prevent aid funds from being used for coercive abortions.

John Cornyn voted in favor of 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. John Cornyn voted in favor of the amendment to define a child for SCHIP purposes.

John Cornyn voted in favor of 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. John Cornyn voted in favor of the amendment to provide funding to enforce abortion laws.

John Cornyn voted in favor of 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. John Cornyn voted in favor of the amendment.

John Cornyn voted in favor of 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. John Cornyn voted in favor of the amendment to ensure that funding does not go to abortion providers.

John Cornyn voted in favor of 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. John Cornyn supported the legislation by voting for cloture.

John Cornyn 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. John Cornyn supported the Notification Act.

John Cornyn 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. John Cornyn voted in favor of the Unborn Victims of Violence Act.

John Cornyn 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. John Cornyn voted in favor of the ban when it initially came up in the Senate.

John Cornyn 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. John Cornyn voted against the measure and opposed the sense of the Senate in Roe vs Wade.

John Cornyn 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. John Cornyn voted in favor of the ban when it came up in the conference report.

John Cornyn voted in favor of the ban when it came up in the conference report.

 

Sponsored and Cosponsored Legislation

Session-108; Bill Number-S 3; Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 - Cosponsor

This legislation sought to prohibit any physician or other individual from knowingly performing a partial-birth abortion, except when necessary to save the life of a mother whose life is endangered by a physical disorder, illness, or injury. The law authorized the father, if married to the mother at the time of the abortion, and the maternal grandparents of the fetus, if the mother is under 18 years of age, to obtain specified relief in a civil action, unless the pregnancy resulted from the plaintiff's criminal conduct or the plaintiff consented to the abortion. The law prohibited the prosecution of a woman obtaining the abortion.

Session-110; Bill Number-S 2543; Child Custody Protection Act - Cosponsor

Prohibits transporting a minor child across a state line to obtain an abortion. Makes an exception for an abortion necessary to safe the life of the minor. Prevents prosecution if the doctor reasonably believed that before the minor obtained the abortion, the required parental consent or notification or judicial authorization took place or the doctor was presented with documentation showing that a court waived parental notification requirements or authorized the minor's abortion. Imposes a fine and/or prison term of up to one year on anyone who has committed an act of incest with a minor and knowingly transports such minor across a state line to obtain an abortion.

Session-109; Bill Number-S 8; Child Custody Protection Act - Cosponsor

Prohibits transporting a minor across a state line to obtain an abortion. Makes an exception for an abortion necessary to save the life of the minor. Protects from prosecution or civil liability the minor or the minorís parents for violations of this Act. Prevents prosecution if the doctor reasonably believed that before the minor obtained the abortion, the required parental consent or notification or judicial authorization took place. Authorizes any parent who suffers harm from a violation of this Act to seek relief in a civil action.

Session-109; Bill Number-S 403; Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act - Cosponsor

Prohibits transporting a minor child across a state line to obtain an abortion. Makes an exception for an abortion necessary to safe the life of the minor. Protects from prosecution or civil liability the minor or the minorís parents for violations of this Act. Prevents prosecution if the doctor reasonably believed that before the minor obtained the abortion, the required parental consent or notification or judicial authorization took place or if the doctor was presented with documentation showing that a court waived parental notification requirements or authorized the minor's abortion. Authorizes any parent who suffers harm from a violation of this Act to seek relief in a civil action unless such parent committed an act of incest with the minor. Allows an exception if: (1) the physician complies with parental notification requirements in the physicianís state; (2) the physician is given documentation that a court in the minorís state of residence has waived parental notification or otherwise authorized the minorís abortion; (3) the minor provides a written statement that she is the victim of sexual abuse, neglect, or physical abuse by a parent and the physician notifies appropriate state officials of such abuse; (4) the abortion is necessary to save the life of the minor (written notice must be given to the minor's parent within 24 hours after the lifesaving abortion is performed): or (5) a person accompanying the minor provides documentation to the physician that such person is the parent of the minor.

Session-108; Bill Number-S 851; Child Custody Protection Act - Cosponsor

Prohibits transporting a minor across a State line to obtain an abortion and thereby abridging the right of a parent under a law in force in the State where the minor resides requiring parental involvement in a minor's abortion decision. Makes an exception if the abortion was necessary to save the life of the minor. Specifies that neither the minor transported nor her parent may be prosecuted or sued for a violation of this Act. Prevents prosecution of the doctor if he reasonably believed that before the minor obtained the abortion, the parental consent or notification or judicial authorization that would have been required had the abortion been performed in the State where the minor resides, took place. Authorizes any parent who suffers harm from a violation to obtain appropriate relief in a civil action.

Session-110; Bill Number-S 356; Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act of 2007 - Cosponsor

Requires an abortion provider, before beginning any abortion of a pain-capable unborn child (20 weeks old) to make a specified statement to the pregnant woman that Congress has determined that there is substantial evidence that the process will cause the unborn child pain, and that the mother has the option of having pain-reducing drugs administered directly to the child, and requires that the doctor provide to the woman an Unborn Child Pain Awareness Brochure (unless she waives receipt) and an Unborn Child Pain Awareness Decision Form and obtain the woman's signature and her explicit request for or refusal of the administration of drugs to the child.

Session-109; Bill Number-S 51; Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act of 2005 - Cosponsor

Requires an abortion provider, before beginning any abortion of a pain-capable unborn child (defined as 20 weeks old) to make a specified statement to the pregnant woman that Congress has determined that there is substantial evidence that the process will cause the unborn child pain, and that the mother has the option of having pain-reducing drugs administered directly to the child. The doctor must also provide to the woman an Unborn Child Pain Awareness Brochure (unless she waives receipt) and an Unborn Child Pain Awareness Decision Form, and obtain the woman's signature and her explicit request for or refusal of the administration of drugs to the child. Creates an exception for certified medical emergencies.

Session-108; Bill Number-S 2466; Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act of 2004 - Cosponsor

Require an abortion provider, before beginning any abortion of a pain-capable unborn child (defined as 20 weeks) to make a specified statement to the pregnant woman that Congress has determined that there is substantial evidence that the process will cause the unborn child pain, and that the mother has the option of having pain-reducing drugs administered directly to the child. The doctor must provide to the woman an Unborn Child Pain Awareness Brochure (unless she waives receipt) and an Unborn Child Pain Awareness Decision Form. The doctor must obtain on the form the woman's signature and her explicit request for or refusal of the administration of drugs to the child.

Session-112; Bill Number-S 167; Child Custody Protection Act - Cosponsor

Prohibits transporting an individual under age 18 across a State line to obtain an abortion. Makes an exception if the abortion was necessary to save the life of the minor. Specifies that neither the minor transported nor her parent may be prosecuted or sued for a violation of this Act. Makes it an affirmative defense to a prosecution for, or to a civil action based on, such a violation that the defendant reasonably believed that before the individual obtained the abortion, the parental consent or notification or judicial authorization that would have been required had the abortion been performed in the State where the individual resides, took place.

Session-111; Bill Number-S 3723; Excluding Abortion Coverage from Health Reform Act - Cosponsor

Amends the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to prohibit federal funds from being to used to cover any part of the costs of any health plan that includes coverage of abortion services. (Currently, federal funds cannot be used for abortion services and plans receiving federal funds must keep federal funds segregated from any funds for abortion services.) Requires any qualified health benefit plan offered through an Exchange that includes coverage for abortions to also offer a qualified health benefit plan through the Exchange that is identical in every respect except that it does not cover abortions.

Session-111; Bill Number-S 1179; Child Custody Protection Act - Cosponsor

Amends the federal criminal code to prohibit transporting a minor child across a state line to obtain an abortion (deems such transporting to be a de facto abridgment of the right of a parent under any law in the minorís state of residence that requires parental involvement in the minorís abortion decision). Makes an exception for an abortion necessary to safe the life of the minor. Makes it an affirmative defense to a prosecution or civil action under this Act that a defendant reasonably believed that before the minor obtained the abortion, the required parental consent or notification or judicial authorization took place. Imposes a fine and/or prison term of up to one year on anyone who has committed an act of incest with a minor and knowingly transports such minor across a state line to obtain an abortion.

Session-110; Bill Number-S 356; Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act of 2007 - Cosponsor

A bill to ensure that women seeking an abortion are fully informed regarding the pain experienced by their unborn child.

Session-109; Bill Number-S 403; Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act - Cosponsor

A bill to amend title 18, United States Code, to prohibit taking minors across State lines in circumvention of laws requiring the involvement of parents in abortion decisions.

Session-109; Bill Number-S 8; Child Custody Protection Act - Cosponsor

A bill to amend title 18, United States Code, to prohibit taking minors across State lines in circumvention of laws requiring the involvement of parents in abortion decisions.

Session-109; Bill Number-S 51; Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act of 2005 - Cosponsor

A bill to ensure that women seeking an abortion are fully informed regarding the pain experienced by their unborn child.

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