Maria Cantwell on Abortion

Last Updated : Oct 22, 2012

Statements on Roe v Wade

In January of 2003, Senator Cantwell spoke on the Senate floor about the 30th anniversary of Roe vs Wade.

 

Partial Birth Abortion

In March of 2003, Senator Cantwell spoke on the floor about an amendment to state that Roe v Wade was valid law. She noted that she would not support a partial birth abortion ban because it does not include an exception for the mother's life.

 

Campaign Website Statements

Civil Liberty

Time and again, Maria has stepped up to defend a woman’s right to choose. She has been a leader for women in the Senate in the fight against drastic cuts to women’s health care services including access to contraceptives and allowing family planning coverage under Medicaid. She has also consistently supported comprehensive sexual education aimed at preventing teen pregnancies.

 

Official Website Statements

 

 

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. Maria Cantwell voted against the amendment to prevent aid funds from being used for coercive abortions.

Maria Cantwell 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. Maria Cantwell voted against the amendment to define a child for SCHIP purposes.

Maria Cantwell 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. Maria Cantwell voted against the amendment to provide funding to enforce abortion laws.

Maria Cantwell 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. Maria Cantwell voted against the amendment.

Maria Cantwell 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. Maria Cantwell voted against the amendment to ensure that funding does not go to abortion providers.

Maria Cantwell 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. Maria Cantwell oppossed the Notification Act by voting against cloture.

Maria Cantwell oppossed the Notification Act by voting against 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. Maria Cantwell voted against the Notification Act.

Maria Cantwell voted against 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. Maria Cantwell voted against the Unborn Victims of Violence Act.

Maria Cantwell voted against 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. Maria Cantwell voted against the 2003 ban when it initially came up in the Senate.

Maria Cantwell voted against the 2003 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. Maria Cantwell voted in favor of the measure and supported Roe vs Wade.

Maria Cantwell voted in favor of the measure and supported 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. Maria Cantwell voted against the 2003 ban when it came up in the conference report.

Maria Cantwell voted against the 2003 ban when it came up in the conference report.

 

Sponsored and Cosponsored Legislation

Session-111; Bill Number-S 21; Prevention First Act - Cosponsor

Title X Family Planning Services Act of 2009 - Authorizes appropriations for family planning services grants and contracts under the Public Health Service Act (PHSA). Equity in Prescription Insurance and Contraceptive Coverage Act of 2007 [sic]- Amends the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) and PHSA to prohibit a group health plan from excluding or restricting benefits for prescription contraceptive drugs, devices, and outpatient services if the plan provides benefits for other outpatient prescription drugs, devices, or outpatient services. Applies such prohibitions to coverage offered in the individual market. Emergency Contraception Education Act of 2009 - Directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services to develop and disseminate information on emergency contraception to the public and to health care providers. Compassionate Assistance for Rape Emergencies Act of 2009 - Requires hospitals, as a condition of receiving federal funds, to offer and to provide, upon request, emergency contraception to victims of sexual assault. At-Risk Communities Teen Pregnancy Prevention Act of 2009 - Authorizes the Secretary to award grants for teenage pregnancy prevention programs. Requires the Secretary to award grants for teenage pregnancy prevention research. Truth in Contraception Act of 2009 - Requires that any information concerning the use of a contraceptive provided through specified federally funded education programs be medically accurate and include health benefits and failure rates. Unintended Pregnancy Reduction Act of 2009 - Amends title XIX (Medicaid) of the Social Security Act to expand Medicaid's coverage of family planning services. Responsible Education About Life Act of 2009 - Requires the Secretary to make grants to states for family life education, including education on abstinence and contraception, to prevent teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. Prevention Through Affordable Access Act - Expands Medicaid rebates to manufacturers for the sale of covered outpatient drugs at nominal prices to include sales to student health care facilities and entities offering family planning services.

Session-111; Bill Number-S 611; Responsible Education About Life Act - Cosponsor

Authorizes the Secretary of Health and Human Services to make grants to states for sex education programs, including education on abstinence and contraception, to prevent teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. Expresses the sense of Congress that states are encouraged, although not required, to provide matching funds to receive such grants. Requires the Secretary to provide for a national evaluation of a representative sample of such programs for effectiveness in delaying the initiation of sexual intercourse and other high-risk behaviors, preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease, and increasing contraceptive knowledge and behavior. Requires states receiving such grants to provide for an individual evaluation of the state's program by an external, independent entity. Prohibits such programs from discriminating on the basis of sex, race, ethnicity, national origin, disability, religion, sexual orientation, or gender identity.

Session-110; Bill Number-S 1173; Freedom of Choice Act - Cosponsor

A bill to protect, consistent with Roe v. Wade, a woman's freedom to choose to bear a child or terminate a pregnancy, and for other purposes.

Session-109; Bill Number-S 2593; Freedom of Choice Act - Cosponsor

A bill to protect, consistent with Roe v. Wade, a woman's freedom to choose to bear a child or terminate a pregnancy, and for other purposes.

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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