Newly announced 2020 presidential candidate Robert O’Rourke has some pretty radical views on abortion, from abortion on demand up to birth to the United States paying for overseas abortions.
O’Rourke has a long history of voting in support of pro-abortion bills, but perhaps the most radical bill on his list was the co-sponsorship of H.R. 1322 in 2017. The “Women’s Health Protection Act” was also co-sponsored by 169 other people including presidential candidates like Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand and Bernie Sanders. The proposed bill would have done away with most state and federal regulations on abortion.
With the removal of common sense abortion laws, there would no longer be an informed consent requirement (documentation that the patient is aware of medically accurate information about the procedure), no waiting period, and no ban on sex-selection abortions.
Life News did a roundup of Beto’s voting history on previous abortion legislation, thanks to Texas Right to Life:
H.R. 3471 (2013): (Women’s Health Protection Act of 2013) O’Rourke co-sponsored this bill which sought to strip states (and any government) of their ability to write any Pro-Life laws whatsoever. This would legalize abortion until birth, and make abortion the mandatory standard in all 50 states.
H.R. 448 (2015): (Women’s Health Protection Act of 2015) This is basically the same bill as the above, denying states their right to protect preborn babies.
H.R. 36 (2017): (Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act) O’Rourke voted against this bill, which would have made abortion illegal after five months (20 weeks) of pregnancy.
O’Rourke wrote a press release/blog about why he voted against the bill: https://medium.com/@RepBetoORourke/h-r-36-endangers-the-lives-and-health-of-women-91de756fc4b3
- In this press release/blog, O’Rourke defends his vote against prohibiting late-term abortions by:
- Praising Roe v. Wade as a woman’s constitutional protection to a safe and legal abortion.
- Suggesting only 1.3% of abortions occur after five months, many of which are due to severe fetal abnormalities.
- O’Rourke cites a story of a constituent of his, Jeni, who was 21 weeks pregnant and was “elated” to go in for a check-up. After the doctor told her than her baby had severe defects, according to O’Rourke, Jeni’s attitude shifted to thinking that choosing Life would be too hard for her, and she decided that “it seemed far worse to make the baby suffer too when he would ultimately not survive.”
- Even though the bill provided an exception for rape and incest after five months, O’Rourke maintained that this wasn’t enough.
Letter to President Obama concerning Helms Amendment (2015): The Helms Amendment, named after the late Senator Jesse Helms (R- NC), was enacted shortly after the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision. The Helms Amendment dictated that U.S. foreign aid cannot be used to pay for the “performance of abortion as a method of family planning,” or to “motivate or coerce any person to practice abortion.”
O’Rourke signed on to a letter urging President Obama to fund abortions in foreign countries through American foreign aid.
H.R. 7 (2014): (No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act of 2014) O’Rourke voted against this bill that would reinstate the federal ban on taxpayer dollars being used for abortions in light of the new Obamacare legislation.
Details of bill: https://www.congress.gov/bill/113th-congress/house-bill/7
O’Rourke Press Release about voting against the bill: https://votesmart.org/public-statement/845255/voted-no-on-the-no-taxpayer-funding-for-abortion-act-hr-7#.W779lGhKjZs
O’Rourke has a 100% score from Planned Parenthood Action Fund and NARAL Pro-Choice America.
- O’Rourke’s PPAF scorecard: https://www.plannedparenthoodaction.org/congressional-scorecard#TX/521/
- O’Rourke’s NARAL scorecard: https://www.prochoiceamerica.org/representative/beto-orourke/
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