5:40 PM EDT
David Weldon, R-FL 15th

Mr. WELDON of Florida. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman from New Jersey for yielding me the time, and I rise in very strong opposition to this amendment.

The gentlewoman offered this amendment last year and it was defeated by a vote of 188 to 230. The provision that the gentlewoman is offering seeks to strike language that has been included in this legislation for years.

The funding restriction in the bill addresses the same core issue as the Hyde amendment, should the Federal Government be in the business of funding abortions? Should taxpayers be forced to underwrite the cost of abortions for Federal employees?

This debate is not one involving the legality of abortion. It is about using taxpayer dollars for abortions.

The point is that the vast majority of Americans feel very strongly that taxpayer dollars should not be used to fund abortions in the United States of America.

Some people may try to claim that this is just another medical procedure. We all know that this is not just another medical procedure. It is a very unique procedure where one of the participants in the procedure ends up dead.

I have been a practicing internist for 20 years, and I would argue that the unborn baby in the womb is not a potential life. It meets all of the medical criteria for a life. The criteria that I used as a practicing physician to determine whether somebody is alive or dead, a beating heart, active brain waves; indeed, using modern ultrasound technology today, we can show as early as just a few weeks of life activity on the part of the developing fetus, moving arms and moving legs.

The Supreme Court, the Court that created legalized abortion in America, has actually ruled on this issue upholding the Hyde amendment language. The Court said, abortion is inherently different from other medical procedures because no other procedure involves the purposeful termination of a potential life. They used the word potential there, I say it is a life.

Mr. Chairman, I reject this amendment and I would encourage all of my colleagues to vote against it.