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Chris Coons on Abortion

 

 


I respect stare decisis, and a woman's right to choose

O'DONNELL: My faith has matured over the years but regardless of my personal faith, when I go down to Washington, D.C., it is the constitution that I will defend and it is by the constitution that I will make all of my decisions.

COONS: I'm interested in hearing whether it's the Constitution as passed by the founders, the Constitution of 1920, the Constitution of 1975, the Constitution of today. Because to me, protecting a woman's right to choose, protecting reproductive freedom, and making sure that we've got on the record O'Donnell's views on things like prayer, abortion, evolution, is important. These aren't just random statements on some late-night TV show. These are relevant to her service in the United States Senate, what sort of judges she would confirm, what sort of issues she would take up. I'm someone who stands firmly behind the constitution as it stands today. I respect stare decisis, the decided cases, the case law that governs the United States

Source: CNN's Wolf Blitzer moderating 2010 Delaware Senate debate , Oct 13, 2010

Federal funding for embryonic stem cell research

Q: What are your views on the federal allocation of funds used for stem cell research?

COONS: I would support stem cell research.

Q: We're talking about embryonic stem cell research.

COONS: Correct. I would support federal funding for medical research that includes embryonic stem cell research. I think there are critical advances that are being made and can be made in addressing some of the most difficult diseases that affect millions of Americans, and I frankly think if it is possible to do so, we ought to be investing and making progress in this critical area of research.

O'DONNELL: I think if we took an intellectually honest look at the research that's been put out there, you will see that there is incredible advances with adult stem cell research, not as much with embryonic stem cell research, because that is where this went on in the private sector. That is where investors would be putting their money.

Source: CNN's Wolf Blitzer moderating 2010 Delaware Senate debate , Oct 13, 2010

Pro-choice, but no federal subsidies

Q: Do you consider yourself pro-choice or pro-life?

A: Pro-choice.

Q: Should abortion be legal only within the first trimester of pregnancy?

A: No.

Q: Should abortion be legal when the pregnancy resulted from incest or rape?

A: Yes.

Q: Should abortion be legal when the life of the woman is endangered?

A: Yes.

Q: Should federal subsidies be prohibited from being used for abortion procedures?

A: No.

Source: Delaware Congressional Election 2010 Political Courage Test , Sep 25, 2010

Support embryonic stem cell research

Q: Do you support federal funding for embryonic stem cell research?

A: Yes.

Source: Delaware Congressional Election 2010 Political Courage Test , Sep 25, 2010

Make abortion safe, legal and rare

The two candidates did split on social issues: They were asked about stem-cell research and abortion, specifically in cases of rape or incest. Coons reaffirmed his support for abortion rights, saying it should be "safe, legal and rare."
Source: The Hill coverage of 2010 Delaware Senate debate , Sep 16, 2010

Supports giving legal protection to unborn children.

Coons supports the F2A survey question on abortion

Faith2Action.org is "the nation's largest network of pro-family groups." They provide election resources for each state, including Voter Guides and Congressional Scorecards excerpted here. The Faith2Action survey summarizes candidate stances on the following topic: 'Giving legal protection to unborn children '

Source: Faith2Action Survey 10-FF-q1 on Sep 19, 2010

Ban anti-abortion limitations on abortion services.

Coons co-sponsored Women's Health Protection Act

Congressional summary:: Women's Health Protection Act: makes the following limitations concerning abortion services unlawful and prohibits their imposition or application by any government:

Opponent's argument against (Live Action News): This is Roe v. Wade on steroids. The bill is problematic from the very beginning. Its first finding addresses "women's ability to participate equally"; many have rejected this claim that women need abortion in order to be equal to men, or that they need to be like men at all. The sponsors of this pro-abortion bill also seem to feel that pro-life bills have had their time in this country, and that we must now turn back to abortion. The bill also demonstrates that its proponents have likely not even bothered attempting to understand the laws they are seeking to undo, considering that such laws are in place to regulate abortion in order to make it safer. Those who feel that abortion is best left up for the states to decide will also find this bill problematic with its overreach. Sadly, the bill also uses the Fourteenth Amendment to justify abortion, as the Supreme Court did, even though in actuality it would make much more sense to protect the lives of unborn Americans.

Source: H.R.3471 & S.1696 14-S1696 on Nov 13, 2013

Access safe, legal abortion without restrictions.

Coons co-sponsored S.217 & H.R.448

Congressional Summary: Congress finds the following:

Opponents reasons for voting NAY:(National Review, July 17, 2014): During hearings on S. 1696, Senators heard many myths from abortion proponents about the "need" for the bill's evisceration of all life-affirming legislation.

Source: Women's Health Protection Act 15_S217 on Jan 21, 2015

Keep federal funding for family planning clinics.

Coons signed keeping federal funding for family planning clinics

Excerpts from Letter to the Senate Majority Leader from 46 Senators: The recent vote in the House to overturn rules protecting Title X health centers would deny women access to care. In 2015, Title X provided basic primary and preventive health care services such as pap tests, breast exams, and HIV testing to more than four million low-income women and men at over 4,000 health centers. In large part due to this work, the US unintended pregnancy rate is at a 30-year low, and rates of teenage pregnancy are the lowest in our nation's history. The success of the program is dependent on funding. Family planning services, like those provided at Planned Parenthood and other family planning centers, should be available to all women, no matter where they live or how much money they make.

Opposing argument: (Heritage Foundation, "Disentangling the Data"): Planned Parenthood received approximately $60 million of taxpayer money under Title X, and $390 million through Medicaid. To ensure that taxpayers are not forced to subsidize America's number one abortion provider, Congress should make Planned Parenthood affiliates ineligible to receive either Medicaid reimbursements or Title X grants if they continue to perform abortions. Taxpayer money from these programs should instead be redirected to the more than 9,000 federally qualified health center sites that provide comprehensive primary health care for those in need without entanglement in abortion.

Supporting argument: (ACLU, "Urging Title X"): Title X services help women & men to plan the number and timing of their pregnancies, thereby helping to prevent approximately one million unintended pregnancies, nearly half of which would end in abortion. However, current funding is inadequate. Had Title X funding kept up with inflation it would now be funded at nearly $700 million. We ask that Title X be funded at $375 million, which is $92 million above its current funding level.

Source: Letter to the Senate Majority Leader from 46 Senators 17LTR-TITX on Mar 1, 2017

Born-Alive Survivors bill tries to illegalize abortion.

Coons voted NAY Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act

S.311/H.R.962: Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act: Congress finds the following:

Opposing argument from Rewire.com, "Born Alive Propaganda," by Calla Hales, 4/12/2019: From restrictive bans at various points of pregnancy to a proposed death penalty for seeking care, both federal and state legislators are taking aim at abortion rights. The goal? To make abortion illegal, criminalizing patients and providers in the process. One kind of bill making a recent resurgence is the "Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act." These bills aim to further the false narrative that abortions regularly occur immediately before or, according to the president, at the time of birth. Intentional action to end the life of an infant is already illegal. This is covered by federal and state infanticide laws. These bills do nothing but vilify physicians who provide reproductive health care.

Legislative outcome Referred to Committee in House; Senate motion to proceed rejected, 56-41-3 (60 required).

Source: Supreme Court case 19-S0311 argued on Feb 5, 2019

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