Three Congressional Bills Fight Obamacare and Contraception Mandate

Congressman Francisco Canseco (R-TX) has co-sponsored three bills in an attempt to deal with Obamacare and by default, the Contraception Mandate issued by U.S. Health and Human Resources (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

Canseco, a Roman Catholic, has sent letters to his constituents which reads in part, “I strongly believe that life begins at conception and that innocent lives must be protected. Our Founding Fathers believed that all Americans have certain unalienable rights; including life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and these rights must be protected.”

Toward that end, Canseco has cosponsored three bills making their way through committees in the House of Representatives. Those bills are the “Life at Conception Act” (H.R. 374), the “Protect life Act” (H.R. 358), and the “Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act” (H.R. 217). All three pieces of legislation have targeted portions of Obamacare which include the recent HHS mandate.

The “Life at Conception Act,” sponsored by Duncan D. Hunter (R-CA) and cosponsored by 112 other representatives including Canseco, “Declares that the right to life guaranteed by the Constitution is vested in each human being beginning at the moment of fertilization, cloning, or other moment at which an individual comes into being. Prohibits construing this Act to require the prosecution of any woman for the death of her unborn child.” In other words, life begins at conception.” This bill has been referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary for further discussion.

The “Protect Life Act,” sponsored by Joseph R. Pitts (R-PA) and cosponsored by 145 other representatives including Canseco, “Amends the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) to prohibit federal funds from being used to cover any part of the costs of any health plan that includes coverage of abortion services.” Introduced in January of 2011, it passed in the House on October 13, 2011 by a vote of 251-172 and referred to a Senate committee where it was read twice and then referred to the Committee on Finance.

The “Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act, ” sponsored by Mike Pence (R-IN) and cosponsored by 178 other representatives, says the federal government cannot provide funds to any entity for family planning if that entity provides abortions. This bill is currently in the House Subcommittee on Health.

With yesterday’s Senate vote that failed to block the HHS mandate, these bills in development in the House clearly show that concerned parties have not given up the fight to protect life and the First Amendment Right to religious liberty. These bills will soon make their way out of committee and we will most certainly hear more about their progress.