Jim Jeffords on Abortion
Independent Jr Senator (VT, retiring 2006)
Voted NO on notifying parents of minors who get out-of-state abortions.
This bill prohibits taking minors across State lines in circumvention of laws requiring the involvement of parents in abortion decisions. Makes an exception for an abortion necessary to save the life of the minor. Authorizes any parent to sue unless such parent committed an act of incest with the minor. Imposes a fine and/or prison term of up to one year on a physician who performs an abortion on an out-of-state minor in violation of parental notification requirements in their home state.
Proponents recommend voting YES because:
This bill deals with how young girls are being secretly taken across State lines for the purpose of abortion, without the consent of their parents or even the knowledge of their parents, in violation of the laws of the State in which they live. 45 states have enacted some sort of parental consent laws or parental notification law. By simply secreting a child across State lines, one can frustrate the State legislature's rules.
It is subverting and defeating valid, constitutionally approved rights parents have.
Opponents recommend voting NO because:
Some States have parental consent laws, some don't. In my particular State, it has been voted down because my people feel that if you ask them, "Do they want their kids to come to their parents?", absolutely. But if you ask them, "Should you force them to do so, even in circumstances where there could be trouble that comes from that?", they say no.
This bill emanates from a desire that our children come to us when we have family matters, when our children are in trouble, that they not be fearful, that they not be afraid that they disappoint us, that they be open with us and loving toward us, and we toward them. This is what we want to have happen. The question is: Can Big Brother Federal Government force this on our families? That is where we will differ.
Reference: Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act;
; vote number 2006-216
on Jul 25, 2006
Voted YES on $100M to reduce teen pregnancy by education & contraceptives.
Vote to adopt an amendment to the Senate's 2006 Fiscal Year Budget that allocates $100 million for the prevention of unintended pregnancies. A YES vote would expand access to preventive health care services that reduce unintended pregnancy (including teen pregnancy), reduce the number of abortions, and improve access to women's health care. A YES vote would:
Reference: Appropriation to expand access to preventive health care services;
Bill S.Amdt. 244 to S Con Res 18
; vote number 2005-75
on Mar 17, 2005
- Increase funding and access to family planning services
- Funds legislation that requires equitable prescription coverage for contraceptives under health plans
- Funds legislation that would create and expand teen pregnancy prevention programs and education programs concerning emergency contraceptives
Voted NO on banning partial birth abortions except for maternal life.
S. 3 As Amended; Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003. Vote to pass a bill banning a medical procedure, which is commonly known as "partial-birth" abortion. Those who performed this procedure would then face fines and up to two years in prison, the women to whom this procedure is performed on are not held criminally liable. This bill would make the exception for cases in which a women's life is in danger, not for cases where a women's health is in danger.
; vote number 2003-51
on Mar 12, 2003
Voted NO on maintaining ban on Military Base Abortions.
Vote on a motion to table [kill] an amendment that would repeal the ban on privately funded abortions at overseas military facilities.
Bill S 2549
; vote number 2000-134
on Jun 20, 2000
Voted NO on banning partial birth abortions.
This legislation, if enacted, would ban the abortion procedure in which the physician partially delivers the fetus before completing the abortion. [A NO vote supports abortion rights].
Status: Bill Passed Y)63; N)34; NV)3
Reference: Partial Birth Abortion Ban;
Bill S. 1692
; vote number 1999-340
on Oct 21, 1999
Voted NO on banning human cloning.
This cloture motion was in order to end debate and move to consideration of legislation banning human cloning. [A YES vote opposes human cloning].
Status: Cloture Motion Rejected Y)42; N)54; NV)4
Reference: Motion to invoke cloture on motion to proceed to S. 1601;
Bill S. 1601
; vote number 1998-10
on Feb 11, 1998
Expand embryonic stem cell research.
Jeffords signed a letter from 58 Senators to the President
Dear Mr. President:
We write to urge you to expand the current federal policy concerning embryonic stem cell research.
Embryonic stem cells have the potential to be used to treat and better understand deadly and disabling diseases and conditions that affect more than 100 million Americans, such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, and many others.
We appreciate your words of support for the enormous potential of this research, and we know that you intended your policy to help promote this research to its fullest. As you know, the Administration's policy limits federal funding only to embryonic stem cells that were derived by August 9, 2001.
However, scientists have told us that since the policy went into effect more than two years ago, we have learned that the embryonic stem cell lines eligible for federal funding will not be suitable to effectively promote this research. We therefore feel it is essential to
relax the restrictions in the current policy for this research to be fully explored.
Among the difficult challenges with the current policy are the following:
We would very much like to work with you to modify the current embryonic stem cell policy so that it provides this area of research the greatest opportunity to lead to the treatments and cures for which we are all hoping.
Source: Letter from 58 Senators to the President 04-SEN8 on Jun 4, 2004
- While it originally appeared that 78 embryonic stem cell lines would be available for research, only 19 are available to researchers.
- All available stem cell lines are contaminated with mouse feeder cells, making their therapeutic use for humans uncertain.
- It is increasingly difficult to attract new scientists to this area of research because of concerns that funding restrictions will keep this research from being successful.
- Despite the fact that U.S. scientists were the first to derive human embryonic stem cells, leadership in this area of research is shifting to other countries.
Sponsored bill providing contraceptives for low-income women.
Jeffords introduced expanding contraceptive services for low-income women
OFFICIAL CONGRESSIONAL SUMMARY: Amends Medicaid to:
- prohibit a state from providing for medical coverage unless it includes certain family planning services and supplies; and
- include women who are not pregnant but who meet income eligibility standards in a mandatory "categorically needy" group for family planning services purposes.
EXCERPTS OF BILL:
Congress makes the following findings:
- Rates of unintended pregnancy increased by nearly 30% among low-income women between 1994 and 2002, and a low-income woman today is 4 times as likely to have an unintended pregnancy as her higher income counterpart.
- Abortion rates decreased among higher income women but increased among low income women in that period, and a low income woman is more than 4 times as likely to have an abortion as her higher income counterpart.
- Contraceptive use reduces a woman's probability of having an abortion by 85%.
Levels of contraceptive use among low-income women at risk of unintended pregnancy declined significantly, from 92% to 86%.
- Publicly funded contraceptive services have been shown to prevent 1,300,000 unintended pregnancies each year, and in the absence of these services the abortion rate would likely be 40% higher than it is.
- By helping couples avoid unintended pregnancy, Medicaid-funded contraceptive services are highly cost-effective, and every public dollar spent on family planning saves $3 in the cost of pregnancy-related care alone.The Social Security Act is amended by adding [to the Medicaid section] the following: COVERAGE OF FAMILY PLANNING SERVICES AND SUPPLIES -- a State may not provide for medical coverage unless that coverage includes family planning services and supplies.
LEGISLATIVE OUTCOME:Referred to Senate Committee on Finance; never came to a vote.
Source: Unintended Pregnancy Reduction Act (S.2916/H.R.5795) 06-S2916 on May 19, 2006
Sponsored bill for emergency contraception for rape victims.
Jeffords introduced for emergency contraception for rape victims
OFFICIAL CONGRESSIONAL SUMMARY: Prohibits any federal funds from being provided to a hospital unless the hospital provides to women who are victims of sexual assault:
- accurate and unbiased information about emergency contraception;
- emergency contraception on her request; and
- does not deny any such services because of the inability of the woman to pay.
SPONSOR'S INTRODUCTORY REMARKS: Sen. CLINTON: This bill will help sexual assault survivors across the country get the medical care they need and deserve. It is hard to argue against this commonsense legislation. Rape--by definition--could never result in an intended pregnancy. Emergency contraception is a valuable tool that can prevent unintended pregnancy. This bill makes emergency contraception available for survivors of sexual assault at any hospital receiving public funds.
Every 2 minutes, a woman is sexually assaulted in the US, and each year,
25,000 to 32,000 women become pregnant as a result of rape or incest. 50% of those pregnancies end in abortion.
By providing access to emergency contraception, up to 95% of those unintended pregnancies could be prevented if emergency contraception is administered within the first 24 to 72 hours. In addition, emergency contraception could also give desperately needed peace of mind to women in crisis.
The FDA recently made EC available over the counter for women 18 years of age and older. Despite the ideologically driven agenda against this drug, the research has been consistently clear--this drug is safe and effective for preventing pregnancy. Women deserve access to EC. For millions of women, it represents peace of mind. For survivors of rape and sexual assault, it offers hope for healing and a tomorrow free of painful reminders of the past.
LEGISLATIVE OUTCOME:Referred to Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions; never came to a vote.
Source: Compassionate Assistance for Rape Emergencies Act (S.3945) 06-S3945 on Sep 26, 2006
Page last updated: Apr 27, 2013