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Christopher Smith on Abortion

Republican Representative (NJ-4)


Voted YES on banning federal health coverage that includes abortion.

Proponent's Argument for voting Yes:
[Rep. Fortenberry, R-NE]: Americans deserve to know how the government spends their money, and they are right to refuse the use of their tax dollars for highly controversial activities--in this case, abortion. Abortion harms women. It takes the lives of children, and it allows a man to escape his responsibility. The abortion industry many times profits from all of this pain. We can and must do better as a society, and at a minimum, taxpayer dollars should not be involved. This issue has manifested itself most intently during the health care debate. Unless a prohibition is enacted, taxpayers will fund abortion under the framework of the new health care law. Abortion is not health care.

Opponent's Argument for voting No:
[Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-NY]: H.R. 3 is actually dangerous for women's health. By refusing to provide any exceptions to women who are facing serious health conditions--cancer, heart or whatever that may be--you are forcing women to choose to risk their health or to risk bankruptcy, and I think that is morally unacceptable. Under H.R. 3, a woman facing cancer who needs to terminate a pregnancy in order to live might have to go into debt over the $10,000 that the legal and necessary procedure could cost. Despite having both health insurance and tax-preferred savings accounts, this bill would prevent her from having that.

Reference: No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act; Bill H.3 ; vote number 11-HV292 on May 4, 2011

Voted NO on expanding research to more embryonic stem cell lines.

Allows federal funding for research that utilizes human embryonic stem cells, regardless of the date on which the stem cells were derived from a human embryo, provided such embryos:
  1. have been donated from in vitro fertilization clinics;
  2. were created for the purposes of fertility treatment;
  3. were in excess of the needs of the individuals seeking such treatment and would otherwise be discarded; and
  4. were donated by such individuals with written informed consent and without any financial or other inducements.

Proponents support voting YES because:

Since 2 years ago, the last Stem Cell bill, public support has surged for stem cells. Research is proceeding unfettered and, in some cases, without ethical standards in other countries. And even when these countries have ethical standards, our failures are allowing them to gain the scientific edge over the US. Some suggest that it is Congress' role to tell researchers what kinds of cells to use. I suggest we are not the arbiters of research. Instead, we should foster all of these methods, and we should adequately fund and have ethical oversight over all ethical stem cell research.

Opponents support voting NO because:

A good deal has changed in the world of science. Amniotic fluid stem cells are now available to open a broad new area of research. I think the American people would welcome us having a hearing to understand more about this promising new area of science. As it stands today, we will simply have to debate the bill on the merits of information that is well over 2 years old, and I think that is unfortunate.

The recent findings of the pluripotent epithelial cells demonstrates how quickly the world has changed. Wouldn't it be nice to have the researcher before our committee and be able to ask those questions so we may make the best possible judgment for the American people?

Reference: Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act; Bill HR 3 ("First 100 hours") ; vote number 2007-020 on Jan 11, 2007

Voted NO on allowing human embryonic stem cell research.

To provide for human embryonic stem cell research. A YES vote would:
Reference: Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act; Bill HR 810 ; vote number 2005-204 on May 24, 2005

Voted YES on restricting interstate transport of minors to get abortions.

To prevent the transportation of minors in circumvention of certain laws relating to abortion, and for other purposes, including:
Reference: Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act; Bill HR 748 ; vote number 2005-144 on Apr 27, 2005

Voted YES on making it a crime to harm a fetus during another crime.

Vote to pass a bill that would make it a criminal offense to harm or kill a fetus during the commission of a violent crime. The measure would set criminal penalties, the same as those that would apply if harm or death happened to the pregnant woman, for those who harm a fetus. It is not required that the individual have prior knowledge of the pregnancy or intent to harm the fetus. This bill prohibits the death penalty from being imposed for such an offense. The bill states that its provisions should not be interpreted to apply a woman's actions with respect to her pregnancy.
Reference: Unborn Victims of Violence Act; Bill HR 1997 ; vote number 2004-31 on Feb 26, 2004

Voted YES on banning partial-birth abortion except to save mother’s life.

Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003: Vote to pass a bill banning a medical procedure, which is commonly known as "partial-birth" abortion. The procedure would be allowed only in cases in which a women's life is in danger, not for cases where a women's health is in danger. Those who performed this procedure, would face fines and up to two years in prison, the women to whom this procedure is performed on are not held criminally liable.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Santorum, R-PA; Bill S.3 ; vote number 2003-530 on Oct 2, 2003

Voted YES on forbidding human cloning for reproduction & medical research.

Vote to pass a bill that would forbid human cloning and punish violators with up to 10 years in prison and fines of at least $1 million. The bill would ban human cloning, and any attempts at human cloning, for both reproductive purposes and medical research. Also forbidden is the importing of cloned embryos or products made from them.
Reference: Human Cloning Prohibition Act; Bill HR 534 ; vote number 2003-39 on Feb 27, 2003

Voted YES on funding for health providers who don't provide abortion info.

Abortion Non-Discrimination Act of 2002: Vote to pass a bill that would prohibit the federal, state and local governments that receive federal funding from discriminating against health care providers, health insurers, health maintenance organizations, and any other kind of health care facility, organization or plan, that decline to refer patients for, pay for or provide abortion services. In addition the bill would expand an existing law "conscience clause" that protects physician training programs that refuse to provide training for abortion procedures.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Bilirakis, R-FL; Bill HR 4691 ; vote number 2002-412 on Sep 25, 2002

Voted YES on banning Family Planning funding in US aid abroad.

Vote to adopt an amendment that would remove language reversing President Bush's restrictions on funding to family planning groups that provide abortion services, counseling or advocacy.
Reference: Amendment sponsored by Hyde, R-IL; Bill HR 1646 ; vote number 2001-115 on May 16, 2001

Voted YES on banning partial-birth abortions.

HR 3660 would ban doctors from performing the abortion procedure called "dilation and extraction" [also known as “partial-birth” abortion]. The measure would allow the procedure only if the life of the woman is at risk.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Canady, R-FL; Bill HR 3660 ; vote number 2000-104 on Apr 5, 2000

Voted YES on barring transporting minors to get an abortion.

The Child Custody Protection Act makes it a federal crime to transport a minor across state lines for the purpose of obtaining an abortion.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Ros-Lehtinen, R-FL; Bill HR 1218 ; vote number 1999-261 on Jun 30, 1999

Rated 0% by NARAL, indicating a pro-life voting record.

Smith scores 0% by NARAL on pro-choice voting record

For over thirty years, NARAL Pro-Choice America has been the political arm of the pro-choice movement and a strong advocate of reproductive freedom and choice. NARAL Pro-Choice America's mission is to protect and preserve the right to choose while promoting policies and programs that improve women's health and make abortion less necessary. NARAL Pro-Choice America works to educate Americans and officeholders about reproductive rights and health issues and elect pro-choice candidates at all levels of government. The NARAL ratings are based on the votes the organization considered most important; the numbers reflect the percentage of time the representative voted the organization's preferred position.

Source: NARAL website 03n-NARAL on Dec 31, 2003

Rated 100% by the NRLC, indicating a pro-life stance.

Smith scores 100% by the NRLC on abortion issues

OnTheIssues.org interprets the 2006 NRLC scores as follows:

About the NRLC (from their website, www.nrlc.org):

The ultimate goal of the National Right to Life Committee is to restore legal protection to innocent human life. The primary interest of the National Right to Life Committee and its members has been the abortion controversy; however, it is also concerned with related matters of medical ethics which relate to the right to life issues of euthanasia and infanticide. The Committee does not have a position on issues such as contraception, sex education, capital punishment, and national defense. The National Right to Life Committee was founded in 1973 in response to the Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court decision, legalizing the practice of human abortion in all 50 states, throughout the entire nine months of pregnancy.

The NRLC has been instrumental in achieving a number of legislative reforms at the national level, including a ban on non-therapeutic experimentation of unborn and newborn babies, a federal conscience clause guaranteeing medical personnel the right to refuse to participate in abortion procedures, and various amendments to appropriations bills which prohibit (or limit) the use of federal funds to subsidize or promote abortions in the United States and overseas.

In addition to maintaining a lobbying presence at the federal level, NRLC serves as a clearinghouse of information for its state affiliates and local chapters, its individual members, the press, and the public.

Source: NRLC website 06n-NRLC on Dec 31, 2006

Prohibit transporting minors across state lines for abortion.

Smith co-sponsored prohibiting taking minors across state lines for abortion

A bill to prohibit taking minors across State lines in circumvention of laws requiring the involvement of parents in abortion decisions.

Source: Child Custody Protection Act (S.2543&H.R.1063) 08-SR2543 on Jan 22, 2008

Sponsored bill barring federal funding for abortion.

Smith sponsored H.R.5939

Source: No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act 10-HR5939 on Jul 29, 2010

Ban abortions for sex selection or race selection.

Smith co-sponsored PRENDA: Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act

Congressional Summary: Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act of 2011: Imposes criminal penalties on anyone who knowingly or knowingly attempts to:

  1. perform an abortion that is sought based on the sex, gender, color or race of the child, or the race of a parent;
  2. use the threat of force to intimidate any person for the purpose of coercing a sex-selection or race-selection abortion;
  3. solicit or accept funds for the performance of such an abortion; or
  4. transport a woman across a state line for the purpose of obtaining such an abortion.
Deems a violation of this Act to be prohibited discrimination under the Civil Rights Act of 1964. (Violators lose federal funding.)

Sponsor's Letter (Rep. Trent Franks):PRENDA restricts sex-selection abortion and race-selection abortion, and the coercion of a woman to obtain either. The woman seeking an abortion is exempted from prosecution, while abortion providers are held to account.

Opponents' Opinion (Erin Gloria Ryan on jezebel.com):Rep. Franks, a white man, has claimed that his desire to disallow "race-selective abortions" is based on his concern that the black community is having so many abortions. He doesn't say how, exactly, doctors are supposed to determine that a black woman seeking an abortion is doing so because her fetus would be black or whether she's just doing it because she doesn't want to be pregnant. Let's be honest here: this isn't really about saving girls and minorities; it's about eventually making abortion illegal. A sex-selection ban would present the Supreme Court with a dilemma: it dares the pro-abortion justices to embrace an abortion right to kill girls for being girls.

Source: H.R.3541 11-H3541 on Dec 1, 2011

Sponsored bill prohibiting federal funding for abortion.

Smith sponsored No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act

Source: H.R.3 &S.906 11-HR0003 on May 5, 2011

Prohibiting forced abortions by UN Population Fund.

Smith signed Prohibition on Funding to United Nations Population Fund

A BILL: To prohibit funding to the United Nations Population Fund.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives: Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Secretary of State may not make a contribution to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

[Explanation from Wikipedia.com]: UNFPA has been accused of providing support for government programs which have promoted forced-abortions and coercive sterilizations. Controversies regarding these allegations have resulted in a sometimes shaky relationship between the organization and the US government, with three presidential administrations, that of Ronald Reagan, George H. Bush and George W. Bush withholding funding from the UNFPA.

From 2002 through 2008, the Bush Administration denied funding to UNFPA that had already been allocated by the US Congress, partly on the grounds that the UNFPA supported Chinese government programs which include forced abortions and coercive sterilizations, thus violating the Kemp-Kasten Amendment.

UNFPA says it "does not provide support for abortion services". Its charter includes a strong statement condemning coercion. UNFPA's connection to China's administration of forced abortions was disputed by investigations carried out by various US, UK, and UN teams sent to examine UNFPA activities in China. A three-person US State Department fact-finding team was sent on a two week tour throughout China, concluding that it found "no evidence that UNFPA has supported or participated in the management of a program of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization in China," as has been charged by critics. However, according to then-Secretary of State Colin Powell, the UNFPA contributed vehicles and computers to the Chinese to carry out their population control policies.

The EU and Japan decided to fill the gap left behind by the US. In America, nonprofit organizations worked to compensate for the loss of US federal funding by raising private donations.

Source: H.R.2059 11-HR2059 on May 31, 2011

Prohibit federal funding to groups like Planned Parenthood.

Smith co-sponsored Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act

Congressional Summary:Prohibits providing any federal family planning assistance to an entity unless the entity will not perform, and will not provide any funds to any other entity that performs, an abortion. Excludes an abortion where: (1) the pregnancy is the result of an act of rape or an act of incest against a minor; or (2) a physician certifies that the woman suffered from a physical disorder, injury, or illness that would place the woman in danger of death unless an abortion is performed.

Wikipedia Explanation:Title X of the Public Health Service Act, titled "Population Research and Voluntary Family Planning Programs" is a US government program dedicated to providing family planning services for those in need. Title X provides access to contraceptive services, supplies and information. Priority for services is given to persons of low-income.

Sponsor Remarks by Rep. Mike Pence:It is morally wrong to take the taxpayer dollars of millions of pro-life Americans and use them to promote abortion. Last year, Planned Parenthood received more than $363 million in revenue from government grants; and performed an unprecedented 324,008 abortions. The largest abortion provider in America should not also be the largest recipient of federal funding under Title X. The Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act will prevent any family planning funds under Title X from going to Planned Parenthood or other organizations that perform abortions. It will ensure that abortion providers are not being subsidized with federal tax dollars.

OnTheIssues Explanation: Federal money is never explicitly provided for abortions. But Planned Parenthood does provide abortions, paid for via private funds. At issue is the "fungibility" of money: Planned Parenthood can use federal funds to supplement their budget and hence free up other funds for abortion. This bill would end that practice.

Source: H.R.217 11-HR217 on Jan 7, 2011

Sponsored prohibiting abortion information at school health centers.

Smith co-sponsored PRO-LIFE Act

Congressional Summary:Protecting Life in Funding Education Act or the PRO-LIFE Act--to prohibit the provision of federal education funding to state or local educational agencies that make health services available to students through school-based health centers, unless those centers certify that they will not provide students with abortions, abortion-related materials or referrals, or directions to abortion services.

Proponent's argument for bill: (Sponsor Rep. Randy Neugebauer's House website)

School districts in California, Oregon, New Jersey, and New York are now partnering with Planned Parenthood, the country's largest abortion provider, to pro

Source: H.R.1122 13-H1122 on Mar 13, 2013

No family planning assistance that includes abortion.

Smith co-sponsored Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act

Prohibits providing any federal family planning assistance to an entity unless the entity certifies that, during the period of such assistance, the entity will not perform, and will not provide any funds to any other entity that performs, an abortion. Excludes an abortion where:

  1. the pregnancy is the result of an act of rape or an act of incest; or
  2. a physician certifies that the woman suffered from a physical disorder, injury, or illness that would place the woman in danger of death unless an abortion is performed, including a condition caused by or arising from the pregnancy.
Excludes hospitals from such requirement so long as the hospital does not provide funds to any non-hospital entity that performs an abortion.
Source: HR.217/S.135 13-HR0217 on Jan 4, 2013

Grant the pre-born equal protection under 14th Amendment.

Smith co-sponsored granting the pre-born equal protection under 14th Amendment

Bill would implement equal protection under the 14th Amendment to the Constitution for the right to life of each born and preborn human person. The Right to Life Act declares that the right to life guaranteed by the Constitution is vested in each human being, and defines "human being" to encompass all stages of life, including the moment of fertilization or cloning.

Source: Right to Life Act (H.R.618) 2007-HR618 on Jan 22, 2007

Declare preborn as persons under 14th amendment.

Smith signed Life at Conception Act

A bill to implement equal protection under the 14th article of amendment to the Constitution for the right to life of each born and preborn human person. 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 authorize the prosecution of any woman for the death of her unborn child.

Source: S.346&HR.881 2009-S346 on Feb 4, 2009

2012 Governor, House and Senate candidates on Abortion: Christopher Smith on other issues:
NJ Gubernatorial:
Barbara Buono
Chris Christie
Cory Booker
NJ Senatorial:
Cory Booker
Frank Pallone
Jeff Bell
Jeff Chiesa
Murray Sabrin
Robert Menendez
Rush Holt
Steve Lonegan

Left 113th Congress, 2013-2014:
AL-1: Jo Bonner(R,resigned)
FL-13:Bill Young(R,deceased)
FL-19:Trey Radel(R,arrested)
IL-2: Jesse L. Jackson(D,convicted)
LA-5: Rodney Alexander(R,resigned)
MA-5: Ed Markey(D,elected)
MO-8: Jo Ann Emerson(R,resigned)
NC-12:Mel Watt(D,appointed)
NJ-1: Rob Andrews(D,investigated)
SC-1: Tim Scott(R,appointed)

Newly-elected special elections 2013-2014:
AL-1: Bradley Byrne(R)
FL-13:David Jolly(R)
FL-19: Pending Nov.4
IL-2: Robin Kelly(D)
LA-5: Vance McAllister(R)
MA-5: Katherine Clark(D)
MO-8: Jason Smith(R)
NC-12: Pending Jul.15
NJ-1: Pending Nov.4
SC-1: Mark Sanford(R)
Won primary 2014:
TX-4: John Ratcliffe(R)
VA-7: Dave Brat(R)

Retiring to run for Senate in 2014:
AR-4: Tom Cotton(R)
CO-4: Cory Gardner(R)
GA-1: Jack Kingston(R)
GA-10:Paul Broun(R)
GA-11:Phil Gingrey(R)
HI-1: Colleen Hanabusa(D)
IA-1: Bruce Braley(D)
LA-6: Bill Cassidy(R)
MI-14:Gary Peters(D)
MT-0: Steve Daines(R)
OK-5: James Lankford(R)
TX-36:Steve Stockman(R)
WV-2: Shelley Moore Capito(R)

Former Reps running for House in 2014:
AL-5: Parker Griffith(R)
CA-3: Doug Ose(R)
GA-11:Bob Barr(R)
CA-31:Joe Baca(D)
IL-10:Bob Dold(R)
IL-17:Bobby Schilling(R)
MS-4: Gene Taylor(D)
MT-0: Denny Rehberg(R)
NH-1: Frank Guinta(R)
NY-11:Vito Fossella(R)
NY-18:Nan Hayworth(R)
OH-7: John Boccieri(D)
PA-13:Marjorie Margolies(D)
TX-23:Francisco Canseco(R)
Lost primary 2014:
TX-4: Ralph Hall(R)
VA-7: Eric Cantor(R)

Retiring to run for State Office in 2014:
AR-2: Tim Griffin(R)
CA-35:Gloria McLeod(D)
ME-2: Mike Michaud(D)
PA-13:Allyson Schwartz(D)
VI-0: Donna Christensen(D)

Retiring effective Jan. 2015:
AL-6: Spencer Bachus(R)
AZ-7: Ed Pastor(D)
CA-11:George Miller(D)
CA-25:Howard McKeon(R)
CA-31:Gary Miller(R)
CA-33:Henry Waxman(D)
CA-45:John Campbell(R)
IA-3: Tom Latham(R)
MI-4: Dave Camp(R)
MI-6: Tom Petri(R)
MI-12:John Dingell(D)
MN-6: Michele Bachmann(R)
NC-6: Howard Coble(R)
NC-7: Mike McIntyre(D)
NJ-3: Jon Runyan(R)
NJ-12:Rush Holt(D)
NY-4: Carolyn McCarthy(D)
NY-21:Bill Owens(D)
PA-6: Jim Gerlach(R)
UT-4: Jim Matheson(D)
VA-8: James Moran(D)
VA-10:Frank Wolf(R)
WA-4: Doc Hastings(R)
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Page last updated: Jun 20, 2014