A picture of Representative Bill Huizenga
Bill H.
Republican MI 2

About Rep. Bill
  • Protecting the Rights of the Unborn

    by Representative Bill Huizenga

    Posted on 2015-01-21

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    HUIZENGA of Michigan. I appreciate my friend from New Jersey yielding me this time, and I rise today to join my colleagues and thousands of Americans who will be marching on Washington, D.C., tomorrow because every life truly is a gift, which is this year's Right to Life march theme. It has been talked about, the millions of young lives that have been tragically cut short.

    [[Page H465]] But I, like my colleague and our friend from Kansas, who was just talking about his personal experience with adoption, I come from a place in western Michigan that has really embraced the notion of adoption. We have a number of friends and neighbors who have done both domestic and international adoption. In fact, one family is now on their third adoption from Africa, and this time they are coming home with a brother and sister for four kids, adding to their own natural five that they have. And I must add that, a little jokingly, we are not Catholic typically in western Michigan, we are just passionate Protestants. We are wanting to share that gift of life and opportunity for those children who have that potential that their parents see and go through a difficult decision to put them up, and whether it is domestically or internationally, we are so pleased that they have done that.

    It is also why, because life being so precious, why my wife, Natalie, and I have been active through our church and Michigan Right to Life, and my wife particularly through the Lakeshore Pregnancy Center, a crisis pregnancy center that she has been on the board of for a number of years that is helping young men and women make those difficult choices in those difficult life circumstances.

    I understand, and I know my colleagues know this as well. This is very difficult. It is very emotional. These are issues that have affected so many of us. As we deal with difficult circumstances where these pregnancies have arisen, whether it is through rape or through mistakes that have been made to have these unplanned pregnancies, I think we need to show that love and that mercy that we have been shown at various times in our life.

    I do want to encourage my colleagues in the House, though, to take a close look at a loophole, an issue that I became aware of a couple of years ago. Over the previous two Congresses, I introduced something called the Homeland Security Respect For Life Act and worked with my friend and Appropriations member, Representative Aderholt, to attach language to the annual Department of Homeland Security Appropriations bill.

    This commonsense bill simply prevents hardworking taxpayer dollars from paying for abortions through the DHS programs that currently would fund abortions for detainees who lack lawful status here in the United States. In fact, this bill codifies pro-life language that is already found in the ICE, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, manual on detention standards. But since this manual lacks a basis in law and the weight of law, it can be changed at any time by unelected bureaucrats.

    Well, I think it is time for us to put the DHS in line with other departments of the government and codify this and make sure that this is crystal clear. Our current policy prohibits Federal taxpayer funding for abortions for law-abiding citizens on Medicaid, as well as citizens who are in Federal prison, why not the DHS and why not in these detention areas? It only makes sense to apply those same life-affirming standards to immigration detainees as well.

    {time} 1630 This is an easy fix, Mr. Chairman, and I am hopeful that this year the Senate and the President will agree to our bill language and follow the precedent as consistent with current administration policy in the other Federal agencies. I, too, want to say thank you for your leadership in this area and appreciate the opportunity to spend some time on the floor.

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