Engel Votes Against H.R. 36

Engel Votes Against H.R. 36

Washington, D.C.— Congressman Eliot L. Engel, a top Member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, voted against H.R. 36, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.

This bill would impose harsh criminal penalties on medical professionals who provide abortion care after 20 weeks, taking decision-making power away from patients and their trusted health care providers.

“I have said it before, and I’ll say it again: Members of Congress should not be deciding what is best for a woman’s health,” Engel said. “We’re not in her shoes. We should not deny her the ability to make a decision in consultation with those she trusts. Women do not need a new federal law infringing on their health care decisions and criminalizing their health care providers. Congress should not be in the business of denying anyone their constitutional rights.”

The bill would prohibit a doctor from providing care even if there could be irreversible damage to a woman’s health, or if the fetus has no chance of survival. The bill also provides a narrow and callous exception in cases of rape and incest, forcing rape survivors to overcome unnecessary hurdles. Exceptions in the event of incest would be denied to women who are 18 or older.

“It is galling that Republicans would have the audacity to vote on this bill days after letting the Children’s Health Insurance Program expire,” Engel said. “If the GOP actually wanted to take care of America’s children, they would extend funding for CHIP without delay.”