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Sheila Jackson Lee Criticized for Calling Abortion a 'Needed Action'

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By Ray Downs, Christian Post Reporter
October 18, 2011|2:40 pm

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) is under attack from conservatives for referring to a fetus' heartbeats as "sounds" and referring to abortion as a "necessary action."

The controversial statements came during a speech on the House floor last week when the Texas lawmaker was explaining her opposition to the Protect Life Act.

"Just as the courts ruled unconstitutional and upheld the provision of the Texas law that required a doctor to talk first to a woman seeking an abortion and to allow or force them both to listen to sounds that might discourage this needed action," Jackson said, "this is going to be held unconstitutional. This is not a law that can pass."

Not using the word "heartbeat" set off conservatives on Twitter, who blasted the congresswoman for her comments.

@Hardline_Stance, a conservative blogger, sarcastically tweeted, "Sheila Jackson Lee:''A baby in womb has no heartbeat just sounds.' "

Also, @Kbradley41 tweeted, "Sheila Jackson Lee, you are just 'noise.' "

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Other comments on Twitter and conservative blogs regarding Jackson Lee were not suitable for publication on The Christian Post.

The Protect Life Act prevents a woman from buying a private insurance plan that includes abortion coverage through a state health care exchange and allows health care workers to abstain from performing an abortion, even in emergency situations, if they choose to do so. Jackson Lee's opposition to the proposed bill was based on her belief that it infringed on women's health rights.

"As a strong advocate for women's health, I cannot stand by and watch as those who do not support the rights of women strip away these rights through insidious methods," Jackson Lee said, according to the Houston Chronicle.

Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) is against the bill, referencing a personal situation she had in which an abortion was medically necessary.

"I was pregnant, I was miscarrying, I was bleeding," Speier said during a speech on the House floor last week. "If I had to go from one hospital to the next trying to find one emergency room that would take me in, who knows if I would even be here today. What my colleagues on the other side of the aisle are trying to do is misogynist."

Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas), who supported the Protect Life Act, said that despite arguments against the bill’s passing, polls show Americans are overwhelmingly in support of it.

"Regardless of whether you are pro-choice or like me strongly pro-life, Americans have always agreed we will not use federal tax dollars to subsidize or incentivize abortion," he said.

"And, you don't have to take my word for it. In poll after poll, more than 60% of Americans oppose using federal funding for abortions, and more recently two-thirds of Americans said we shouldn’t subsidize health insurance plans that includes abortions," Brady added.

The House of Representatives passed the Protect Life Act Oct. 13, with 15 Democrats joining 236 Republicans in support of the legislation.

 

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