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‘It Is Our Duty’: Outgoing Congressman Introduces Robust National Pro-Life Protection

July 9, 2024

As the Republican Party revises its platform to relegate abortion to a states’ issue, a congressman has introduced a bill that would protect American taxpayers from funding abortion — and potentially save most unborn children’s lives.

The Life Act (H.R.8855) entirely disentangles all federal funds from abortion. The bill, introduced by Rep. Bob Good (R-Va.), would bar medical practitioners who receive any form of federal funding from carrying out or prescribing abortion to women. The bill allows miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy treatment, as well as contraception that takes place before fertilization and procedures intended to save a mother’s life from a physical illness. Prosecutors may not charge mothers under this bill but can charge abortionists with criminal penalties.

The bill would apply to all medical personnel who accept funds from Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), Indian Health Service (IHS), Veterans Health Administration (VA), TRICARE, or Title X. It would also prevent federal health insurance plans from funding abortion, including those under the Affordable Care Act, the Employee Retirement and Income Security Act (ERISA), and insurance for federal government employees.

If adopted, the bill would significantly reduce abortions nationwide. A total of 78% of all OB-GYNs accept Medicaid, according to a 2020 study from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

The bill embodies the true spirit of the Dobbs decision, said Good in a statement to The Washington Stand. “Thankfully, the Dobbs decision did overturn Roe. ... In a post-Roe America, Congress must legislate to protect life,” Good told TWS. “It is our duty to follow the science that life begins at conception and end abortion, so that every American has the chance to live.”

“We celebrate President Trump appointing conservative justices to the court who would give us that decision. We commend the courage of those justices in the face of threats and harassment and intimidation,” Good told the National Celebrate Life Rally hosted by Students for Life on June 22. “They held strong, and they rendered the right decision that the Constitution does not guarantee the right to abortion but enables the people’s representatives to stand up for life and to protect it in the womb.”

After a still-unnamed individual leaked a draft of the Dobbs decision, angry protesters stalked the homes of numerous conservative Supreme Court justices, and a mentally disturbed young man showed up at Brett Kavanaugh’s home with the intention of assassinating the justice. The would-be assailant, Nicholas Roske of California, said he plotted the murder due to the Dobbs decision. (Media outlets reported that Roske identified as a “trans gamer girl” and “sissy slave” named “Sophie.”)

“Now it’s incumbent upon us legislators,” said Good. “The Supreme Court did not turn it over to the states. They turned it over to the people’s representatives, which includes the state and includes the Congress.”

“The number one responsibility of government is the safety and security of its citizens, and that includes the most vulnerable, the most precious, the most innocent of all: life in the womb,” continued Congressman Good. “May we show the same courage that those Supreme Court justices showed in standing up to protect precious, innocent life from conception. We should not be in the business of negotiating the timeline of abortion, when it’s okay, when it’s not okay.”

Pro-life leaders wholeheartedly agreed with his sentiments. “The Life Act is the legislation the whole pro-life movement is ultimately striving for,” said Students for Life Action. “[A] humane and civil society takes care of all people, from conception to natural death.”

“We all have a duty to protect the unborn, especially as the Biden administration defies state laws to force its pro-abortion agenda on Americans,” said Janae Stracke, vice president of outreach and advocacy at Heritage Action. “Children at every stage of life are relying on lawmakers to unite behind a robust pro-life policy agenda that both empowers women to choose life and defends those who are too young to have a voice.”

“We know that life begins at the moment of conception. That’s why abortion at any stage is contrary to the founding principle of our nation — that every person is equal and has an inherent right to life. Congress has a duty to protect that right for every American, even the smallest babies in the womb,” said Penny Nance, CEO and president of Concerned Women for America. “We commend Rep. Good and his colleagues for their efforts to do just that with the Life Act.”

FRC Action endorsed Good as he sought the Republican nomination for Virginia’s fifth congressional district on June 18. “During his time in the U.S. House of Representatives, Rep. Good has been a strident defender of life, family, and religious liberty. He has stood strong against radical legislation like the erroneously named Equality Act, For the People Act, Respect for Marriage Act, and much more,” said FRC Action President Jody Hice, a former congressman from Georgia. “He understands the fundamental importance of protecting the right to life, the central role strong families must play if our country is to thrive, and that religious liberty is the bedrock of a truly prosperous nation.”

“As if that wasn’t enough, he has also achieved what few have done and earned a lifetime score of 100% on FRC Action’s scorecard,” said Hice.

Good, a two-term congressman and chair of the House Freedom Caucus, has repeatedly spoken out about the deadly toll reaped by the 1973 Supreme Court decision that placed abortion-on-demand in the same protected class of constitutional rights as freedom of speech or freedom of religion. “There are 63 million fewer Americans alive today because of Roe v. Wade. Even after this horrific ruling was overturned, abortion remains the leading killer in America. It has prematurely ended the life of countless doctors, teachers, pastors, and engineers,” said Good.

Congressman Good also introduced the Teleabortion Prevention Act (H.R. 421), which requires abortionists to conduct a physical examination of pregnant mothers before dispensing the abortion pills (mifepristone and misoprostol), be present when the mother ingests the life-ending combination, and schedule a follow-up in-person visit to check for complications. The bill does not forbid any chemical abortion that is “necessary to save the life of a mother whose life is endangered by a physical disorder, illness, injury, or condition.”

While Good has introduced bills protecting unborn children in some situations, he notes that bills protecting unborn life from the moment of fertilization are part of the Republican Party’s DNA. In 2021, Rep. Alex Mooney (R-W.Va.) introduced the Life at Conception Act “at all stages of life, including the moment of fertilization” under the 14th Amendment. Trump’s 2016 Republican primary opponent, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, boldly said as president he would immediately recognize the unborn child’s personhood status under the 14th Amendment.

Last year, Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Pa.) introduced the Heartbeat Protection Act of 2023 (H.R. 175), which would protect babies after a doctor can detect a fetal heartbeat, at approximately six weeks. A 2022 poll found that a majority of all Americans support heartbeat bills.

Good condemned the Republican Party’s retreat on protecting life, which he called “The Great Departure.” He introduced his latest bill just days before delegates in Milwaukee adopted a Republican Party platform that significantly watered-down its pro-life plank. Every GOP platform since 1976 endorsed a constitutional amendment protecting unborn children from abortion — a measure even then-Senator Joe Biden once voted for. Yet the 2024 Republican Party platform language treats abortion as a state issue. It does not specifically mention prohibiting taxpayer-funded abortions at home or abroad, nor defunding abortionists who rake in hundreds of millions of dollars in Title X “family planning” funding and other government grants every year.

“Why do we try to win elections if it’s not to save life?” asked Good. “Hopefully, President Donald Trump will be reelected in November, and we must call upon him to show the same commitment to appointing conservative, constitutional justices to the Supreme Court who will hold up life from conception.” Good’s pro-life protection currently has three cosponsors: Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.), Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.), and Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-Mont.).

It seems as though Good will not be in office by the time America has a Republican president. After a razor-thin primary election, the Virginia State Board of Elections certified his rival, state Senator John McGuire, as the winner of the Republican congressional primary last week. Records show McGuire won by a margin of 375, or 0.6% of the total votes cast, but Good says officials in Lynchburg — the home of Liberty University and the largest city in the district — accepted votes placed in a drop box after the election deadline. Good plans to request a recount, which his campaign must finance.

“We must call on our legislators at all levels of government to stand up and defend life from conception,” said Good. “This is the most important issue.”

Ben Johnson is senior reporter and editor at The Washington Stand.