Congressman Marsha Blackburn – protecting the dignity of human life
Receiving the Clare Boothe Luce Policy Instituteâ€™s 2016 Woman of the Year Award at CPAC
No issue is more deserving of our undivided attention than protecting the dignity of human life. This week the Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives, which I chair, held our first hearing on the issue of bioethics and fetal tissue. It is the Select Panelâ€™s purpose to follow the facts to find out â€˜what is going on?â€™ but it is also our responsibility to ask â€˜what does it mean?â€™ At our first hearing we asked for Americaâ€™s best and brightest to help us think through the ethical issues that surround procuring and selling baby body parts and related matters. The big surprise in the hearing was how many times the Democrats and their witnesses moved our way on important ethical questions. The Democratâ€™s agree with us that no one should profit from selling fetal tissue. Their star witness admitted that outside of a few important historic vaccines, no cures have been found using fetal tissue. They agreed that no one should be allowed to get pregnant for the purpose of making a fetal tissue or organ donation. The witnesses, including the Democrat witness at the hearing, all agreed that the consent form used in many abortion clinics for fetal tissue donation was coercive and dishonest. They agreed that it would be a legal and ethical violation for an abortion clinic and a researcher to deceive the board, called an Institutional Review Board that by law reviews fetal tissue research. When one Democrat member proposed that fetal donation should be mandatory â€“ all witnesses, including the Democrat witnesses, agreed with Republicans that the suggestion was morally repugnant. I am pleased that while major disagreement exists on abortion and fetal tissue, both sides agreed that ethically obtained tissue from an ectopic pregnancy or a miscarriage would be within ethical norms for research. You can watch the full hearing, here. While we made progress in the hearing, our work on the Select Panel is still not done. Be sure to follow me on Facebook and Twitter for updates.
While the brave men and women of Fort Campbell fight for our freedom across the globe, itâ€™s my honor to fight for their priorities in Congress. We can never thank them enough for their service. This week I had the opportunity to testify before the House Armed Services Committee in support of legislation that would reverse the current drawdown of the end of strength levels for U.S. Land Forces, specifically the Army and Marines and also about the necessity of restoring the Army Flying Hours Program to its full capacity in FY2017. Last fiscal year, I secured a provision in the National Defense Authorization Act that authorized funding for the Army and Air Force flying hours program, to provide training and flight hours at 100% levels for military aviators and I am working on securing it in the FY2017 Department of Defense budget as well. For full video of my testimony, click here.
Today I was honored to be named the Clare Boothe Luce Policy Instituteâ€™s 2016 Woman of the Year during a luncheon at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington, D.C. During the luncheon, I was able to discuss with several young women, many of whom were from Tennessee, my fight for conservative policies and my experiences as a conservative woman. It was an honor to accept this award in a room full of enthusiastic young women who are the future of the conservative movement.
As we wrap up a week of voting in D.C., Iâ€™m looking forward to spending time back in the district next week. On Monday I will be hosting a Veterans Workshop in Clarksville to connect our veterans and retirees with services in our community and on Tuesday Iâ€™ll be partnering with Google to host a program that will provide small businesses free tools and resources to get online. I hope to see many of you at these two events and others as I make my way across the district.
Have a great weekend,