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Ed Markey on Abortion

Democratic Representative (MA-7)

 


Champion of woman's ability to make her own decisions

Congressman Markey is a strong proponent of ObamaCare, which ensures that preventive services: such as breast cancer screenings and contraception --are available free of charge.

Endorsed by NARAL, Ed is pro-choice and a strong champion of a woman's ability to make her own decisions about her reproductive health. He voted against the "Stupak Amendment," which would have denied women the ability to purchase private insurance plans that cover abortion services, even when using their own money. Ed believed this represented an unprecedented intrusion between a woman and her doctor, and he voted against it.

Ed is also a leading advocate for investing in research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to prevent, treat, and cure diseases that affect women, including breast and lung cancer, heart disease, diabetes, depression and Alzheimer's.

Source: Vote-USA.org on 2020 Massachusetts Senate race , Oct 23, 2014

Endorsed by Planned Parenthood; supports abortion rights

Markey repeatedly returned to two issue areas where he diverged from Gomez: his support for gun control measures that Gomez opposes and his support for abortion rights, which he juxtaposed with Gomez's professed personal opposition to abortion rights.

"You saw someone representing the oldest Republican ideas," Markey said in a scrum with reporters after the debate. "He obviously does not believe that a woman should have a right to choose." Gomez noted that he would not change any laws on the issue. "I couldn't be more clear: I'm not changing any law on abortion," he said to reporters after the debate.

During the forum, Markey noted that Planned Parenthood has endorsed him and emphasized

Source: Boston Globe on 2013 MA Senate debate , Jun 6, 2013

Litmus test for Supreme Court nominees on abortion

Gomez suggested he could support a waiting period for abortions. "I think asking somebody to wait 24 hours before they can actually go have an abortion is not asking a lot," he said.

Markey described himself as pro-choice: "I think the decision should be between the woman and her physician. That's it. The woman makes the decision, not some law that's imposed by politicians," he said.

Gomez also said he could vote for a Supreme Court nominee who is opposed to abortion. "If the judge comes in front of me and they follow the constitution and they're ethical and they're pro-choice and they've done a good job. I'll vote for them. If they're pro-life, I'll vote for them," he said. "There should be no litmus test."

Markey said there should be a litmus test when it comes to abortion. "I have a litmus test. I would not vote for a Supreme Court justice who would overturn Roe v. Wade," he said.

Source: Boston Herald on 2013 MA Senate debate , Jun 6, 2013

Voted NO on banning federal health coverage that includes abortion.

Proponent's Argument for voting Yes:
[Rep. Fortenberry, R-NE]: Americans deserve to know how the government spends their money, and they are right to refuse the use of their tax dollars for highly controversial activities--in this case, abortion. Abortion harms women. It takes the lives of children, and it allows a man to escape his responsibility. The abortion industry many times profits from all of this pain. We can and must do better as a society, and at a minimum, taxpayer dollars should not be involved. This issue has manifested itself most intently during the health care debate. Unless a prohibition is enacted, taxpayers will fund abortion under the framework of the new health care law. Abortion is not health care.

Opponent's Argument for voting No:
[Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-NY]: H.R. 3 is actually dangerous for women's health. By refusing to provide any exceptions to women who are facing serious health conditions--cancer, heart or whatever that may be--you are forcing women to choose to risk their health or to risk bankruptcy, and I think that is morally unacceptable. Under H.R. 3, a woman facing cancer who needs to terminate a pregnancy in order to live might have to go into debt over the $10,000 that the legal and necessary procedure could cost. Despite having both health insurance and tax-preferred savings accounts, this bill would prevent her from having that.

Reference: No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act; Bill H.3 ; vote number 11-HV292 on May 4, 2011

Voted YES on expanding research to more embryonic stem cell lines.

Allows federal funding for research that utilizes human embryonic stem cells, regardless of the date on which the stem cells were derived from a human embryo, provided such embryos:
  1. have been donated from in vitro fertilization clinics;
  2. were created for the purposes of fertility treatment;
  3. were in excess of the needs of the individuals seeking such treatment and would otherwise be discarded; and
  4. were donated by such individuals with written informed consent and without any financial or other inducements.

Proponents support voting YES because:

Since 2 years ago, the last Stem Cell bill, public support has surged for stem cells. Research is proceeding unfettered and, in some cases, without ethical standards in other countries. And even when these countries have ethical standards, our failures are allowing them to gain the scientific edge over the US. Some suggest that it is Congress' role to tell researchers what kinds of cells to use. I suggest we are not the arbiters of research. Instead, we should foster all of these methods, and we should adequately fund and have ethical oversight over all ethical stem cell research.

Opponents support voting NO because:

A good deal has changed in the world of science. Amniotic fluid stem cells are now available to open a broad new area of research. I think the American people would welcome us having a hearing to understand more about this promising new area of science. As it stands today, we will simply have to debate the bill on the merits of information that is well over 2 years old, and I think that is unfortunate.

The recent findings of the pluripotent epithelial cells demonstrates how quickly the world has changed. Wouldn't it be nice to have the researcher before our committee and be able to ask those questions so we may make the best possible judgment for the American people?

Reference: Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act; Bill HR 3 ("First 100 hours") ; vote number 2007-020 on Jan 11, 2007

Voted YES on allowing human embryonic stem cell research.

To provide for human embryonic stem cell research. A YES vote would:
Reference: Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act; Bill HR 810 ; vote number 2005-204 on May 24, 2005

Voted NO on restricting interstate transport of minors to get abortions.

To prevent the transportation of minors in circumvention of certain laws relating to abortion, and for other purposes, including:
Reference: Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act; Bill HR 748 ; vote number 2005-144 on Apr 27, 2005

Voted NO on making it a crime to harm a fetus during another crime.

Vote to pass a bill that would make it a criminal offense to harm or kill a fetus during the commission of a violent crime. The measure would set criminal penalties, the same as those that would apply if harm or death happened to the pregnant woman, for those who harm a fetus. It is not required that the individual have prior knowledge of the pregnancy or intent to harm the fetus. This bill prohibits the death penalty from being imposed for such an offense. The bill states that its provisions should not be interpreted to apply a woman's actions with respect to her pregnancy.
Reference: Unborn Victims of Violence Act; Bill HR 1997 ; vote number 2004-31 on Feb 26, 2004

Voted NO on banning partial-birth abortion except to save mother’s life.

Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003: Vote to pass a bill banning a medical procedure, which is commonly known as "partial-birth" abortion. The procedure would be allowed only in cases in which a women's life is in danger, not for cases where a women's health is in danger. Those who performed this procedure, would face fines and up to two years in prison, the women to whom this procedure is performed on are not held criminally liable.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Santorum, R-PA; Bill S.3 ; vote number 2003-530 on Oct 2, 2003

Voted NO on forbidding human cloning for reproduction & medical research.

Vote to pass a bill that would forbid human cloning and punish violators with up to 10 years in prison and fines of at least $1 million. The bill would ban human cloning, and any attempts at human cloning, for both reproductive purposes and medical research. Also forbidden is the importing of cloned embryos or products made from them.
Reference: Human Cloning Prohibition Act; Bill HR 534 ; vote number 2003-39 on Feb 27, 2003

Voted NO on funding for health providers who don't provide abortion info.

Abortion Non-Discrimination Act of 2002: Vote to pass a bill that would prohibit the federal, state and local governments that receive federal funding from discriminating against health care providers, health insurers, health maintenance organizations, and any other kind of health care facility, organization or plan, that decline to refer patients for, pay for or provide abortion services. In addition the bill would expand an existing law "conscience clause" that protects physician training programs that refuse to provide training for abortion procedures.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Bilirakis, R-FL; Bill HR 4691 ; vote number 2002-412 on Sep 25, 2002

Voted NO on banning Family Planning funding in US aid abroad.

Vote to adopt an amendment that would remove language reversing President Bush's restrictions on funding to family planning groups that provide abortion services, counseling or advocacy.
Reference: Amendment sponsored by Hyde, R-IL; Bill HR 1646 ; vote number 2001-115 on May 16, 2001

Voted NO on banning partial-birth abortions.

HR 3660 would ban doctors from performing the abortion procedure called "dilation and extraction" [also known as “partial-birth” abortion]. The measure would allow the procedure only if the life of the woman is at risk.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Canady, R-FL; Bill HR 3660 ; vote number 2000-104 on Apr 5, 2000

Voted NO on barring transporting minors to get an abortion.

The Child Custody Protection Act makes it a federal crime to transport a minor across state lines for the purpose of obtaining an abortion.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Ros-Lehtinen, R-FL; Bill HR 1218 ; vote number 1999-261 on Jun 30, 1999

Rated 100% by NARAL, indicating a pro-choice voting record.

Markey scores 100% by NARAL on pro-choice voting record

For over thirty years, NARAL Pro-Choice America has been the political arm of the pro-choice movement and a strong advocate of reproductive freedom and choice. NARAL Pro-Choice America's mission is to protect and preserve the right to choose while promoting policies and programs that improve women's health and make abortion less necessary. NARAL Pro-Choice America works to educate Americans and officeholders about reproductive rights and health issues and elect pro-choice candidates at all levels of government. The NARAL ratings are based on the votes the organization considered most important; the numbers reflect the percentage of time the representative voted the organization's preferred position.

Source: NARAL website 03n-NARAL on Dec 31, 2003

Rated 0% by the NRLC, indicating a pro-choice stance.

Markey scores 0% by the NRLC on abortion issues

OnTheIssues.org interprets the 2006 NRLC scores as follows:

About the NRLC (from their website, www.nrlc.org):

The ultimate goal of the National Right to Life Committee is to restore legal protection to innocent human life. The primary interest of the National Right to Life Committee and its members has been the abortion controversy; however, it is also concerned with related matters of medical ethics which relate to the right to life issues of euthanasia and infanticide. The Committee does not have a position on issues such as contraception, sex education, capital punishment, and national defense. The National Right to Life Committee was founded in 1973 in response to the Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court decision, legalizing the practice of human abortion in all 50 states, throughout the entire nine months of pregnancy.

The NRLC has been instrumental in achieving a number of legislative reforms at the national level, including a ban on non-therapeutic experimentation of unborn and newborn babies, a federal conscience clause guaranteeing medical personnel the right to refuse to participate in abortion procedures, and various amendments to appropriations bills which prohibit (or limit) the use of federal funds to subsidize or promote abortions in the United States and overseas.

In addition to maintaining a lobbying presence at the federal level, NRLC serves as a clearinghouse of information for its state affiliates and local chapters, its individual members, the press, and the public.

Source: NRLC website 06n-NRLC on Dec 31, 2006

Ban anti-abortion limitations on abortion services.

Markey co-sponsored Women's Health Protection Act

Congressional summary:: Women's Health Protection Act: makes the following limitations concerning abortion services unlawful and prohibits their imposition or application by any government:

Opponent's argument against (Live Action News): This is Roe v. Wade on steroids. The bill is problematic from the very beginning. Its first finding addresses "women's ability to participate equally"; many have rejected this claim that women need abortion in order to be equal to men, or that they need to be like men at all. The sponsors of this pro-abortion bill also seem to feel that pro-life bills have had their time in this country, and that we must now turn back to abortion. The bill also demonstrates that its proponents have likely not even bothered attempting to understand the laws they are seeking to undo, considering that such laws are in place to regulate abortion in order to make it safer. Those who feel that abortion is best left up for the states to decide will also find this bill problematic with its overreach. Sadly, the bill also uses the Fourteenth Amendment to justify abortion, as the Supreme Court did, even though in actuality it would make much more sense to protect the lives of unborn Americans.

Source: H.R.3471 & S.1696 14-S1696 on Nov 13, 2013

Access safe, legal abortion without restrictions.

Markey co-sponsored S.217 & H.R.448

Congressional Summary: Congress finds the following:

Opponents reasons for voting NAY:(National Review, July 17, 2014): During hearings on S. 1696, Senators heard many myths from abortion proponents about the "need" for the bill's evisceration of all life-affirming legislation.

Source: Women's Health Protection Act 15_S217 on Jan 21, 2015

Keep federal funding for family planning clinics.

Markey signed keeping federal funding for family planning clinics

Excerpts from Letter to the Senate Majority Leader from 46 Senators: The recent vote in the House to overturn rules protecting Title X health centers would deny women access to care. In 2015, Title X provided basic primary and preventive health care services such as pap tests, breast exams, and HIV testing to more than four million low-income women and men at over 4,000 health centers. In large part due to this work, the US unintended pregnancy rate is at a 30-year low, and rates of teenage pregnancy are the lowest in our nation's history. The success of the program is dependent on funding. Family planning services, like those provided at Planned Parenthood and other family planning centers, should be available to all women, no matter where they live or how much money they make.

Opposing argument: (Heritage Foundation, "Disentangling the Data"): Planned Parenthood received approximately $60 million of taxpayer money under Title X, and $390 million through Medicaid. To ensure that taxpayers are not forced to subsidize America's number one abortion provider, Congress should make Planned Parenthood affiliates ineligible to receive either Medicaid reimbursements or Title X grants if they continue to perform abortions. Taxpayer money from these programs should instead be redirected to the more than 9,000 federally qualified health center sites that provide comprehensive primary health care for those in need without entanglement in abortion.

Supporting argument: (ACLU, "Urging Title X"): Title X services help women & men to plan the number and timing of their pregnancies, thereby helping to prevent approximately one million unintended pregnancies, nearly half of which would end in abortion. However, current funding is inadequate. Had Title X funding kept up with inflation it would now be funded at nearly $700 million. We ask that Title X be funded at $375 million, which is $92 million above its current funding level.

Source: Letter to the Senate Majority Leader from 46 Senators 17LTR-TITX on Mar 1, 2017

Born-Alive Survivors bill tries to illegalize abortion.

Markey voted NAY Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act

S.311/H.R.962: Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act: Congress finds the following:

Opposing argument from Rewire.com, "Born Alive Propaganda," by Calla Hales, 4/12/2019: From restrictive bans at various points of pregnancy to a proposed death penalty for seeking care, both federal and state legislators are taking aim at abortion rights. The goal? To make abortion illegal, criminalizing patients and providers in the process. One kind of bill making a recent resurgence is the "Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act." These bills aim to further the false narrative that abortions regularly occur immediately before or, according to the president, at the time of birth. Intentional action to end the life of an infant is already illegal. This is covered by federal and state infanticide laws. These bills do nothing but vilify physicians who provide reproductive health care.

Legislative outcome Referred to Committee in House; Senate motion to proceed rejected, 56-41-3 (60 required).

Source: Supreme Court case 19-S0311 argued on Feb 5, 2019

Protect the reproductive rights of women.

Markey co-sponsored protecting the reproductive rights of women

  • Provides that a State may not restrict the right of a woman to choose to terminate a pregnancy:
  • before fetal viability; or
  • at any time, if such termination is necessary to protect the life or health of the woman.
  • Allows a State to impose requirements medically necessary to protect the life or health of such women.
  • Declares that this Act shall not be construed to prevent a State from:
  • requiring minors to involve responsible adults before terminating a pregnancy; and
  • protecting individuals from having to participate in abortions to which they are conscientiously opposed.
    Source: Freedom of Choice Act (H.R.25) 1993-H25 on Jan 5, 1993

    Ensure access to and funding for contraception.

    Markey co-sponsored ensuring access to and funding for contraception

    A bill to expand access to preventive health care services that help reduce unintended pregnancy, reduce abortions, and improve access to women's health care. The Congress finds as follows:

    1. Healthy People 2010 sets forth a reduction of unintended pregnancies as an important health objective to achieve over the first decade of the new century.
    2. Although the CDC included family planning in its published list of the Ten Great Public Health Achievements in the 20th Century, the US still has one of the highest rates of unintended pregnancies among industrialized nations.
    3. Each year, 3,000,000 pregnancies, nearly half of all pregnancies, in the US are unintended, and nearly half of unintended pregnancies end in abortion.
    4. In 2004, 34,400,000 women, half of all women of reproductive age, were in need of contraceptive services, and nearly half of those were in need of public support for such care.
    5. The US has the highest rate of infection with sexually transmitted diseases of any industrialized country. 19 million cases impose a tremendous economic burden, as high as $14 billion per year.
    6. Increasing access to family planning services will improve women's health and reduce the rates of unintended pregnancy, abortion, and infection with sexually transmitted diseases. Contraceptive use saves public health dollars. For every dollar spent to increase funding for family planning programs, $3.80 is saved.
    7. Contraception is basic health care that improves the health of women and children by enabling women to plan and space births.
    8. Women experiencing unintended pregnancy are at greater risk for physical abuse and women having closely spaced births are at greater risk of maternal death.
    9. A child born from an unintended pregnancy is at greater risk of low birth weight, dying in the first year of life, being abused, and not receiving sufficient resources for healthy development.
    Source: Prevention First Act (S.21/H.R.819) 2007-HR819 on Feb 5, 2007

    Focus on preventing pregnancy, plus emergency contraception.

    Markey signed Prevention First Act

    • Family Planning Services Act: Authorizes appropriations for family planning services grants and contracts under the Public Health Service Act (PHSA).
    • Equity in Prescription Insurance and Contraceptive Coverage Act: Amends the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) and PHSA to prohibit a group health plan from excluding or restricting benefits for prescription contraceptive drugs, devices, and outpatient services
    • Emergency Contraception Education Act: to develop and disseminate information on emergency contraception to the public and to health care providers.
    • Compassionate Assistance for Rape Emergencies Act: Requires hospitals, as a condition of receiving federal funds, to offer and to provide, upon request, emergency contraception to victims of sexual assault.

      At-Risk Communities Teen Pregnancy Prevention Act: to award grants for teenage pregnancy prevention programs & prevention research.

    • Truth in Contraception Act: Requires that any information concerning the use of a contraceptive provided through specified federally funded education programs be medically accurate and include health benefits and failure rates.
    • Unintended Pregnancy Reduction Act: to expand Medicaid's coverage of family planning services.
    • Responsible Education About Life Act: to make grants to states for family life education, including education on abstinence and contraception, to prevent teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.
    • Prevention Through Affordable Access Act: Expands Medicaid rebates to manufacturers for the sale of covered outpatient drugs at nominal prices to include sales to student health care facilities and entities offering family planning services.
    Source: S.21&H.R.463 2009-S21 on Jan 6, 2009

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