BATON ROUGE — U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), recently spoke to WORLD Magazine about why he is pro-life, the joy of adoption, preventing taxpayer dollars from supporting abortion providers, and more. The conversation is featured in the January issue of the magazine.
Today, Cassidy and 32 Senate colleagues introduced the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act (S. 109), legislation establishing a permanent, government-wide prohibition of taxpayer funding for abortion. Similar policies, such as the Hyde Amendment, currently require annual passage and do not apply to Obamacare.
“Louisiana families should not be forced to give their hard-earned tax dollars to abortion businesses like Planned Parenthood,” said Dr. Cassidy. “This measure protects babies and taxpayers.”
Excerpts from Cassidy’s conversation with WORLD Magazine are below.
Q: How did you become pro-life?
CASSIDY: I prayed to receive Christ when I was in ninth grade, but I cannot say that’s when I became pro-life. I’m not sure I particularly thought about it, but we are constantly commanded throughout the Old and New Testaments to be concerned with those who are most vulnerable. Then you go to medical school and start realizing the unborn child is an unborn child, not just a clump of cells. Now folks talk about the ultrasound showing the child’s got a face and a thumb and a toe and all the body parts, even when it’s so small. When you’re in medical school, you know that. You don’t need an ultrasound.
Q: How do the dramatic advancements in technology since Roe v. Wade affect the debate?
CASSIDY: Before, people were told it’s just a clump of tissue, and now, it’s an individual that, if born at 20 weeks, can then survive, even though a normal pregnancy is 40 weeks. I think that’s why we’re seeing attitudes toward life continue to improve.
Q: Recently we’ve seen reports of purportedly pro-life lawmakers who did not live that out in their personal situations. Some have encouraged someone close to them to have an abortion. What’s the difference between being pro-life by conviction and simply holding a political position?
CASSIDY: If this is truly a life—and it is—that should trump other issues. Even a situation that seems at first fearful turns out to be joyful. Anyone that’s gone to a crisis pregnancy center will hear story after story about that. Anyone who has seen adoption—the child may have been conceived in circumstances not ideal and not planned, but the adoption of that child brings so much joy to so many people.
Q: The left frequently criticizes pro-lifers for being only anti-abortion but not necessarily pro-life beyond birth. How important is a holistic approach?
CASSIDY: It’s important, but we shouldn’t let the left define what that means. Being pro-life means caring for the child and caring for the mother as she delivers, and then bringing that child and mother through childhood into reaching the potential that we’d all wish to have. Creating dependency is not how people reach their fullest potential. Creating educational opportunity is. So we need to be pro-life but also stick to our conservative principles and not rob the taxpayer to take somebody from birth until adulthood. The better way is to promote policies that encourage intact families and not promote policies that discourage them.