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Roll Call

The House

October 19, 1989

Abortion

The House adopted, 216 to 206, an amendment to broaden federal abortion policy by permitting Medicaid funding of the medical procedure when the pregnancy results from rape or incest. The language was attached to a fiscal 1990 appropriations bill (HR 2990). Medicaid now covers only those abortions necessary to save the mother's life.

Supporter Nita M. Lowey (D-N.Y.) said, "Congress cannot and must not turn its back on the poorest victims of rape and incest who become pregnant."

Opponent Henry J. Hyde (R-Ill.) said: "Rape and incest are tragedies. . . . But why visit on the second victim, the unborn child that is the product of (the) criminal act, capital punishment?"

Members voting yes supported Medicaid funding of abortion if the pregnancy is by reason of rape or incest.

How They Voted Yea Nay No vote Rep. Beilenson (D) x Rep. Berman (D) x Rep. Dixon (D) x Rep. Levine (D) x Rep. Waxman (D) x

The Flag

By a vote of 371 to 43, the House sent to President Bush a bill (HR 2978) making it a federal crime to physically damage the American flag. Also due for congressional votes this year are proposals backed by conservatives to protect the flag by constitutional amendment. The legislative activity is in response to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling this year that flag desecration is political expression protected by the Constitution.

Supporter Don Edwards (D-San Jose), said it is better "to protect the flag by a simple statute than to go through the mammoth and dangerous procedure of weakening for the first time in our history the free speech provisions of the Bill of Rights."

Opponent Robert H. Michel (R-Ill.) said, "If you really want to protect the flag, if you really want to do something more than make a gesture, then given the court's decision you have to support our bipartisan constitutional amendment to save the flag."

Members voting yes wanted to protect the flag by statute.

How They Voted Yea Nay No vote Rep. Beilenson (D) x Rep. Berman (D) x Rep. Dixon (D) x Rep. Levine (D) x Rep. Waxman (D) x

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