Saturday, January 11, 2020

House denies protection for unborn children from drinking water contaminants

Friday, the House of Representatives voted on a motion to recommit (MTR) H.R. 535, PFAS Action Act of 2019.

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) offered the MTR to amend the Safe Drinking Water Act to add “any unborn child” to the list of subpopulations at greater risk of being affected by contaminants in drinking water.

Currently, Section 1458 of the Safe Drinking Water Act (42 USC § 300g-1) identifies subpopulations that include “infants” and “pregnant women.”

The MTR recognized that, when a pregnant women is exposed to contaminated drinking water, there are two people put at risk in that situation: the pregnant woman and her unborn child.

The MTR used the definition of “unborn child” from the Unborn Victims of Violence Act (18 USC § 1841). It defines “unborn child” as “a child in utero,” which is defined as “a member of the species homo sapiens, at any stage of development who is carried in the womb.”

The MTR failed by a vote of 187-219.

Four Democrats voted in support of the MTR: Reps. Daniel Lipinski (D-IL), Henry Cuellar (D-TX), Collin Peterson (D-MO), and Ben McAdams (D-UT).

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