If a new piece of pro-life legislation gains any traction in the House of Representatives this year, it will have the backing of Rep. Chuck Fleischmann.
Fleischmann announced Friday he has signed on as a co-sponsor of the Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act, a bill recently introduced by his Tennessee colleague, Rep. Diane Black. The measure, which currently has 22 co-sponsors in the House, would ensure that Title X grants offered to family-planning organizations would be prohibited from going to organizations that also provide abortions, such as Planned Parenthood.
In a phone interview, Fleischmann said he was "proud" to sign on to the bill and touted his staunch pro-life record since being elected to Congress.
"I was proud to sign on to this," Fleischmann said. "My belief is that human life is sacred and begins at conception and that it needs to be protected. The rights of the unborn need to be protected like those of the born, and I don't think that taxpayer money ought to be used to facilitate abortions in any way."
The bill is not the first item of pro-life legislation the congressman has supported since taking office in 2011. During his first term, Fleischmann co-sponsored seven pro-life bills, including the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, which would have prohibited any federal funds being appropriated for abortions.
Fleischmann said that, despite being legal, he still saw the issue of a woman's right to decide to terminate a pregnancy as worthy of re-examining.
"I understand this is a very sensitive issue and that it's very serious," he said. "But throughout history in America, the status quo has been challenged when it's been wrong before. To make gains in civil rights, to have abolished slavery—the rights of the unborn need to be addressed and advocated for the same way. And I think the upholding of Roe v. Wade is unjust, and we should address it."
The bill has been referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.