WASHINGTON — One of the leading interest groups opposing abortion rights honored U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn on Wednesday for her work on measures to restrict the practice.
The award comes as Blackburn, R-Brentwood, and Rep. Diane Black, R-Gallatin, continue to sponsor and co-sponsor numerous bills in the 113th Congress that take aim at the procedure.
Blackburn received the Distinguished Leader Award from Susan B. Anthony List, a Washington organization dedicated to funding women candidates who oppose abortion. The award was to be presented at the group’s annual gala Wednesday night.
The group cited Blackburn for leading the House floor debate in June on a bill to prohibit abortions after 20 weeks. The measure passed the Republican-controlled body 228-196, although it failed to advance in the Democratic-controlled Senate.
“Representative Blackburn is already recognized as one of the foremost and fearless leaders of the pro-life caucus here in Washington,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the SBA List. “She is never afraid to go on offense for the unborn and women, whether she is debating opposing members of Congress or media pundits.”
Dannenfelser added, “Her leadership spurred several states to take action and continues to inspire change in the hearts and minds of Americans across the nation.”
The group also praised Black, who spoke at a panel discussion it held Wednesday morning. “She is another of our amazing women in the House. We love her,” said spokeswoman Mallory Quigley.
The two members began the 113th Congress in January by each introducing a bill to defund Planned Parenthood.
Together or separately, they also have co-sponsored a number of other abortion-related bills. Among them are proposals to:
• Prohibit transporting a minor across state lines to obtain an abortion.
• Keep health insurance plans offered under President Barack Obama’s health care law from offering abortion services, except in cases of rape, incest or threat to the life of the mother.
• Prohibit funding of state and local education agencies unless they certify that any health services they offer students do not cover abortions.
• Ban federal funds from paying for any health benefits that include abortion services. The bill passed the House but has yet to make it out of the Senate Finance Committee.
• Prohibit abortions in cases in which the unborn child is more than 20 weeks old and capable of feeling pain.
• Allow individuals who have a moral or religious objection to abortion to refuse insurance under Obama’s health care law that provides such coverage. It passed the House but not the Senate.
Both also co-sponsored a House resolution calling for Congress and the states to gather information about those offering “abusive, unsanitary or illegal abortion practices.” It passed the House.