Thursday, May 12, 2005

Pro-Life Democrats Offer Mixed Bag of Proposals Designed to Reduce Abortions

95-10 is getting some attention from other sources. "Contraception Equality" is still a sticking point.

May 10, 2005
Volume 2, Number 40

Pro-Life Democrats Offer Mixed Bag of Proposals Designed to Reduce

A series of legislative proposals aimed at reducing abortions by 95
percent in the next 10 years was recently announced by pro-life Democrats
at the Democratic National Committee headquarters. It is a move that may
indicate the party is taking seriously recent polling data indicating the
party's unwavering support for abortion to be politically damaging. But
the proposal contains a provision that would require insurance companies
to provide coverage for contraceptives. Such a provision could make it
difficult for the proposal to gain the support of stalwart pro-life
Republicans that it would need to gain passage.

Called the 95-10 Initiative, it is made up of 17 individual proposals
aimed at reducing the number of abortions. The proposals are expected to
be introduced as a single piece of legislation by Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan, one
of about 29 pro-life Democratic members of Congress. Jennifer Moore, a
legislative assistant to Ryan, told Culture & Cosmos that the proposal was
largely crafted by Kristen Day, executive director of Democrats for Life
of America. The goal of ending 95 percent of abortions was arrived at
because it is thought to be the percentage of abortions obtained for
reasons other than rape, incest or the health of the mother.

The plan would attempt to encourage adoption through several
measures. It calls on tax credits for adoptive parents that are temporally
in place to be made permanent. The proposal would also require states to
create advertising campaigns that provide a toll free number "to
organizations that provide support services for pregnant women who want to
carry their children to term" or "direct women to adoption centers." The
plan stipulates that such organizations must "not provide abortion
referral services."

Other elements of the initiative include a requirement that insurance
companies remove pregnancy from their lists of pre-existing conditions.
The plan also calls for "grants to nonprofit, tax-exempt organizations for
the purchase of ultrasound equipment to provide free examinations to
pregnant women needing such services." Staffers at pregnancy crisis
centers report that many pregnant women decide against having an abortion
after seeing their unborn child or hearing his or her heartbeat.

The plan calls for "grants to school districts that are in need of
funds to administer effective, age-appropriate pregnancy prevention
education" which could be interpreted to mean funding for sex-ed programs.
The proposal does not state whether such programs would have to be
"abstinence only" in order to receive the funds. More disturbing to
pro-lifers is the proposal's call for "Contraception Equity" which would
"[r]equire insurance coverage of contraception approved by the Food and
Drug Administration." The text of the 95-10 Initiative states that the
idea is based on "Missouri legislation that was supported by both pro-life
and pro-choice groups." But it is unclear how such a proposal could gain
pro-life support given that "the pill" can act as an abortifacient. More
broadly, some pro-life experts have noted that the widespread use of
contraception is always accompanied by an increase in abortions.

Moore said it was a positive sign that Howard Dean, president of the
Democratic National Committee, gave permission for the 95-10 Initiative to
be announced at the DNC headquarters. Since the November election some
Democrats have indicated that the party's unqualified support for abortion
on demand should be tempered. Most notably, New York Senator Hillary
Rodham Clinton, who is held in high reverence by radical feminists,
recently delivered a speech in which she called abortion a "tragic
choice." Research by the liberal Democracy Corps revealed that Democrats
are losing white Catholics to the Republican Party because of the abortion

Copyright 2005---Culture of Life Foundation.
Permission granted for unlimited use. Credit required.


Blogger Jami said...

It may be that a handful of Catholics are leaving over the Democrats' historically extreme position on abortion.

However, going to opposite extreme and outlawing birth control pills as "abortifacents" is just the opposite extreme.

9:32 AM  

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