Tags: Pro-Life | Democrats | Offer | Abortion | Reduction | Proposals

Pro-Life Democrats Offer Abortion Reduction Proposals

Wednesday, 11 May 2005 12:00 AM

It is a move that may indicate the Democrats are 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 issue.

Copyright 2005 Culture of Life Foundation.

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It is a move that may indicate the Democrats are 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...
Pro-Life,Democrats,Offer,Abortion,Reduction,Proposals
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2005-00-11
Wednesday, 11 May 2005 12:00 AM
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