New Congressional Bill Provides Support for Women Considering Abortion
by Steven Ertelt
December 6, 2007
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — A Pennsylvania senator has introduced a Senate companion version of a House bill that provides practical help and support to lower-income and college-aged women who may become pregnant and feel financially pressured into having an abortion. Sen. Robert Casey of Pennsylvania introduced the Pregnant Women Support Act.
The bill is similar to the measure Rep. Lincoln Davis of Tennessee introduced in the House earlier this year.
The legislation is designed to reduce the number of abortions by aiding those women who feel they have no other option.
The measure is a cornerstone of the legislative effort Democrats for Life of America has constructed that contains several components that it hopes will reduce abortions by 95 percent over the next 10 years.
"Our goal since the beginning was to craft a bill that would find common ground and have a positive chance of not only becoming law, but truly helping pregnant women and their families," DFLA director Kristen Day told LifeNews.com.
"The Pregnant Women Support Act is about showing that it is possible for people from different ideological positions to come together and help those who are in need," Day added.
One of the key provisions of the proposal calls for banning the discriminatory practice against pregnant women in the health insurance industry by removing pregnancy from all "pre-existing condition" lists in health care.
Other provisions call for making adoption tax credits permanent and provide grants for low-income parenting college students.
Casey introduced the bill with a speech on the Senate floor.
"I remember the times my wife Terese learned she was pregnant, and even though I can never experience it directly, I know through her and my sisters that there is one indelible and unforgettable moment when a woman finds out she is pregnant," he said.
While this is "a moment of great joy" for most women, "it is a moment of terror, or panic or even shame" for some women, he explained.
Under Casey’s bill, S. 2407, pregnant and parenting students in college would receive financial assistance to find housing and childcare.
It would provide grants to pregnancy centers to purchase ultrasound machines, support parents of Down Syndrome children so they don’t feel they have to choose abortion, and it would help parents who may have abortions because of financial pressures.
"For the past 34 years, the abortion issue has been used mostly as a way to divide people, even as the number of abortions remains unacceptably high," he said.
He concluded: "We have to find a better way. I believe the Pregnant Women Support Act is part of that better way. We must work toward real solutions to the issue of abortion by targeting the underlying factors that often lead women to have abortions."
Related web sites:
Democrats for Life – https://www.democratsforlife.org