Democratic Pro-Life Bill, Pregnant Women Support Act, Gets Catholic Bishops OK

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 27, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Democratic Pro-Life Bill, Pregnant Women Support Act, Gets Catholic Bishops OK

by Steven Ertelt Editor
April 27
, 2009

Washington, DC ( — There are few authentic pro-life Democrats in the nation’s capitol and even fewer in Congress, but a bill some of them are supporting has drawn support from the nation’s Catholic bishops. Cardinal Rigali, chair of the pro-life committee for USCCB, is backing the Pregnant Women Support Act.

Rep. Lincoln Davis, a Tennessee Democrat, re-introduced the House version of the measure (H.R. 2035) last week, which provides resources and support for pregnant and parenting women and their families.

The bill is the brainchild of Democrats for Life of America, a national political group working to move the Democratic Party in the pro-life direction.

The organization says the bill, which combines pro-life laws with government programs designed to help women overcome the potential fianancial reasons that may prompt them to have an abortion, could reduce abortions by as much as 95 percent over 10 years if adopted.

“The Pregnant Women Support Act reaches out to women with a helping hand when they are most vulnerable, and most engaged in making a decision about life or death for their unborn children,” Cardinal Rigali told in a statement.

The Catholic leader said the PWSA offers “an authentic common ground, an approach that people can embrace regardless of their position on other issues.”

“There are some statements that almost everyone can endorse. First, the fact that over a million abortions take place every year in this country is a tragedy, and we should at least take steps to reduce abortions,” he said.

“Second, no woman should ever have to undergo an abortion because she feels she has no other choice, or because alternatives were unavailable or not made known to her. An abortion performed under such social and economic duress meets no one’s standard for ‘freedom of choice’," he continued.

The bill ensures pregnant women are not denied coverage by insurance companies, establishes a toll-free number for resources during pregnancy and after birth, and provides life-affirming pregnancy services and parenting education in maternity group homes and pregnancy centers.

The bill also encourages adoption by expanding adoption tax credit and adoption assistance programs.

The measure also codifies the current regulation allowing states to provide State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) coverage to unborn children and their mothers.

While this abortion reduction bill is sponsored by pro-life Democrats, Cardinal Rigali distinguished the Pregnant Women Support Act from controversial proposals pro-abortion Democrats are supporting that amount to federal grants to abortion businesses.

“Discussion of pregnancy prevention and related issues will surely continue inside and outside Congress. In the meantime, pregnant women need our assistance now so that abortion is not promoted to them as their only choice," he said.

Rigali’s comments came in the form of a letter to members of Congress endorsing the legislation.

Related web sites:
USCCB Pro-Life Secretariat –

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