Senate Pregnant Women Support Act Reintroduced, Catholic Bishops Give OK
by Steven Ertelt
May 15, 2009
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Sen. Bob Casey, a Pennsylvania Democrat, has reintroduced the Senate version of the Pregnant Women Support Act, a bill sponsored by Democrats for Life of America. The legislation is a combination of abortion limits and funding for programs to help pregnant women.
DFLA hopes the bill will reduce abortions by 95 percent within 10 years if it became law and Casey, who has come under fire for a couple of pro-abortion votes, has been the lead sponsor in the Senate.
Casey reintroduced the Senate version of the bill on Thursday and it quickly received the backing of the nation’s Catholic bishops, who sent a joint letter to members of the Senate urging lawmakers to support it.
Cardinal Justin Rigali of Philadelphia, chair of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, urged the members to back the bill, S. 1032 saying it resources and support for pregnant and parenting women and their families.
The PWSA 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 said. It provides an authentic common ground, an approach that people can embrace regardless of their position on other issues.
Among other provisions, the Act will ensure that pregnant women are not denied coverage by insurance companies, establish a toll-free number for resources during pregnancy and after birth, and provide life-affirming pregnancy services and parenting education in maternity group homes and other centers; provide new mothers with free home visits by registered nurses.
The bill will also codify the current regulation allowing states to provide State Childrens Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) coverage to unborn children and their mothers. It will also encourage adoption by expanding adoption tax credit and adoption assistance programs.
Cardinal Rigali described the PWSA as entirely separate from controversial proposals involving the promotion of birth control and contraception, which many studies and date from several nations show do not reduce abortions.
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.
The Cardinal recently wrote to members of the House encouraging them to support the House version of the pro-life legislation, H.R. 2035, introduced by Rep. Lincoln Davis, a Tennessee Democrat.
Related web sites:
Committee on Pro-Life Activities – https://www.usccb.org/prolife
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