Thursday, September 21, 2006

Pregnant Woman Support Act

Representative Lincoln Davis (D-TN) introduced the Pregnant Woman Support Act in a press conference yesterday. I have not yet found the bill on the THOMAS website, so I'm not sure if is has been formally introduced in the House. I notice that no pro-choice groups are listed as supporting the initiative, so there may be a devil in the details. Davis has earned a 0% score from NARAL Pro-Choice America for his record of opposing choice. However, if this bill really relieves pressures on new and working mothers, that's a good thing. More on this as it becomes available; I'm withholding judgment until I see the text of the bill. Davis's press release, with interesting points highlighted:

September 20, 2006


WASHINGTON, D.C.-- U.S. Rep. Lincoln Davis introduced the Pregnant Women Support Act during a press conference in Washington. A combination of 14 different policy programs, the proposal aims to reduce the number of abortions in America by 95 percent over the next ten years by helping women make informed decisions, supporting pregnant women, and assisting new parents.

"By looking into the different reasons that women choose abortions, rather than just politicizing the issue, we have been able to come up with a comprehensive and commonsense initiative that will empower women and encourage them to choose life. I strongly urge my colleagues to adopt this proposal so we can reduce the number of abortions in America by 95 percent in the next ten years."

One of the 14 proposals calls for expanding coverage to pregnant women and unborn children through Medicaid and the State Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). 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, provides grants for low-income parenting college students, fully funding the federal WIC program, increased funding for domestic violence programs, and provides free home visits by registered nurses for new mothers.

Democrats for Life of America, an organization supporting pro-life elected officials, worked closely with Congressman Davis on this major policy initiative.

"Congressman Davis's Pregnant Women Support Act is a great bill. It places more emphasis on helping pregnant women during and after pregnancy than any bill we can recall. Davis's bill offers real support and real solutions to help a woman make an informed decision and receive the support she needs to carry her child to term," said Kristen Day, Executive Director of Democrats for Life of America.

"This initiative provides the kind of support, information, and options that should be readily available to pregnant women in any society that truly believes in the sanctity of life. Congress can and should act immediately to implement this 95-10 initiative," said Davis.

The legislation was unveiled Wednesday during a news conference in Washington where Davis was joined by Republican lead cosponsor Rep. Chris Smith and Reps. Harold Ford, Jr. [note: Smith was one of the Reps pushing controversial fetal pain legislation], Charlie Melancon, and Dan Lipinski. Other original cosponsors include Reps. Marion Berry, Allen Boyd, Jerry Costello, Mike Fitzpatrick, Tim Holden, Marcy Kaptur, Mark Kennedy, Dale Kildee, Dan Lipinski, Jim Marshall, Mike McIntrye, Alan Mollohan, James Oberstar, Solomon Ortiz, and Colin Peterson. Organizations who have sent statements in support of the bill include the National Association of Evangelicals, Sojourners/Call to Renewal, US Conference of Catholic Bishops, Americans United for Life, Democrats for Life of America, National Council on Adoption, Life Education and Resource Network, Redeem the Vote, CARENET, Tony Campolo, founder of the Evangelical Association for the Promotion of Education, Joe Turnham, Chairman, Alabama Democratic Party, U.S. Senate candidate Bob Casey, and actor, Martin Sheen.



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