In 2005, the U.S. Democrats for Life House Caucus created the Pregnant Women Support Initiative. This bill became House Bill H.R. 3192 sponsored by Rep. Lincoln Davis (D-TN) and in the Senate, S. 2407 sponsored by Sen. Robert Casey (D-PA). This initiative has a goal of helping to drastically reduce the number of abortions by 95% by the year 2015. So it is also known as the “95-10 Initiative”.
The Democrats for Life initiative web page states “We support helping pregnant women who wish to carry their children to term but because of lack of resources believe abortion is their only option.”
Among the line items it establishes are: providing toll-free numbers for support during and after pregnancy; providing child-care to low income and student parents; ensuring that pregnant women and newborns are not denied health benefits; making the Adoption Tax Credit permanent; improving services for pregnant women who are victims of domestic violence, and much more.
In October, 2008, President Bush signed into law the surprisingly bi-partisan Prenatally and Postnatally Diagnosed Conditions Awareness Act – co-sponsored together by a Republican, Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS), the bill’s author, and a Democrat, Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA).
This bill provides for parents who are given a diagnosis of Down, spina bifida, dwarfism or other conditions during pregnancy or up to a year after birth to receive the latest information on prenatal and postnatal treatments and surgeries available.
Part of the premise for Brownback’s bill is that the information currently received by many expectant and new parents is often a drastic supposition of a hopeless life for the child, based on antiquated ideas and medical practices that are often many decades old. Spina bifida surgeries and other procedures are now being performed in-womb at as little as four months’ gestation, after which the baby can be carried to its normal nine-month term for delivery.
The bill’s signing came after the public learned of Sarah Palin’s Down baby, but was in Congress long before that. According to Sen. Brownback in a statement after the bill was signed by President Bush, the current abortion rate of Down-predicted babies is 90%.
This writer does not believe that a politician’s career, reputation or deserved level of respect should depend solely on being pro-life or pro-choice. However, both bills may be at stake if President-elect Obama lacks this information before he signs the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA). “Freedom of Choice” sounds very good and the text has a great-sounding opening sentence; but both pro-lifers – and pro-choicers who say they are pro-choice and not pro-abortion – need to take a good hard look at FOCA and all its national implications. FOCA could negate some of these new bills or pending bills’ chances, plus void out the many “choices” which have been voted on by the people and/or legislatures within the individual 50 states.
Democrats for Life 95-10 Initiative:http://www.democratsforlife.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=48&Itemid=45.
Prenatally and Postnatally Diagnosed Conditions Awareness Act:
News of signing:http://www.westernstatesgenetics.org/wordpress/?p=48.
Text of bill:http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=s110-1810.
Freedom of Choice Act complete text: http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=s110-1173.