Democrats for Life and the 95-10 Initiative
I ran across a group called Democrats for Life and their 95-10 initiative, which they believe would reduce the number of abortions in the United States by 95% over 10 years. I agree that this is a worthy goal, and that we have spent far too much time arguing about the morality of abortion and not enough time trying to deal with the reality of unwanted pregnancy.
Although I don't agree with Democrats for Life on every issue, I think their 95-10 initiative is a great start. I made a few editorial revisions to reflect my take on these points, and here are the results:
- Enact an advertising campaign in each state to provide a toll free number that will direct a woman to organizations that provide support services for pregnant women who want to carry their children to term and/or direct women to adoption centers.
- Direct the Centers for Disease Control to collect accurate data on why women choose abortions. Within five years of enactment, the CDC will present its findings to Congress.
- Provide grants to school districts that are in need of funds to administer effective, age-appropriate pregnancy prevention education.
- Provide grants for universities and colleges to support pregnant women; provide resources and support to help women continue their education if they keep their child or make an adoption plan for their child. These grants will help universities establish an on-campus office for counseling, referral, and parenting services for pregnant women and daycare services for parents.
- Provide information on the accuracy of prenatal genetic testing to pregnant women who choose to undergo these tests. There can be false-positive results, indicating a problem when the fetus is actually healthy.
- Repeal the sunset on adoption tax credits and make them permanent.
- End the discriminatory practices against pregnant women in the health insurance industry by removing pregnancy from all “pre-existing condition” lists in health care.
- End the discriminatory practices against women in the health insurance industry by requiring insurance coverage for birth control, and by providing coverage for birth control to Medicaid recipients
- End the discriminatory practices against pregnant women by ensuring that women with healthcare coverage do not experience undue burdens in their access to and payment for health insurance.
- Require pregnancy centers and women’s health centers that provide pregnancy counseling and that receive federal funding to provide adoption referral information.
- Require any women’s health center or clinic that provides pregnancy counseling or abortion services to provide accurate information on abortion and the adverse side effects to a woman’s health. Patients do not have to accept the materials if they do not want them.
- Provide grants to nonprofit, tax-exempt organizations for the purchase of ultrasound equipment to provide free examinations to pregnant women needing such services. This equipment will be operated by licensed professionals.
- Offer additional federal funding for programs that have received grants by the Department of Justice for providing counseling and shelter for women and children in crisis pregnancies. The leading cause of death for pregnant women is murder.
- Prohibit transporting a minor across a state line to obtain an abortion, unless the pregnancy was the result of rape or incest, or the abortion was necessary to save the life of the minor. Requires states that have parental notification to inform parents of state statutory rape laws.
- Call for Congress to Fully Fund Federal WIC Program. Estimates say that every dollar spent on WIC results in $1.77 to $3.13 in Medicaid savings for newborns and their mothers.
- Provide Grants to States to Promote and Implement Safe Haven Laws. Forty-six states now have some type of safe haven legislation. (The following states do not have safe haven legislation: AK, HI (Vetoed 7/2/03), NE and VT.) Most of the laws designate hospitals, emergency medical services, fire stations and police stations as safe locations.
- Require adoption counseling in federally funded maternity group homes and teaching of parenting skills.
- Mandate SCHIP coverage for pregnant women and expand coverage to pregnant women through Medicaid and the State Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and to newborns through the first full year of life.