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September 25, 2006 11:39 PM UTC

The 95/10 Democrats

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  • by: Mr. Toodles

Last week, Representatives Tim Ryan (D-OH) and Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) introduced legislation that aims to reduce the number of unintended pregnancies and abortions.

The Reducing the Need for Abortions and Supporting Parents Act (H.R. 6067) contains 20 initiatives that would require states to

* cover contraceptives for women with incomes of up to 200% of the federal poverty level
* establish grants for sex education programs
* fund the Title X family planning program
* expand adoption credits
* increase surveillance of abortion data, and
* provide grants to health centers for ultrasound equipment.

It would also require providers to notify patients of the risks of abortion procedures.

Representative DeLauro said the 10 cosponsors of the legislation, all Democrats, are “serious about addressing the issue of abortion head-on, while protecting the privacy of women and their families.”

The legislation is a part of a Democratic “95-10” initiative with the goal of reducing abortions by 95% in 10 years, but it is not supported by the Congressional Pro Life Caucus (CPLC).

A spokesperson for Rep. James Oberstar (D-MN), the Democratic co-chair of the CPLC, said the bill will not win the backing of the caucus, which includes about 200 Republicans and 35 Democrats, because of the contraception provisions.

Representative Chris Smith (R-NJ), co-chair of the CPLC, said the measure would “lead to more abortions, not less” because the increased funding for contraception services would go to family planning clinics that offer abortion services at the same facility.

The co-sponsors of the bill said the bill is unlikely to reach the full House for a vote, but they hope to set up introduction of a similar bill next year.

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