Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The Pro-Roe, Anti-Abortion, Pro-Contraception Crowd Speaks Up

E.J. Dionne, Jr. of the Washington Post writes about the search for middle ground on the abortion issue:
A group of 23 pro-choice and pro-life Democratic House members have introduced what they called the Reducing the Need for Abortion and Supporting Parents Act - an initiative that will work to reduce the number of abortions in America by both preventing unintended pregnancies and supporting pregnant women and new parents. This bill would enable pro-life and pro-choice advocates to find common ground -- It includes a remarkably broad set of programs aimed at reducing teen pregnancy, promoting contraception and encouraging parental responsibility. But it also includes strong measures to offer new mothers full access to health coverage, child care and nutrition assistance.

The public debate usually ignores the fact that abortion rates are closely tied to income. As the Guttmacher Institute has reported, "the abortion rate among women living below the federal poverty level . . . is more than four times that of women above 300 percent of the poverty level." The numbers are stark: 44 abortions per 1,000 women in the lower income group, 10 abortions per 1,000 women in the higher income group.

In other words: If you truly care about reducing the number of abortions, you have to care about the well-being of poor women.

There are moral and practical reasons for members of both parties, and combatants on both sides of the abortion question, to embrace this approach.

To read on click here.

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