July 19, 2007: Democrats in Congress Pass Abortion Reduction Initiative
$647 million package funds programs aimed at reducing abortions
Washington, D.C. – Representatives Tim Ryan (OH - 17) and Rosa L. DeLauro (CT - 3) announced the inclusion of the “Reducing the Need for Abortions Initiative” in the Fiscal Year 2008 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations bill. The $647 million abortion reduction package includes many of the provisions in the Ryan – DeLauro legislation, the Reducing the Need for Abortions and Supporting Parents Act (H.R. 1074). As members of the Subcommittee, the two played a critical role in drafting the Subcommittee’s abortion reduction initiative.
“By funding this initiative, we are offering policy solutions that promote life and support parents beyond the birth of their new child. We are affirming the need to prevent unintended pregnancies and to help women with the economic pressures that may lead them to choosing an abortion,” said DeLauro. “And of all the important goals this initiative can help us reach, perhaps the most important is that it helps move us all forward on this issue – beyond the question of the legality of abortion and toward actually reducing the need for abortion and providing critical investments for families.”
“It is our moral obligation to address those issues with which all sides agree. Whether you are pro-life like me or pro-choice like my friend Congresswoman DeLauro, the common ground we must build upon is our serious desire to reduce the rate of abortions,” said Congressman Tim Ryan. “This package accomplishes that goal by increasing or creating funding streams for programs that have been shown to reduce both unintended pregnancies and abortions. I also want to thank Chairman Obey for his longstanding leadership on this important issue and his willingness to work with myself and Congresswoman DeLauro.”
With $647 million in funding, the initiative will have the resources to make an impact on reducing the number of abortions in America. It is focused on the need to reduce abortion in our country, while also providing supports for new parents to strengthen their families.
Below are the programs funded in the Reducing the Need for Abortions Initiative in the FY’08 Labor-HHS Appropriations Bill, which parallel initiatives found in the Ryan-DeLauro legislation.
Access to contraceptive information and services is an important element of preventing pregnancy. In addition to several funding increases for programs that increase access to contraceptives, the bill also contains provisions that seek to reduce teen pregnancy
-The first increase in more than 6 years for the Title X family planning program,
-Teen Pregnancy Prevention Grants – a new Program at CDC – to support medically accurate, age-appropriate approaches to preventing teen pregnancies that include information about both abstinence and contraception, including the dissemination of science-based tools and strategies to prevent HIV, STD, and teen pregnancy.
A number of the programs covered by the amendment are directly relevant to the needs of young women in difficult circumstances who may be deciding whether they are in a position to raise a child. These programs include the Maternal and Child Health Block Grant and the Healthy Start program, which help provide health care and other services for pregnant women and young children lacking other access to care. Other relevant programs include child care assistance, domestic violence prevention programs, and the variety of family supports financed through the Community Services Block Grant. All of these programs have been seriously eroded over the past several years, and the amendment begins to reverse that erosion.
-The first increase in more than 6 years for the Child Care Development Block Grant
-The first increase in more than 6 years for the After-school programs(21st Century Community Learning Centers)
-New nurse home visitation program grants
-Adoption awareness campaign at CDC
-National Survey of Family Growth
-Domestic violence prevention
Additional provisions in the FY08 Labor-HHS Abortion Reduction Package:
Beyond the provisions similar to those in the Ryan-DeLauro, the Labor-HHS bill also contains the following preventive and support programs aimed at reducing the number of abortions:
-Job Corps Child Centers
-New demonstration program within Job Corps to provide child care services to young parents in the program
-An increase for Community Health Centers (which provide pre-natal and health care for low income women)
-An increase for Maternal and Child Health Block Grant
-Healthy Start (provides primary and preventive health care for mothers and infants)
-Runaway and Homeless Youth
-Community Services Block Grant
-Adolescent Family Life
-Elementary and Secondary School Counselors