Pro-Life Democrats Urge Inclusion of Paid Family Leave with 20-Week Ban
WASHINGTON, DC – Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) introduced the Senate companion bill to the House-passed Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act on June 11, 2015. The bill would prohibit abortion after 20 weeks. Democrats For Life of America (DFLA) supports the legislation but urges inclusion of a comprehensive package to assist women.
“For any chance of becoming law, we believe that any 20-week ban must be paired with comprehensive support for women, including referrals to perinatal hospice when advisable, paid family leave, and increased funding for programs that will help pregnant women carry their children to term,” said Kristen Day, executive director of DFLA. “The Senate needs to recognize that late-term abortions are never necessary, and providing more support for pregnant women will make late-term abortions obsolete.”
Writing for the American Association of Pro-life Obstetricians & Gynecologists, Dr. Mary Davenport dispelled the fabrication that late-term abortions are necessary. Dr. Davenport wrote, “There is always a life-affirming way to care for mother and baby, no matter how bleak the prognosis. The elimination of late-term abortion would not create a void in medical care, but would instead result in a more humane world in which vulnerable humans would be treated with the dignity and respect that they deserve.”
Most late-term abortions are performed on healthy babies and healthy mothers. Most of the mothers are poor and either did not have the money for an earlier abortion or did not know they were pregnant. A very small percentage choose abortion for fetal anomaly. Furthermore, women who receive support – in the form of parenting classes, job training, diapers, and a lifeline – are more likely to choose life.
"The abortion rate is on the decline because more women now can receive prenatal care, because of the passage of the Pregnant Women Support Act, and because of more awareness about the reality of life in the womb through ultrasound and education," said Day. "If we want this trend to continue, more support must be paired with more restrictions."
The abortion rate has decreased in almost every state since 2010, following the passage of the Affordable Care Act, which prohibited the classification of pregnancy as a pre-existing condition. The Act also contained DFLA’s Pregnant Women Support Act, including the Pregnancy Assistance Fund, introduced by Senator Bob Casey (D-PA). The Fund provided grants to 17 states to help women in crisis pregnancies fulfill the option to carry their babies to term instead of ending their pregnancies in abortion. Passage of legislation to ban late-term abortions, increased contraception use, and requiring ultrasounds prior to abortion have also worked toward lowering the abortion rate.
“We must ensure that women and families are given every opportunity to support this new life,” said Day. “We propose the addition of several amendments to provide help to families, whether they receive a prenatal diagnosis or they are feeling financial pressure to abortion.”
Democrats For Life of America is proposing that the following amendments be added to the 20-week ban legislation:
· Perinatal Hospice referral to help parents with a prenatal diagnosis;
· Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act; and the
· Pregnancy Assistance Fund Expansion Act.