Friday, May 8, 2009

Mothers Day Action: Help Enact the Pregnant Women Support Act

Word to all the pro-life activists gearing up to go to South Bend and get arrested for trying to stop President Obama from speaking at Notre Dame: Do you want to do something that will REALLY promote life and reduce abortions? Come to Washington and lobby your Congressional representatives to endorse the Pregnant Women Support Act (H.R. 2035 /S 270).

At the moment the bill has been introduced in the House by Rep. Lincoln Davis (TN-4) and is cosponsored by:

Rep Berry, Marion [AR-1] - 4/22/2009
Rep Blackburn, Marsha [TN-7] - 4/22/2009
Rep Bordallo, Madeleine Z. [GU] - 4/22/2009
Rep Cao, Anh "Joseph" [LA-2] - 4/22/2009
Rep Carter, John R. [TX-31] - 4/22/2009
Rep Costello, Jerry F. [IL-12] - 4/22/2009
Rep Dahlkemper, Kathleen A. [PA-3] - 4/22/2009
Rep Davis, Artur [AL-7] - 4/22/2009
Rep Donnelly, Joe [IN-2] - 4/22/2009
Rep Driehaus, Steve [OH-1] - 5/4/2009
Rep Franks, Trent [AZ-2] - 4/22/2009
Rep Gordon, Bart [TN-6] - 4/22/2009
Rep Holden, Tim [PA-17] - 4/22/2009
Rep Kaptur, Marcy [OH-9] - 4/22/2009
Rep Lamborn, Doug [CO-5] - 4/22/2009
Rep Lipinski, Daniel [IL-3] - 4/22/2009
Rep McIntyre, Mike [NC-7] - 4/22/2009
Rep Melancon, Charlie [LA-3] - 4/22/2009
Rep Mollohan, Alan B. [WV-1] - 4/22/2009
Rep Oberstar, James L. [MN-8] - 4/22/2009
Rep Ortiz, Solomon P. [TX-27] - 4/22/2009
Rep Peterson, Collin C. [MN-7] - 4/22/2009
Rep Platts, Todd Russell [PA-19] - 4/22/2009
Rep Ryan, Tim [OH-17] - 5/4/2009
Rep Shuler, Heath [NC-11] - 4/22/2009
Rep Smith, Christopher H. [NJ-4] - 4/22/2009
Rep Souder, Mark E. [IN-3] - 4/22/2009
Rep Taylor, Gene [MS-4] - 4/22/2009
Rep Wittman, Robert J. [VA-1] - 5/4/2009

In the Senate it was introduced by Robert P. Casey, Jr. (PA) and has been cosponsored by E. Benjamin Nelson (NE). Ironically, in spite of the fact that Cardinal Rigali, the chair of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), has enthusiastically endorsed this bill and, I suppose, in the spirit of "no good deed goes unpunished", Bishop Joseph F. Martino of the Diocese of Scranton, Pennsylvania, is continuing to insist that he may eventually deny communion to Senator Casey unless he votes 100% as His Excellency wishes on "life issues" (defined so broadly that it includes the confirmation vote on Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius).

But I digress. Here is a summary of the provisions of this bill so you will understand why we should support it and encourage our representatives to do so as well. It's the best gift we can give to our mothers and mothers to be.


Authorizes the Secretary of Health and Human Services to make grants to increase public awareness of resources available to pregnant women to carry their pregnancy to term and new parents.

Amends the Public Health Service Act to allow the Secretary to make grants for the purchase of ultrasound equipment for examinations of pregnant women.

Prohibits a health insurance issuer offering individual coverage from imposing a preexisting condition exclusion or a waiting period or otherwise discriminating against a woman on the basis that she is pregnant.

Provides for continuation coverage for newborns.

Amends title XXI (State Children's Health Insurance Program) (SCHIP) of the Social Security Act to allow states to extend health care coverage to an unborn child.

Requires health facilities that perform abortions to obtain informed consent from a pregnant woman seeking an abortion.

Provides for the collection and dissemination of information on Down syndrome and other prenatally diagnosed conditions.

Directs the Secretary to provide for: (1) higher education pregnant and parenting student services offices; and (2) programs to work with pregnant or parenting teens to complete high school.

Authorizes grants for services to pregnant women who are victims of domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking. Requires states to require a pregnancy determination for homicide victims.

Requires the Secretary to provide for comprehensive and supportive services for pregnant women, mothers, and children.

Authorizes appropriations to carry out the special supplemental nutrition program for women, infants, and children (WIC program).

Amends the Food Stamp Act of 1977 to increase the eligibility threshold for food stamps.

Authorizes appropriations to carry out the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 1990.

Authorizes grants to provide to eligible mothers education on the health needs of their infants through visits to their homes by registered nurses.

Authorizes grants for collecting and reporting abortion surveillance data.

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