At a press conference at Democratic National Committee offices, Congressmen Tim Ryan (D-OH), Bart Stupak (D-MI) and Lincoln Davis (D-TN) jointly appeared to unveil the abortion-reduction plan. Ryan, who assumed leadership role for this agenda, will be introducing the 95-10 Initiative soon in Congress.
Said Ryan, "I'm proud to be introducing a comprehensive and innovative plan that provides...a wide-range of services and programs that will help families raise healthy children, prevent unwanted pregnancies, and, in turn, reduce the number of abortions...This is a tremendous step forward for women and children, and I intend to work hard at building support necessary to get this proposal enacted into law. "
DFLA Board member US Senator Ben Nelson (D-NE) commented, "The plan outlined today is a good first step to successfully reduce the rate of abortion by offering alternatives that promote family, promote adoption, and provide education and support for new mothers."
DFLA, which bills itself as the "pro-life voice within the Democratic Party," is a national organization, founded in 1999, that "exists to foster respect for life, from the beginning of life to natural death." It actively participates in Democratic party functions, and promotes pro-life Democratic candidates and policies.
DFLA's 12-member Board includes 9 Democratic members of Congress, as well as Helen Alvare, former staff attorney for the National Conference of Catholic Bishops and a law professor at the Catholic University of America.
The 17 programs of the "95-10 Initiative" include:
- Pregnancy Prevention Education - provide grants to school districts in need to offer pregnancy prevention education
- Ultrasound Equipment - grants to non-profits for purchase of ultrasound equipment for free exams for pregnant women
- Right to Know/Adoption Info - require that clinics that perform pregnancy counseling must provide accurate and complete abortion data (including adverse side effects) and adoption referral info.
- Genetic Testing Accuracy - require that pregnant women who undergo prenatal genetic testing be provided complete info on the accuracy of such tests.
- Adoption Tax Credits - repeal the sunset law on adoption tax credits, and make them permanent.
- Toll-Free Number - to direct women to pregnancy support and adoption centers
- Ban Pregnancy as Pre-Existing Condition - end health insurance discriminatory practice against pregnant women
- Maternity Group Homes - require adoption counseling and parenting skills classes in maternity group homes
- State Coverage of Pregnancy - mandate SCHIP (state) coverage for pregnant women and newborns for the first year of life
- Contraception Equity - require insurance coverage of all contraception approved by the FDA
- Parental Notification - prohibit transporting a minor across state lines to obtain an abortion, except to save the minor's life.
- Domestic Violence During Pregnancy - The leading cause of death among US pregnant women is murder. Provides grants for counseling and shelter during crisis pregnancies.
The Republican Party tries to lay exclusive political claim to being pro-life, while the Democratic Party is traditionally known for a pro-choice stance. There is a strong Democratic faction, though, with solid pro-life beliefs. The DFLA is committed to making pro-life a prominent part of the Democratic agenda.
"While both Democrats and Republicans talk about reducing the number of abortions, DFLA offers real solutions to make this goal a reality," say the DFLA.
"With bold new ideas, sound research and policy arguments, the 95-10 Initiative contains proven policy suggestions to dramatically reduce the number of abortions in America."