USCCB News Release
May 12, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Pregnant Women Support Act
provides life-affirming support for pregnant women
and their unborn children
CARDINAL RIGALI APPLAUDS SENATE RE-INTRODUCTION OF ‘PREGNANT WOMEN SUPPORT ACT’, URGES PASSAGE
WASHINGTON—Cardinal Justin Rigali of Philadelphia, chair of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, wrote to all U.S. Senators urging them to support the Pregnant Women Support Act (PWSA, S. 1032) re-introduced in the Senate by Sen. Robert Casey (D-PA) on May 14. The PWSA provides resources and support for pregnant and parenting women and their families.
The Cardinal recently wrote to U.S. Representatives encouraging them to support the House version of the PWSA (H.R. 2035) introduced by Rep. Lincoln Davis (D-TN).
The PWSA “reaches out to women with a helping hand when they are most vulnerable, and most engaged in making a decision about life or death for their unborn children,” Cardinal Rigali said. “It provides an authentic common ground, an approach that people can embrace regardless of their position on other issues.”
Among other provisions, the Act will ensure that pregnant women are not denied coverage by insurance companies; establish a toll-free number for resources during pregnancy and after birth; provide life-affirming pregnancy services and parenting education in maternity group homes and other centers; provide new mothers with free home visits by registered nurses; and codify the current regulation allowing states to provide State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) coverage to unborn children and their mothers. It will also encourage adoption by expanding adoption tax credit and adoption assistance programs.
Cardinal Rigali described the PWSA as “entirely separate” from controversial proposals involving pregnancy prevention, which many studies show do not reduce abortions. “Discussion of pregnancy prevention and related issues will surely continue inside and outside Congress. In the meantime, pregnant women need our assistance now so that abortion is not promoted to them as their only choice.”
“I hope you will join Senator Casey in ensuring that the Pregnant Women Support Act will be considered and enacted by this Congress,” he said to the Senators.
The full text of Cardinal Rigali’s letter is available at: www.usccb.org/prolife/issues/women/PWSASenate09.pdf.