The elusive middle ground on abortion took concrete shape in September. Two bills were introduced in the House of Representatives that are designed to reduce the number of abortions not by tightening restrictions on abortion but by expanding the social programs that reduce the likelihood of abortion.
The Pregnant Women Support Act, introduced by Lincoln Davis (D., Tenn.) and Chris Smith (R., N.J.), and the Reducing the Need for Abortion Act, sponsored by Tim Ryan (D., Ohio) and Rose DeLauro (D., Conn.), are the most comprehensive bills yet formulated to address the social issues that lie behind the decision to have an abortion. The Ryan-DeLauro bill is notable for bringing together a member of the Congressional Pro-Life Caucus (Ryan) and a member of the Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus (DeLauro). Ryan said the proposal is aimed at “broadening the stagnant debate that too often accompanies this issue.”