Did you know that anti-choice senators voted against programs that prevent teen pregnancy?
In recent years, anti-choice members of Congress have tried repeatedly to pass new laws making it more difficult for young women to get confidential reproductive-health services, including abortion. They came extremely close to passing these proposals in 2006, and if it hadn't been for a courageous stand by pro-choice senators on the very last days of the congressional session, it's almost certain they would have succeeded.
But what's even worse is that these same anti-choice senators – those trying to make abortion more difficult and dangerous – had the opportunity to address the real problem, teen pregnancy, and refused to do so. While Congress was considering the "Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act," Sens. Frank Lautenberg and Robert Menendez (both D-NJ) proposed an amendment to the bill that would have funded a broad variety of programs proven to prevent teen pregnancy. The Lautenberg-Menendez amendment makes good sense: rather than punishing teen pregnancy, let's do more to prevent it. The amendment would have supported efforts by nonprofit organizations, schools, and public-health agencies to reduce teen pregnancy through sex education, after-school programs, and other services. Unfortunately, the same members of Congress who tried to make abortion less safe and accessible for young women rejected this commonsense attempt to prevent teen pregnancy by defeating the Lautenberg-Menendez amendment.
H.R. 476, 107th Cong. (2002); H.R. 748, 109th Cong. (2006); S. 403, 109th Cong. (2006); 109 Cong. Rec. S8153-8164 (daily ed. Jul. 25, 2006)