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July 23, 2009

NARAL Pro-Choice America, NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio Welcome Ryan-DeLauro Bill to Prevent Unintended Pregnancy

Washington, D.C. – Today, Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, and Kellie Copeland, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio and resident of the 17th Congressional District, issued the following joint statement regarding the Preventing Unintended Pregnancies, Reducing the Need for Abortion and Supporting Parents Act, introduced by Reps. Tim Ryan (D-OH) and Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn).

"Americans want a future with a constructive and thoughtful debate over reproductive rights, where lawmakers on both sides of the issue can unify behind commonsense measures to improve women's reproductive-health-care options. Reps. Ryan and DeLauro have demonstrated how reaching across the divide to find common-ground solutions to prevent unintended pregnancy is possible; their bill includes a number of positive proposals to improve women's access to contraception and to support teen-pregnancy-prevention efforts. We also support the bill's aim to ensure that women who choose to carry their pregnancies to term are given the options and resources necessary to guarantee a healthy pregnancy. This approach contrasts greatly with the divisive and inflammatory rhetoric we see from too many lawmakers and organizations that oppose a woman's right to choose and refuse even to support access to birth control.

"Recently, President Obama brought even more attention to the need for a common-ground approach in his speech at the University of Notre Dame by reiterating his call for change in tone of the debate over the right to choose. The president's speech mirrored many of the key themes that we have emphasized since first issuing a challenge for common ground in 2005. In that time, NARAL Pro-Choice America has worked with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Rep. Louise Slaughter, lawmakers who hold different views on abortion rights, to promote the Prevention First Act—the seminal example of common-ground proposals. NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio has worked with lawmakers to advance a measure modeled after the Prevention First Act at the state level. We at NARAL Pro-Choice America and NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio support the Ryan/DeLauro bill as a welcome and constructive addition to this effort.

"After the tragic murder of Dr. George Tiller at his church in Kansas, now more then ever, we challenge groups opposing legal abortion to put a stop to the inflammatory rhetoric and the use of violence, and instead to embrace a new and more responsible approach to the debate."

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