Issue Position: Reproductive Rights and Family Planning
* I believe we can respect each other's personal and religious views about reproductive rights without compromising our convictions.
* We should work to find common ground in support of goals we can all share, including the goal of reducing the number of abortions and unwanted pregnancies that occur in our country.
* Improving access to quality health care and education regarding contraception and family planning is a key component to reducing the need for controversial procedures such as abortion, and so, we must pass legislation at the federal level that will enable everyone to have access to such services.
The issues of contraception, abortion, reproductive health, and family planning are among the most controversial in our society. Americans with different opinions on these issues often have difficulty reaching common ground because of firmly-held personal values, their views about the Constitution, and individual definitions of morality, and religious beliefs. I believe we can respect each other's personal and religious views about these issues without compromising our convictions. I also believe that we should work to find common ground in support of goals we can all share, including the goal of reducing the number of abortions and unwanted pregnancies that occur in our country.
As a matter of constitutional rights, however, I do not believe we can compromise a woman's right to make her own decisions with regard to her reproductive health. My view is that we should have a policy of making abortion safe and legal, but rare--and that good information about family planning, contraception, adoption, sexually-transmitted diseases and other reproductive health matters should be a part of our consideration.
Improving access to quality health care and education regarding contraception and family planning will reduce the need for controversial procedures such as abortion. That is why I have co-sponsored the Prevention First Act of 2007 (HR 819). The bill improves access to health care by including provisions that provide insurance coverage for contraceptives and increases support for clinics that offer family planning services. I also support legislative efforts to make information available regarding contraceptive and family planning options. Family planning clinics, especially, need to continue to provide information to women regarding their options.
There are no simple answers when it comes to policy governing reproductive choice. It is time for us to work together to find the common ground on these difficult issues so more women can make sound reproductive choices based on good information and a fuller understanding of their health care options.