Religion News Service
The bill, crafted by Rep. Rosa DeLauro, an abortion-rights supporter from Connecticut and abortion opponent Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio, includes methods -- namely, contraception -- that some anti-abortion groups traditionally have rallied against.
Conservative evangelical and Catholic groups joined abortion-rights organizations to support the bill, after it was expanded to include health care for pregnant women and new mothers, sexual education programs, a nationwide adoption campaign, as well as federally funded contraception.
"Religious, secular -- it doesn't make any difference," DeLauro said. "There was a sense that we had to move forward. For too long we've allowed principles to divide us on this contentious issue."
The 86-page bill -- the Preventing Unintended Pregnancies, Reducing the Need for Abortion, and Supporting Pregnant Women Act -- took four years to piece together. Conservative groups initially found it difficult to reconcile pregnancy-prevention programs and medical support for women with grants that will expand sexual education to include awareness about abortion and contraception.