After more than three decades of political stalemate and legal gridlock, the Alliance applauds legislative efforts that are now bringing pro-choice and pro-life leaders together around the urgent need to limit unintended pregnancies, support pregnant women and reduce abortions. These efforts include the Pregnant Women Support Act and the Reducing the Need for Abortion and Supporting Parents Act. Applying broad moral principles from a particular faith tradition in a pluralistic democracy enriched by diverse values requires prudential judgment and recognition that politics is the “art of the possible.” Both of these efforts represent essential steps toward finding common ground in service of the common good.
The Pregnant Women Support Act is an excellent bill supported by the U.S. Bishops. I gave it a detailed treatment here. The bill is aimed at providing direct support to women in crisis pregnancies and their families. Unfortunately, with 36 cosponsors in the House and only one in the Senate, it has limited support from either side of the aisle.
The main competitor to PWSA is the Prevention First Act which is a horrible bill - essentially a big financial infusion for Planned Parenthood's contraception and vile, counterproductive teen sex ed programs. I treated it in detail here. The bill has far greater support with 141 cosponsors in the House and 25 in the Senate.
Catholics in Alliance doesn't mention the Prevention First Act. Rather, they mention the Reducing the Need for Abortion and Supporting Parents Act, which is a contraceptive bill along the lines of the Prevention First Act but not (currently) as awful.
So given their otherwise cloudy position on contraception and their support for the Reducing the Need for Abortion and Supporting Parents Act, the Register says:
On balance, I’d guess Catholics in Alliance is seeking to communicate that they support the promotion of contraception, without actually coming out and saying that directly. It’s an understandable bit of fudging for an organization that wants to claim that it’s authentically Catholic, even as it backs Obama’s positions contradicting basic Church teachings on issues like contraception and abortion.
I think that's true, but they are communicating something more. They are telegraphing what the Obama administration will finally adopt with regard to "reducing the need for abortion". Two reasons I suggest this:
1. With four key leaders of the organization - Chair Alexia Kelley, Board Chair Elizabeth Frawley Bagley, Founding Board Member and Advisor Melanne Verveer and Speaker and Advisor Miguel Diaz - now holding positions in the Obama administration, Catholics in Alliance is in a position to know.
2. The Reducing the Need for Abortion and Supporting Parents Act has not been introduced in the 110th Congress. Why mention it unless you knew that's where the administration was heading?