(Editor's note: Clarifies funding details and 'emergency contraception' definition in 6th paragraph.)
(CNSNews.com) - A pro-life group is blasting Democrat John F. Kerry and Sens. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) and Lincoln Chafee (R-R.I.) for co-sponsoring a bill that the group says "subsidizes promiscuity, perpetrates immorality and promotes abortion."
The $1.2 billion measure, called the "Putting Prevention First Act" (S.2336), was introduced in the Senate on Planned Parenthood's 2004 Congressional Day of Action. The Senate version has seven other sponsors. The House companion bill (H.R. 4192) has 112 sponsors.
"This sex-drenched omnibus bill steamrolls several bad ideas from Planned Parenthood and other pro-abortion entities into one big promiscuity-promoting nightmare," said Ed Szymkowiak, national director of American Life League's STOPP International project.
"When one adds up all the taxpayers' dollars involved, this bill seeks a whopping $1.2 billion in federal funding," he said.
According to the Planned Parenthood website, the bill "will expand access to preventative health care services and education programs that help reduce the number of unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections, and the need for abortion."
But according to Szymkowiak, the bill would more than double the current yearly appropriation for the Title X population control program of the Public Health Services Act to $643 million for fiscal year 2005. Also, from 2005 to 2009, an additional $50 million will go towards promoting 'emergency contraception,' which Szymkowiak described as "a pill regime that sometimes causes abortion by preventing implantation of a living human embryo."
During that same time period, $500 million will be appropriated for "Planned Parenthood-style comprehensive sex education," which Szymkowiak calls "a prescription for promiscuity, sexually transmitted disease and abortion."
Planned Parenthood Federation of America is urging the bill's passage, saying, "The need for this legislation could not be more urgent."
"The rates of unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections in the United States are among the highest in industrialized nations. This legislation is critical because improving access to family planning services and education has become a casualty in the ongoing battle over abortion rights," said PPFA President Gloria Feldt in a press release.
Feldt said improved access to contraception should be a "shared national goal."
"If you are opposed to abortion you should be for family planning," she said.
"Contraception is not controversial for the vast majority of Americans. For most women, including women who want to have children, contraception is not optional - it is a basic health care necessity."
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