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Democrats Push Prevention First Act

Senate Democrats have said the time is right to vote on the Prevention First Act, which improves access to contraceptives, family planning services, and comprehensive sex education as a way to reduce abortions. In many ways, the bill mirrors the strategy used by pro-choice advocates for years.

The Prevention First Act (S. 20) is sponsored by Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (NV), who told The Hill that he hoped to get a vote on the bill soon. In addition to requiring accurate sex education information and expanding access to state-sponsored contraceptive services, the legislation also requires health insurance plans to cover contraceptive drugs and health care services, pushes for an educational campaign around emergency contraception, and calls on hospitals to provide it to sexual assault victims.

Celinda Lake, a pollster with Lake Snell Perry Mermin, tested voter support for the measure and found that the results were 3-to-1 in favor of the legislation. “Even pro-life voters support it,” reports The Hill. She went on to say that “It has the potential to be both a wedge and a turnout issue post-Alito,” as women become concerned about the combination of a conservative Supreme Court and the abortion ban in South Dakota.

LEARN MORE about polling on abortion and contraception in “The Polls Speak: Americans Support Abortion” by Celinda Lake, from the Summer 2005 issue of Ms. magazine.

Sources:

The Hill 4/5/06; United Press International 4/6/06; Senate Bill 20

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