The Common Good

Jim Wallis Statement on 95/10 Abortion Rate Bills in U.S. House of Representatives

Date: September 20, 2006


September 20, 2006

Media Contacts:

Jack Pannell, 202/285-1899,

Elise Elzinga, 202/745-4625,


Statement by Jim Wallis

The Abortion Reduction Act and the Pregnant Women Support Act


Sojourners/Call to Renewal applauds the recent introduction of two pieces of legislation in the House of Representatives aimed at dramatically reducing abortions in this country.  We hope these two bills (the Abortion Reduction Act and the Pregnant Women Support Act) will help deepen the national conversation and lead to concrete action. 


Those who have worked tirelessly on these bills – Rep. Tim Ryan, Rep. Rosa DeLauro, Rep. Lincoln Davis, former Rep. Tim Roemer, Democrats for Life, and others - deserve thanks.  While each bill is unique, what is important is that political leaders, the media, analysts, women’s groups, children’s groups, medical experts, religious groups, and more are providing a context in which a healthy discussion can, hopefully, reverse the alarming rate of abortion in our nation.  That is a goal leaders all along the political spectrum should be able to support.   

Sojourners/Call to Renewal supports creating a culture of life that advances the dignity and equality of women, protects and defends the vulnerable unborn, and promotes a consistent and healthy sexual ethic, especially for teens and young adults.  Americans support approaches that reduce abortions, incorporate reasonable restrictions, and promote policies that reduce unintended pregnancies, increase adequate health care for women, reform adoption, and foster care so that they are viable options for women who want to carry children to term.  There is no one solution for reducing abortions in America.  Therefore, we need a strategy employing multiple approaches to effectively lower our abortion rate.

These House leaders and others working to reduce abortion deserve the support of their colleagues, the faith community, and other leaders in Washington for taking an important step toward preventing abortion and supporting pregnant women.  For too long, too many people have been satisfied with only a contentious debate over simplified positions of “life” and “choice.”  A better approach is to foster more energy for and commitment to advancing a dialogue that aims for solutions.  A constructive debate should include how best to prevent unwanted pregnancies and support pregnant women who find themselves in an unexpected situation. 

We recognize differences of opinion regarding how to meet these goals – as evidenced by two different bills.  But, both bills advance the dialogue and moral framework for developing a reasonable, comprehensive strategy for making abortion rare in America and making healthy families the norm.  Differences are welcome in a positive discussion.  Sustaining the discussion and moving toward solutions is critical. We applaud all parties that share that goal.   

We especially thank Rep. Davis for his work on the Pregnant Women Support Act and Reps. Ryan and DeLauro for their work on the Abortion Reduction Act.  They, and their supportive colleagues in the House, are taking critical steps forward.  We look forward to being supportive as the discussion continues.

The mission of SOJOURNERS/CALL TO RENEWAL is to articulate the biblical call to social justice, inspiring hope and building a movement to transform individuals, communities, the church, and the world.