Among the questions Dan asked me to consider for this post was the following: Can President Obama find common ground on—and reduce the need for—abortion? Well, yes, I believe he can. And I believe that, after many years of hard work by, and open dialogue with, advocates on all sides of the abortion issue, we in the House of Representatives have given the administration a template for this common, concerted action with the Ryan-DeLauro bill.
For too long, there has been too much heat and not enough light shed on the question of reducing abortion in this country. And for too long, we have allowed our differences to divide us on this contentious issue.
Now, I have been and will always be a strong and unyielding believer in a woman's fundamental right to choose. This is a belief I share with a majority of the American people, who continue to support Roe v. Wade and who oppose making it harder for women to get an abortion.
Many of my colleagues, including the bill's cosponsor, Congressman Tim Ryan of Ohio, have been equally passionate and committed to the opposing view. For all of us, on both sides of the abortion issue, this is not a decision taken lightly but a morally complex matter of conscience that goes to our most basic and fundamental principles.That is why our bill takes a different approach to the abortion question from what we have seen in the past.