Reported by LAUREL DUGGAN, SOCIAL ISSUES AND CULTURE REPORTER | February 28, 2022
Nearly every Senate Democrat voted in favor of legislation Monday which would have radically expanded abortion rights beyond even the Supreme Court’s ruling in Roe v. Wade. The Women’s Health Protection Act would have forced every state to allow abortions for any reason until at least the point of viability, generally defined at around six months into a pregnancy, and banned most restrictions on abortion up to the point of birth. Every Republican voted against the bill, and every Democrat except Sen. Joe Manchin voted in favor, NBC News reported.
The WHPA would have invalidated all state and local laws restricting what types of abortion procedures are permissible while banning requirements that doctors give women medical tests such as ultrasounds before administering abortions, unless such requirements also applied to “medically comparable procedures.” The bill proposed various deregulatory measures that would have loosened safety requirements nationwide for abortion providers, such as ending restrictions on doctors prescribing pills via “telemedicine” for do-it-yourself chemical abortions at home.
Abortion is a procedure used “primarily by women,” the bill explained before justifying the use of the word “woman,” and noting that “transgender men” and “non-binary individuals” need abortion rights too.
“Women’s decisions over women’s health care belong to women, not to extremist right-wing legislatures,” commented Sen. Chuck Schumer, who called abortion a “fundamental right.”
Jeane Mancini, the president of the March for Life, said it was the most radical abortion legislation in American history. “This bill is obviously designed by pro-abortion politicians to appease the abortion lobby. Lawmakers, regardless of party affiliation, must reject it,” she commented.
The bill is an apparent attempt to codify the Supreme Court’s ruling in Roe v. Wade, which is being reconsidered by the Court and could potentially be overturned in June.