The Democratic-controlled Senate failed to pass a bill that would radically expand federal abortion law far beyond Roe v. Wade.
The Democratic-controlled Senate failed to pass a bill, the “Women’s Health Protection Act,” that would radically expand federal abortion law far beyond Roe v. Wade.
- The bill failed by a 49-51 vote, with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and two pro-choice Republicans, Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Susan Collins (R-ME) joining with all 48 pro-life Republican Senators to defeat the legislation.
- Senate Democrats claimed the bill would merely codify Roe v. Wade into federal law, but their bill, the so-called “Women’s Health Protection Act” would actually greatly expand abortion laws and overturn a number of state regulations on parental notification and bans on sex-selective abortions.
- The deadlocked Senate means most abortion legislation post-Dobbs will be passed on a state-by-state basis.
- The failure of the Women’s Health Protection Act comes as the Court’s nine justices were set to gather on Thursday for their first meeting since the leak of the Dobbs opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade last Monday.
- The New York Times wrote the Dobbs leak, and a flood of subsequent leaks from the typically tight-lipped Supreme Court, have started to make the Supreme Court resemble the other three branches of government.
- The Washington Post interviewed Democrats who, despite the overheated rhetoric, acknowledged the Women’s Health Protection Act was doomed from the start. They admitted the bill was designed for messaging and to mobilize Democratic base voters, not actually become law.
- Politico called the Democratic Senate the “imaginary majority,” knocking the “severe limitations” on Democrats’ ability to pass their preferred legislation through a 50-50 Senate where any one Senator, like West Virginia’s Joe Manchin, can effectively veto legislation.
- National Review said the bill revealed “the truth about Democratic abortion extremism” with its provisions to legalize abortion up until the moment of birth, permit sex-selective abortions, allow non-physicians to perform abortions and overturn parental notification laws.
- The Washington Free Beacon pointed out American voters oppose unrestricted abortion in the second and third trimesters. The Women’s Health Protection Act is far out of step with American public opinion.
- The Washington Examiner observed Democrats are desperate to talk about any issue aside from abortion, which the Examiner attributed to their implicit understanding that their stance on abortion is radical and out of step with most Americans.
Before Wednesday’s vote, Democratic Senators tried to claim their bill would merely ratify the status quo by codifying Roe v. Wade into federal law. The Women’s Health Protection Act would go far beyond Roe, which mandates legal abortion nationwide in the first 24 weeks of pregnancy (the US is one of seven countries to allow unrestricted abortion after the 20th week of pregnancy). This bill, which legalizes abortion right up until the moment of birth, was so radical it alienated Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins, two centrist pro-choice Republicans who typically support moderate pro-choice legislation. Murkowski and Collins promoted a narrower bill that Schumer rejected in favor of his radical alternative.
The Women’s Health Protection Act is breathtaking in its radicalism. The bill would not merely legalize abortion nationwide through the child’s delivery date – although that is plenty radical all by itself. The bill would overturn state laws banning sex-selective abortions and enshrine a federal right to abort baby girls just because they are girls. It would eliminate all federal and state conscience protections that protect healthcare workers from performing abortions. All parental consent and parental-notification laws would be null and void. Non-doctors would have the right to perform abortions.
The Women’s Health Protection Act is the clearest indication Democrats are entirely in the thrall of radical abortion activists. Even so-called “pro-life Democrats” like Pennsylvania’s Bob Casey voted for this radical legislation. Democrats are far out of step with the American public on this issue. Expect to see this vote in many Republican ads this fall.
© Dominic Moore, 2022