This week, Senate Democrats were unable to pass legislation that would prevent local, state, and federal governments from restricting or banning abortions.
The Senate tried to invoke cloture and terminate debate on S. 4132, the Women’s Health Protection Act. The measured failed 49-51, as Senator Joe Manchin (Dem-WV) opposed it, and it needed 60 votes to bring cloture into play. The bill would prohibit governmental limitations on access to abortion services. Specifically, the legislation says that governments may not restrict a healthcare provider’s ability to:
- Prescribe certain drugs
- Offer abortion services via telemedicine
- When the physician determines that a delay is jeopardizing the health of the woman, provide abortion services right away.
According to the Congress.gov website, the bill reads:
“Finally, governments may not (1) force individuals to make medically unwarranted in-person visits before receiving abortion care or disclose why the they are obtaining it, or (2) prohibit these services before or after fetal viability when a medical care provider determines that the pregnancy puts the woman’s life or health in danger.”
The bill also forbids other government actions that are comparable to the bill’s stipulations or otherwise single out and obstruct access to abortion, unless a government can show that the legislation is necessary and cannot be completed through less restrictive means.
“Individuals, agencies, or providers may issue a lawsuit to enforce this measure. States are not immune from litigation for breaches.”
The bill’s provisions apply to both prior and subsequent restrictions.
After Politico published a leaked draft of the Supreme Court’s opinion, which would repeal Roe v. Wade, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) introduced the bill. The Senate Democrats proposed the legislation in an attempt to codify many of the pro-abortion rights granted by the landmark Roe v Wade decision into law.
Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) issued the following statement after the vote:
“Today’s vote on the Women’s Health Protection Act is the left’s latest effort to challenge the Supreme Court’s authority and promote their abortion-on-demand ideology. This bill would require states to legalize late-term abortions, repeal informed consent standards, and ban restrictions on grisly fetal sectioning techniques. Today, I stood up to the woke mob and voted in favor of protecting women and their unborn children.”
Sen. Hawley (R-MO) called the legislation “a bad bill that would disenfranchise every voter in Missouri, overturn our state laws – and hand power to DC liberals.”