46 Senate Democrats Support Abortion-on-Demand
On Monday, 46 Senate Democrats voted to proceed to debate on a bill that would effectively legalize abortion across the United States up to the moment of birth. The motion failed, as every Republican present, plus Democratic Senator Joe Manchin, voted against cloture. Its narrow defeat is of little consolation given the possibility that a future Democratic Senate could cobble together the votes to end the filibuster and push through the so-called Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA).
The bill, which reads like a Vox explainer, is the inevitable result of progressives’ embrace of abortion as a positive moral good.
The WHPA acknowledges at the outset that while women constitute “the majority of people targeted and affected by restrictions on abortion services,” other people, including “transgender men” are “capable of becoming pregnant” and thus protected by the legislation. Forty-six senators supported a bill that claimed women are not the only people capable of getting pregnant.
Later, the bill’s drafters report that states regulate abortions and colonoscopies differently:
Many State and local governments have imposed restrictions on the provision of abortion services that are neither evidence-based nor generally applicable to the medical profession or to other medically comparable outpatient gynecological procedures, such as endometrial ablations, dilation and curettage for reasons other than abortion, hysteroscopies, loop electrosurgical excision procedures, or other analogous non-gynecological procedures performed in similar outpatient settings including vasectomy, sigmoidoscopy, and colonoscopy.
It’s not clear what the drafters mean when they claim state and local “restrictions on the provision of abortion services” are not “evidence-based.” It is also rather the point of abortion restrictions that they are not “generally applicable to the medical profession.” Abortion ends a human life. Colonoscopies do not.
The bill proceeds to claim that “Many abortion-specific restrictions do not confer any health or safety benefits on the patient.” This, again, is perfectly true. Abortion restrictions are not intended to “confer any health or safety benefits” on the women seeking to kill an unborn child. They are intended to confer health and safety benefits on the unborn child who would otherwise be killed.
The drafters then invoke the United Nations’ finding that “access to abortion is intrinsically linked to the rights to life, health, equality and non-discrimination, privacy, and freedom from ill-treatment.” It is supposed to convince the reader of the rectitude of the drafters’ cause, but does the opposite.
After the Findings and Purposes section, the bill codifies the Supreme Court’s holding in Roe v. Wade, giving health-care providers the”statutory right…to provide abortion services” without restriction “at any point or points in time prior to fetal viability.”
It would also give providers the right to “provide immediate abortion services,” regardless of fetal viability, when a “delay would pose a risk to the patient’s health.” Given the Court’s controlling precedent in Doe v. Bolton, which held that a mother’s “health” is not restricted to her physical health but includes “all factors—physical, emotional, psychological, familial and the woman’s age—relevant to the wellbeing of the patient,” the WHPA’s health exception would swallow any viability-related restrictions a state might impose.
The Women’s Health Protection Act would gut conscience rights in the United States. It would force taxpayers to subsidize abortion domestically and abroad. That such a bill was four votes away from the floor of the United States Senate is unsurprising given the times we live in but nevertheless serves as a reminder of the lamentable state of our union.