Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has scheduled a vote on legislation that would embed abortion on demand, at any time during pregnancy, into federal law, making invalid many individual state pro-life laws.
The Senate will vote on February 28 on the abortion lobby’s Women’s Health Protection Act (S. 1975), sponsored by Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), and self-described “pro-life” Senator Bob Casey Jr., (D-PA) has said he will vote for debate on the bill.
Planned Parenthood has tweeted its support of the legislation:
At least 26 states could rapidly ban abortion if the Supreme Court were to overturn Roe v. Wade. Tell your Senators: It’s time to help protect abortion rights. Pass #WHPA now. https://t.co/wgW3nQuD9j
— Planned Parenthood (@PPFA) February 23, 2022
The House narrowly passed the measure, by a vote of 218-211, in September, along party lines, with only Democrat Representative Henry Cuellar (D-TX-28) joining Republicans to vote against it.
Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in December not to block the Texas Heartbeat Act, the White House called for a Senate vote on the WHPA abortion legislation.
Some say Catholic Joe Biden's "Women's Health Protection Act" is an attempt to codify Roe v. Wade.
But it's actually WAYYY worse than that. https://t.co/hlGoLOPtvp pic.twitter.com/aze43ttArL
— Students for Life of America (@StudentsforLife) February 23, 2022
In an op-ed at The Hill in December, Jonathan Turley, public interest law professor at George Washington University, explained the White House push for a vote before the Court rules in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a case centered on a Mississippi law that bans abortions past 15 weeks, and one that poses the most significant challenge in decades to the right to abortion created by the 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade:
The reason is that the WHPA is not a simple codification but a potentially massive expansion of Roe and its successor case, Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey. It seeks to accomplish legislatively what could not be accomplished judicially for decades. Putting aside possible constitutional problems in effectively taking over the entire field of abortion rights from the states, the WHPA’s provisions read like a progressive wish-list based on pages of legislative “findings.” It declares the “violent legacy” of “restrictions on reproductive health, including abortion … [that] perpetuate systems of oppression, lack of bodily autonomy, white supremacy, and anti-Black racism.”
The legislation, Turley summarized, “actually goes far beyond the current precedent of the Supreme Court and would effectively wipe out many state laws and state authority on abortion.”
Townhall noted that Pennsylvania Democrat Casey’s statement, indicating he will vote to proceed with debate on the legislation, drew rebukes from pro-life leaders. Casey said:
The question before the U.S. Senate on this vote is whether the Senate will proceed to debate the Women’s Health Protection Act. Given the recent Supreme Court rulings, potential rulings this year, and the Republican Party’s clear and unrelenting use of this issue as a political weapon, I will vote “yes” to allow debate on this bill. I have long worked to reduce the number of unintended pregnancies and abortions, and I hope that as part of this debate we will also focus on new and substantial funding for pregnant women, infants, and children.
Kristen Day, executive director of Democrats for Life, tweeted her alarm regarding Casey’s indication he apparently believes the legislation is worth debating.
“Surely he is not saying that prioritizing abortion will bring a discussion about supporting pregnant women,” she pointed to the irony.
Did someone hack @SenBobCasey ? Surely he is not supporting abortion extremism? Surely he is not saying that prioritizing abortion will bring a discussion about supporting pregnant women. This bill is deadly and dangerous. Take back your account Senator! Support life! https://t.co/NJPsaStnab
— Kristen Day (@ProLifeDem) February 18, 2022
Maria Gallagher, legislative director of the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation, an affiliate of National Right to Life, also told Townhall:
We are deeply disappointed with Senator Bob Casey’s decision to vote “yes” for debate for a measure that should be called “The Abortion Without Limits Bill.” The bill would codify the tragic U.S. Supreme Court ruling Roe v. Wade, which has resulted in the deaths of more than 63 million preborn children and has devastated countless mothers who are left to grieve children lost to abortion.
“Senator Casey’s father, the late Governor Robert Casey, Sr., consistently placed principle over politics to defend the rights of the most vulnerable among us,” Gallagher added. “One has to wonder what Casey’s dad would think of his son’s capitulation to the abortion industry.”
Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, also rebuked Casey, noting his statement “exposes how the Democratic Party has caved to pro-abortion extremism”:
Casey’s overall voting record is not pro-life, yet as late as 2020 he voted for legislation to stop late-term abortions when unborn babies can feel pain. Now with millions of lives at stake in the Dobbs case, he stands with Chuck Schumer and the abortion lobby to advance the “Abortion Until Birth Act” and enshrine an unlimited abortion “right” in federal law – a radical agenda Americans across the political spectrum reject.
In a move that reaffirmed their zealotry on abortion, Democrats have filed cloture to vote on the sweeping Women’s Health Protection Act (H.R. 3755). The vote will occur this coming Monday, February 28. Click link to CONTACT YOUR SENATORS TODAY!!!! https://t.co/n5g8kQ7MCd pic.twitter.com/XH7OYzbXHL
— National Right to Life (@nrlc) February 25, 2022
Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life, also noted in her organization’s statement the legislation is, “in effect, a no-limits-on-abortion-until-birth-bill.”
“Pro-abortion Democrats have yet to hear of an abortion-expansion bill they didn’t like and they are more than willing to push it on to the American people,” she said.
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Susan Berry, PhD, is national education editor at The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected]