Arina Grossu is Director, Center for Human Dignity at Family Research Council. This article appeared on Townhall.com, July 18, 2014.
The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on Sen. Richard Blumenthal's (D-CT) overreaching bill, ironically called the "Women's Health Protection Act" (S. 1696). This bill, co-sponsored by 35 Senate Democrats would overturn the vast majority of state pro-life laws. It is a radical, extreme, pro-abortion bill. If passed, this one federal law would invalidate most state pro-life laws, common-sense laws that have been passed to protect women and their babies. It would further prohibit states from introducing new pro-life laws in the future.
The following is a short list of laws this bill may invalidate:
- Abortion facility health and safety standards (29 states), such as admitting privileges requirements.
- Informed consent laws (32 states) which require that women seeking abortions be provided with information on alternatives to abortion. In addition other laws would be endangered such as ultrasound laws (24 states) and heartbeat laws.
- Laws providing waiting periods.
- Laws requiring that only licensed physicians perform abortions (42 states).
- Laws protecting medical professionals who have a conscientious objection to providing abortions from having to do so.
- Restrictions on late abortions/abortions after 20 weeks (12 states).
- Limits on abortion after viability (36 states).
- Fetal pain laws (10 states).
- Laws limiting telemed abortions (17 states).
- Restrictions on abortions based on sex selection (4 states), race, or disability.
- State and federal conscience protection laws.
- Limits on tax-payer funding of abortion (25 states).
These measures are in fact, in the best interest, health and safety of women and their unborn children.
However, Sen. Blumenthal and the supporters of S. 1696 dare to falsely claim that these measures "do not further women's health or the safety of abortion, but harm women by reducing the availability of services" (p.2) and that they are "medically unwarranted" (p.5). Since when is having informed consent or a licensed physician "medically unwarranted"?
It seems that Sen. Blumenthal et al want Gosnell-style access to abortion, regardless of what's in the actual best health and safety interest of women and their children. Does Sen. Blumenthal et al really think that abortionists and abortion facilities should be less regulated than, say, restaurants and tanning salons? Apparently, yes. How many more Gosnell-style abortionists are out there who would benefit from a roll-back of standards and unscrupulously endanger the health and safety of women? This is the real war on women. Women's lives are hanging in the balance.
Sen. Blumenthal et al are out of touch with public opinion, which is largely in favor of abortion restrictions. A January 2014 Marist poll found that 84 percent of Americans think abortion should be restricted.
Instead, Sen. Blumenthal and Senate Democrats should focus on the passage of the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (S. 1670) which protects children who can feel pain. It is sponsored by Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and supported by 41 co-sponsors. At the state level, new measures should continue to be introduced that actually protect the health and safety of women.