Pro-abortion Coalition Unveils Sweeping New National Abortion-on-Demand Legislation in Congress
Mary Spaudling Balch, JD, director, NRLC Department of State Legislation
WASHINGTON (November 20, 2013) – A large group of pro-abortion members of Congress have introduced sweeping new legislation that is intended to nullify virtually all state and federal limitations on abortion, at any point in pregnancy.
Major pro-abortion groups, including the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA), NARAL Pro-choice America, and the Center for Reproductive Rights, immediately began promoting the bill in communications to pro-abortion activists and in their fundraising appeals.
The bill reflects the alarm in pro-abortion activist ranks at the legislative successes of the pro-life movement in many state legislatures in recent years – including, for example, enactment of the NRLC-crafted Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act in 10 states.
The new 15-page proposal is formally titled the “Women’s Health Protection Act.” It was introduced on November 13 in the Senate as S. 1696 by Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Ct.) and 30 cosponsors, all Democrats. Identical companion legislation (H.R. 3471) was introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Judy Chu (D-Ca.) and 59 cosponsors, all Democrats.
Blumenthal called it “a clear and certain response to” a “cascading wave of restrictions” on abortion enacted by state legislatures over the past several years.
In a letter promoting the bill released November 13, PPFA, NARAL, and numerous other pro-abortion groups asserted that “states enacted a recordbreaking 92 restrictions on abortion in 2011, and over 100 additional dangerous and unnecessary measures have passed into law since then.”
Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights.
In a November 19 fundraising solicitation on the bill, Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights, said “it’s become crystal clear that we need to go on the offensive.”
NRLC State Legislation Director Mary Spaulding Balch commented, “As early as 1980, the U.S. Supreme Court, including three justices who supported Roe v. Wade, wrote, ‘Abortion is inherently different from other medical procedures, because no other procedure involves the purposeful termination of a potential life.’ But this bill would impose the extreme doctrine that there is nothing at all different about abortion – the unborn child is an absolute non-entity, a zero, under this bill. The bill would also effectively leave women at the unregulated mercy of the most incompetent, mercenary, or biased abortion practitioners – and this is the real ‘war on women.’”
NRLC Federal Legislative Director Douglas Johnson commented, “The new bill is labeled the ‘Women’s Health Protection Act,’ but it would more accurately be titled the ‘Abortion on Demand Until Birth Protection Act.’ Under this bill, the unborn child has no more rights, from conception until birth, than a malignant tumor. This is an extreme pro-abortion ideology far removed from the views of the majority of Americans.”