A bill Democrats pushed to shut down state pro-life laws and force doctors throughout the country to perform abortions, even if doing so violates their faith beliefs, failed to advance in the Senate Wednesday.
Desperate to appeal to his party’s radical leftist supporters in the wake of the leaked Supreme Court draft opinion in a case that could overturn Roe v. Wade, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said the vote was “urgent” to prevent states from restricting abortions within their borders.
“For MAGA Republicans, this has always been about making abortion illegal everywhere,” Schumer said in another swipe at former President Donald Trump and his supporters on the floor of the Senate.
Americans will not forget who voted to protect a woman’s right to make her own decisions about her body—who voted to protect abortion rights.
Today’s vote was just one step.
We can't allow this shameful backslide from MAGA Republicans.
We will keep fighting for women’s rights.
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) May 11, 2022
Democrat leaders insisted the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA) would simply “codify” the right to access abortion anywhere in the nation into federal law.
But Democrat Senator Joe Manchin (D-WVA), who joined with all 50 Republicans in voting against advancing the measure, making the vote 49-51, sharply disagreed with his Democrat colleagues on the provisions in the legislation.
“Make no mistake, it is not Roe v. Wade codification,” Manchin said about the legislation, Fox News noted. “It is an expansion.”
While Manchin said he would not be opposed to a bill that would actually codify Roe v. Wade in federal law, the WHPA, he said, is not that kind of measure.
“It wipes 500-500 state laws off the books,” he asserted. “It expands abortion.”
While Senate Democrats frequently can rely on pro-abortion rights Republican Sens. Lisa Murkowski (AK) and Susan Collins (ME) to vote with them against their party, Fox News observed both senators rejected the legislation, reportedly stating the legislation went too far in embedding the right to sex-selection abortion nationally.
Planned Parenthood tweeted the message that suggests, at least for some of their supporters, the mainstay of their identities surrounds the fact they aborted a child.
Every person deserves to have access to the full range of the sexual and reproductive health care they need — including abortion. #BansOffOurBodies
🎨: Eugenia Mello pic.twitter.com/KtQjlM0HyS
— Planned Parenthood (@PPFA) May 11, 2022
However, Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT), chair of the Senate Pro-Life Caucus, called the Democrats’ bill a piece of “radical” legislation that “would make the United States of America one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a preborn child.”
“The Democrats’ abortion bill would codify an extreme abortion regime that is aligned with brutal nations such as China and North Korea – which would impose abortion up until the moment of birth without any limits in all 50 states,” Daines added, noting as well that under the bill, “a preborn child, simply for the crime of being ‘unwanted’, or ‘inconvenient’, or ‘unplanned’, could be subjected to brutal dismemberment procedures, in which the unborn child bleeds and feels excruciating pain as she dies from being pulled apart limb from limb.”
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) framed the extremist character of the Democrats’ abortion expansion bill in light of the recent radical behavior of their constituents:
Unfortunately, members of the radical left have firebombed a pro-life office in Wisconsin and are threatening the safety of Supreme Court Justices and their families in an effort to intimidate them to impact their vote. Democrats have yet to condemn activists who are engaging in this repugnant illegal activity.
“This extreme legislation is just another piece of the [D]emocrats’ radical agenda to ‘fundamentally transform’ our country,” Johnson added. “Open borders, 40-year-high inflation, record gasoline prices, rising crime, and now unrestricted abortions nationwide are the disastrous results of their polices that will ‘fundamentally destroy’ America.”
National pro-life leader Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America, also noted that leftist pro-abortion activists “who support violence against the most vulnerable behind the closed doors of Planned Parenthoods are now openly committing it in the streets.”
Sadly, I’m not surprised that those who support violence against the most vulnerable behind the closed doors of Planned Parenthoods are now openly committing it in the streets.
— Kristan Hawkins (@KristanHawkins) May 12, 2022
Sen. Roger Marshall (R-KS), an OB/GYN, called the Democrats’ bill “the most egregious, horrific attack on the lives of unborn children and the health of moms in American history.”
“If Democrats had their way, these babies that we delivered over a decade ago could have been aborted the moment prior to this c-section,” he said, showing a photo of himself after having delivered twins more than 10 years ago.
Referring to his own profession, Marshall added the bill intended to end “conscious protections,” a provision that could have a significant impact on the future of medicine in America.
“As an obstetrician myself, this hits near and dear to my heart,” he said. “This bill is an attack on my faith and the attack of the faith of many doctors and nurses who refused to take part in abortions. They would be forced out of their professions, they would be forced out of medical schools, out of residency programs, so many aspiring students would decide not to go into medicine.”
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Susan Berry, PhD, is national education editor at The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected]