Extreme abortion buttress “Women’s Health Protection Act” fails in Senate

Extreme abortion buttress “Women’s Health Protection Act” fails in Senate ( Ömürden Cengiz/Unsplash)

A radical abortion expansion bill that seeks to codify abortion on demand in federal law, barring pro-life protection by the states, was blocked in the U.S. Senate.

The Senate blocked the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA) Feb. 28 in a 46-48 vote. The vote fell along party lines, with the exception of Sen. Joe Manchin (W.Va.), who voted with the Republicans against the law.

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The bill is designed to protect abortion access at the federal level and would prevent individual states from enacting abortion restrictions by enshrining abortion rights in federal law.

Termed by pro-life advocates as radical, extreme, barbaric, and horrific, the WHPA has numerous elements that promote abortion.

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The law would thwart states from restricting abortion prior to viability and allow for abortions up to term if the mother’s “life or health” was at risk. The authors of the bill chose not to define “health” or “viability,” which could have meant nearly any abortion for any reason would be legal in the United States.

The WHPA text also stated that individuals could not be asked to visit the abortion center for “medically unnecessary” appointments, which refers to mandatory counseling sessions prior to an abortion. 

Further, patients could not be asked for a reason for their abortion. This would prevent the medical community from protecting pre-born babies who have been diagnosed with disabilities from abortions resulting from that diagnosis. This provision could also prevent the medical community from protecting unborn baby girls from gendercide when the parents would rather have a boy.

Pregnancy help advocates welcomed the proposed abortion expansion law’s failure in the Senate, with the head of the world’s largest network of pregnancy help weighing in.

“The biggest reason the Women’s Health Protection Act failed is because it was not designed to protect women’s health,” said Jor-El Godsey, president of Heartbeat International. “It should have been called the Abortion Profits Protection Act. Women deserve better.” 

Tweet This: “The biggest reason the Women’s Health Protection Act failed is because it was not designed to protect women’s health”

The U.S. pregnancy help community consists of thousands of pregnancy centers and pregnancy medical clinics, along with non-profit adoption agencies and maternity homes that service women and families typically at no charge and often with round-the-clock availability for support. Pregnancy help is based upon the belief that every woman deserves love and support during an unexpected pregnancy and that no woman should feel alone, coerced, or so hopeless that she ends her child’s life through abortion.

Heartbeat’s Vice President of Ministry Services Betty McDowell remarked on the promotion of abortion in the WHPA under the guise of healthcare and said that pushing abortion in answer to unplanned pregnancy is not good for women.

“Mandating or promoting abortion and calling it the Women's Health Care Act is and was an insult to all women,” McDowell told Pregnancy Help News. “The work of the pregnancy help community continues to be of utmost importance in serving women who need support and information not coercion."

Tweet This: “Mandating or promoting abortion and calling it the Women's Health Care Act is an insult to all women” #Women’s Health Protection Act

Heartbeat International Vice President of Communications and Marketing Andrea Trudden added, "We are grateful for the Senators who stood up for women and voted “No” on the #WomensHealthProtectionAct."

"There was nothing in that bill that was for 'women’s health,'” Trudden said. "It was clearly designed solely to appease the abortion lobby. Rather than push for abortion-on-demand up until birth, perhaps we should promote resources already available to women in their communities that support them when facing unexpected pregnancies." 

Drafters of the WHPA chose to focus heavily on “racial inequality” and other political buzzwords such as “pregnant people” in an effort to present a modern face on an age-old problem. 

While those behind the bill claim that abortion restrictions largely affect communities of color, they do not acknowledge that 79% of abortion clinics are within walking distance of black and Hispanic communities

They also include gender ideology language in the WHPA text, stating that, “This Act is intended to protect all people with the capacity for pregnancy—cisgender women, transgender men, non-binary individuals, those who identify with a different gender, and others...” to ensure that any individual seeking abortion services can procure them regardless of the individual’s assessment of their biology or sex.

While “pro-choice” activists champion this law there is great concern amongst the pro-life community, in particular from those in the medical community.

OB/GYN Dr. Christina Francis shared from her experience the negative impact abortion can have on women in a recent column entitled, “Doublespeak on abortion helps neither women nor children.” 

“Elective abortions can exact an immense physical and emotional toll on women later in life,” Francis stated, noting as well how surgical abortions can cause the loss of wanted pregnancies later in life. 

Another concern among those Francis noted was that the WHPA may restrict medical professionals from declining to participate in abortion procedures due to their consciences. 

Tweet This: The Women’s Health Protection Act should have been called the Abortion Profits Protection Act. Women deserve better.

Prior to the Senate vote Monday abortion proponent Sen. Chuck Schumer (D- N.Y.) plugged the bill at length on the Senate floor, and other senators also shared their endorsement. 

Sen. Tina Smith (D-Minn.) advocated for the WHPA by sharing that she’d worked at Planned Parenthood in Minnesota with a woman who chose to abort her baby after being told the child would surely die shortly after birth, if he or she survived that long. Smith failed to share what kind of testing was used to make this diagnosis, or whether it is the same testing recently found to have a high result of false positives.

Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) used her floor time to back the bill by questioning whether the Senate “trusted” women, patients, or doctors. 

Murray said “[this bill] follows the constitution with half a century of precedent…we need this bill because too many extreme right-wing politicians…clearly do not trust women, or patients, or doctors.” She also said that abortions will still happen even if they are outlawed. 

There were other, pro-life Senators who were clearly opposed to the abortion expansion legislation. 

Senator Steve Daines (R-Mont.) shared that passing this act would place the United States on the same level as North Korea in regard to abortion access, and also stated, “This radical bill would make the United States of America one of the most dangerous places to be for an unborn child.”

Sen. James Lankford/Susan B. Anthony List

Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) noted that the bill went beyond codifying Roe. 

Lankford pointed out that the WHPA prohibits any parental notification laws, removes health and safety standards, and removes any ultrasound requirements. 

“They look in the womb and see a business model,” he stated. “I look in the womb and see ten fingers, ten toes, and a beating heart…”

Sen. Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), an OB/GYN, said that telemed abortions (permitted by the WHPA) were malpractice, reporting that many patients showed up in the emergency room where he formerly worked with complications due to chemical abortions.

Pro-life advocates will remain vigilant on the WHPA, as while the attempted landmark abortion expansion may have failed the Senate, it could reappear in another legislative session, or portions of the law could be incorporated into other pieces of legislation. 

Editor's note: Heartbeat International manages Pregnancy Help News.

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