Sens. Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski, the two lone pro-abortion Republicans in the U.S. Senate, introduced legislation Tuesday to force states to legalize abortions up to birth nationwide.
Together with two Democrat lawmakers, Collins and Murkowski said they believe Americans need a federal law to “undo the damage” of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in June that overturned Roe v. Wade.
Their bill, which is unlikely to pass, would force states to legalize abortions for basically any reason without restriction up to viability and allow abortions up to birth for any widely-defined “health” reason. It also prohibits states from restricting contraception.
The legislation is similar to the so-called Women’s Health Protection Act, a radical pro-abortion bill that passed the House twice but failed in the Senate. Collins, a Maine Republican, voted against the bill because she said it would jeopardize conscience protections for pro-life medical workers.
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Her new bill preserves those protections, something she highlighted to portray her legislation as more moderate.
“By reinstating—neither expanding nor restricting—the longstanding legal framework for reproductive rights in this country, our bill would preserve abortion access along with basic conscience protections that are relied upon by health care providers who have religious objections.” Collins said in a statement.
U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Virginia, another lead sponsor, also asserted that the bill is reasonable, describing it as a “bipartisan compromise” on abortion.
But their plan to “codify Roe” actually is extreme and out of touch with most Americans. Roe made America one of the most un-restrictive abortion-on-demand countries in the world. The 1973 ruling forced states to legalize the killing of unborn babies for any reason up to viability and allowed abortions up to birth.
Only a few other countries in the world have such extreme pro-abortion laws, and polls consistently show a strong majority of Americans want stronger legal protections for unborn babies. LifeNews highlighted 11 recent polls here.
Hot Air blogger Allahpundit said Collins, Murkowski, Kaine and U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Arizona, are trying to convince the public that their bill is “just a return to the law as it stood six weeks ago.” But it isn’t.
One problem is the loosely defined “health” exception. The bill would force states to legalize abortions up to birth when “in the appropriate medical judgment of the attending health care practitioner or practitioners, is medically indicated to protect the life or health of the pregnant woman.”
“Pro-lifers warn that that’s a loophole big enough to drive a tank through …” Allahpundit responded. “If a woman goes to Planned Parenthood in her third trimester and says she’s bummed out that she’s having a baby, is that enough of a ‘health’ concern (depression!) to justify an immediate termination?”
To pass the U.S. Senate, legislation needs 60 votes to overcome a filibuster. The chamber is split 50-50 down party lines, so even with Collins and Murkowski, the legislation almost certainly will fail.
Under Roe, more than 63 million unborn babies were aborted in the United States. The 1973 ruling forced states to legalize abortion on demand up to viability and allowed abortions up to birth. Now, because of the Dobbs ruling, states may protect unborn babies by banning abortions again, and more than a dozen have done so.
The Charlotte Lozier Institute estimates more than 110,000 unborn babies are being saved from abortion as a result of the pro-life laws currently in place.