The House of Representatives voted to approve the Women's Health Protection Act on Friday morning, a sweeping bill that pro-life advocates warn would wipe away state pro-life laws across the country. The measure passed with a vote of 218 to 211, so now it's up to the Senate.
President Biden says he'll sign the controversial pro-abortion measure if it comes to his desk.
Melanie Israel, a research associate for the Devos Center of Religion and Civil Society at the Heritage Foundation, told CBN News the bill is an attempt to overturn health protections for women and the rights of unborn persons that have already been upheld by legislatures and courts.
"It's really meant to roll back existing policies, many of which have been on the books for many years, litigated all the way to the Supreme Court and deemed constitutional," she said. "The goal of this bill is to enshrine unfettered abortion access into federal law across the country and take away the American people's ability to have a say at all."
Israel also wrote about it in a new report from Heritage saying it's a danger to pro-life efforts of any kind, even efforts to prevent eugenics and gendercide.
"The bill would prevent state protections for children from abortion based on their sex, race, or diagnosis of a genetic abnormality such as Down Syndrome—policies that, in the words of Justice Clarence Thomas, 'promote a State's compelling interest in preventing abortion from becoming a tool of modern-day eugenics'," she wrote.
Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) opposed the measure in Congress saying, "This bill is far outside the American mainstream and goes far beyond Roe v Wade."
"For the first time ever by congressional statute, H.R. 3755 would legally enable the death of unborn baby girls and boys by dismemberment, decapitation, forced expulsion from the womb, deadly poisons, or other methods at any time until birth," Smith warned.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) praised the pro-abortion measure saying it's about people's medical choices. "This is about freedom. About freedom of women to have a choice about the size and timing of their families - not the business of the people on the court or members of Congress. It's about themselves. But it's also about freedom from the danger of vigilantes."
Pro-life leader Lila Rose from Live Action says the proposed law will lead to the killing of unborn children and will use taxpayer dollars to do it, funding government facilities that are used for abortions.
"This is the most extreme pro-abortion law Congress has ever proposed," Rose said. "Pelosi's law would destroy all regulations or restrictions, permit sex-selective abortions, abolish waiting periods, attempt to coerce medical professionals to participate in the killing of children, and force Americans to pay for the murder of those children. America's abortion law is already on par with China and North Korea. It is more extreme than virtually all of Europe. This law would codify that federally."
The bill doesn't have as much support in the Senate where the Democrat margin of control is razor-thin at 50-50. A Republican filibuster of the bill is expected in the Senate, so the Democrats would need 60 votes to move ahead with it. They don't appear to have those votes since Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) is considered to be pro-life, and even a prominent pro-choice Republican is opposing the bill.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the pro-choice Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), an occasional Democrat ally, rejects the bill saying, "I support codifying Roe. Unfortunately, the bill … goes way beyond that. It would severely weaken the conscience exceptions that are in the current law," Collins said. She went on to call the measure "extreme."
Heritage analyst Melanie Israel further warned, "Rather than take away the American people's ability to have a say in pro-life policymaking, Congress should pursue policies that protect innocent unborn human lives."
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