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Experts Weigh in on the Impact of Post-Roe America Abortion Restrictions

(AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali)
(AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali)

More hearings took place on Wednesday regarding the impact of a post-Roe America. 

The House Oversight Committee called on state officials, abortion advocates, and legal experts to examine the effects of new abortion restrictions in nearly half the country. 

Party lines were clearly drawn as Republicans defended an unborn baby's right to life and applauded the High Courts' decision to return the issue of abortion back to the states. 

Democrats vowed to continue fighting for the rights of women and called the impact of the Dobbs decision, "catastrophic." 

"They don't appear to have much voice in the Republican Caucus, today, but there's lots of Republicans who agree with us that this is a choice that belongs to women, girls, and their families," said Rep. Jamie Raskin, (D-MD).

"Their whole focus is on intimidating the court and they're the ones with the radical position. Mr. Raskin just said we're radical. They're the ones who think you can take the life of an unborn child right up until their birthday," shot back Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH). 

While lawmakers volleyed back and forth, witnesses spoke of their fears as America moves forward after the overturning of Roe v. Wade.

"It's opening up a range of unprecedented legal issues I never thought we would be dealing with. Whether or not you can travel and leave your state, whether or not you can be surveilled, whether or not you as an individual are truly free in your country," said Fatima Goss Graves, president, and CEO of the National Women's Law Center. 

"It is essentially a death sentence, given data we already know,  that a woman is 14 times more likely to die by carrying pregnancy to term than having an abortion," said Michele Goodwin, a professor at UCI Law. 

Erin Hawley, an attorney with Alliance Defending Freedom, and the sole pro-life witness said her view of a post-Roe America is a hopeful one. 

"We're already seeing state and private entities, like the embattled pregnancy care centers, step up to surround expecting moms with a caring community," she testified. 

Hawley sought to set the record straight on the intentions behind the law that set the precedent for 50 years.

"The truth is that Roe is not the pro-woman opinion that some imagine. In a patriarchal passage that the pro-abortion left would rather forget, Roe gave to a woman's doctor the ability to choose an abortion," Hawley explained.

Witnesses also debated whether or not abortion should be considered healthcare. 

"Abortion absolutely is healthcare," said Georgia State Representative Renitta Shannon. "When you have a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy, a lot of times abortion is the way these things are resolved," she continued. 

"I think there's a few things we need to set the record straight. One is that an ectopic pregnancy ... treatment for that condition never involves an abortion ... the same is true of a miscarriage. Abortion is a situation in which a child, as the Supreme Court explained in Dobbs, is purposefully put to death," Hawley responded. 

Pro-life and abortion rights supporters alike are calling for lawmakers to pass legislation from the federal level. 

Republicans are considering some sort of a nationwide ban, as Democrats seek to preserve access to abortions. Neither is likely to pass ahead of midterms when voters will get to weigh in.

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