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Democrats' 'Extreme' Abortion Bill Blocked, but They Vow Not to Give Up Before High Court's Decision on Roe

03-01-2022
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The U.S. Senate has blocked a Democrat-led bill that was aimed at enshrining abortion rights on a national level.

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) joined Republicans in voting 46-48 to block debate on H.R. 3755, the so-called Women's Health Protection Act also known by pro-life advocates as the "Abortion for All Act."  

The proposed legislation declared that a health care provider has a right to provide abortion services. It would also have struck down any prohibitions on abortion "prior to fetal viability."

Every Democrat senator except Manchin and Sen. Robert Casey (D-PA) co-sponsored the bill. However, Casey voted in favor of debate on the measure. Six senators did not vote. 

Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN) tweeted how he intended to vote on the Democrats' abortion measure. 

"Today the Senate will vote on a bill to allow abortion on demand until birth in all states. I will proudly vote NO," he wrote.

Still, Senate Democrats have not given up. Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) told NBC News, "This is day one."

"We're not going to give up. We're not going to go away," she said. "I don't want to go back to the old days where abortions occurred unsafely, women died. I'm going to keep fighting and I want Americans fighting with us."

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In a statement on Monday, Alexis McGill Johnson, president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund, said: "Today's vote on the Women's Health Protection Act was historic. We celebrate this vote and thank our reproductive rights champions Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Tammy Baldwin for introducing the bill and Leader Schumer for standing up for the will of the people. This fight continues — in Congress and in the states. People deserve access to abortion no matter their zip code or income."

This is the same measure the House of Representatives passed last September, 218 to 211.  As CBN News reported, pro-life advocates deemed the measure "extreme" and warned it would wipe away state pro-life laws across the country and permanently enshrine the landmark Roe v. Wade decision that invented a so-called right to abortion throughout the country. 

Melanie Israel, a research associate for the DeVos Center of Religion and Civil Society at The Heritage Foundation, told CBN News that the bill was 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."

After the Supreme Court reviewed the Mississippi Gestational Age Act in December, pro-life activists remain hopeful that the justices will overturn Roe. The Mississippi law prohibits abortion after 15 weeks, except in the case of medical emergencies or a severe fetal abnormality.

The state of Mississippi asked the high court to uphold its law and directly challenged the precedent in Roe and the 1992 Casey v. Planned Parenthood that held that states cannot ban pre-viability abortions, those committed against unborn persons before they can survive outside the womb.

A number of constitutional experts think the justices gave some good clues as to how they're leaning in the case. They think at least five conservative-leaning justices appear poised to uphold the Mississippi law. The justices could even take it a step further and overturn Roe's national abortion mandate.

The court is expected to issue its decision in June. Even if it does not overturn Roe, it could still uphold the Mississippi law and signal to states that the door is open for reasonable restrictions.

As CBN News reported last month, some states like California are preparing for a post-Roe reality in this country. California is moving to dramatically expand and fund the number of abortions performed in the state. 

The Golden State is nationally known for its abortion-friendly laws and policies and is positioning itself to serve as an abortion destination for women from states that might implement broader restrictions on abortion. 

Have you have had an abortion, are contemplating ending your pregnancy, or would like pregnancy-related resources, please click here.

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