House Democrats passed a bill Friday that would codify Roe v. Wade and massively expand abortions in the United States.
The Women’s Health Protection Act of 2021, first introduced in 2013, passed the House by a vote of 218 to 211. The 2021 House version was sponsored by Rep. Judy Chu, D-Calif., while the 2021 Senate version was sponsored by Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn.
The legislation is backed strongly by President Joe Biden’s administration.
“In the wake of Texas’ unprecedented attack, it has never been more important to codify this constitutional right and to strengthen health care access for all women, regardless of where they live,” White House officials said in a public statement. “Our daughters and granddaughters deserve the same rights that their mothers and grandmothers fought for and won—and that a clear majority of the American people support.”
The legislation, which calls for on-demand abortions “without limitations or requirements” and for the promotion of “access to abortion services,” has been severely condemned by pro-life activists and Republicans.
“With this bill, the Democrat Party has rejected every restraint on abortion,” said Penny Nance, CEO and president of Concerned Women for America’s Legislative Action Committee. “For them, aborting unborn children is nothing more than just another medical procedure. It’s a sick perspective that reflects the moral bankruptcy of their party, and it is infecting our country. Democrats exalt aborting babies as the ultimate empowerment of a self-made life.”
“God weeps,” Nance said.
National Right to Life President Carol Tobias warned that the legislation is designed to remove “all legal protections” for unborn babies at both the state and federal levels, calling the bill “the Abortion Without Limits Until Birth Act.”
Heritage Action for America Executive Director Jessica Anderson said the bill would be “the greatest assault on human dignity in America since Roe.”
“Left-wing politicians are cynically using the cover of ‘women’s health’ to disguise their plan to destroy every life-affirming law in the country,” Anderson said. “This bill would go far beyond Roe v. Wade to gut broadly supported federal and state laws protecting religious freedom, force taxpayers to pay for abortions, and, ironically, destroy rules that actually protect women’s health from dangerous procedures.”
Should it pass the Senate and be signed into law by Biden, the legislation would also nullify laws requiring that doctors provide mothers with information on their unborn baby or alternatives to abortion; requirements for waiting periods before abortions; laws that allow medical professionals to opt out of providing abortions; bans on abortions after 20 weeks, when unborn babies can feel pain; and bans on sex-selective abortions.
Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said Wednesday that she did not support the legislation, calling parts of the bill “extreme” and warning that it would weaken the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
“I support codifying Roe. Unfortunately, the bill … goes way beyond that,” Collins said.
“It would severely weaken the conscious exceptions that are in the current law,” she told the Los Angeles Times.
Andrew Trunsky contributed to this report.
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