CV NEWS FEED // Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY, announced that he will force a Senate vote on the so-called Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA), a controversial bill that would enshrine the “right” to abortion into federal law, undoing all existing limitations to abortion throughout the states and essentially making pro-life legislation illegal.
The bill is not expected to pass in the Senate, as Democrats do not have enough votes to pass the 60-vote threshold, with even pro-abortion senators like Sen. Susan Collins of Maine calling the proposal too “extreme.”
Analysts on both sides of the political aisle are questioning Schumer’s move, which they say could cost Democrats in the upcoming midterm elections. Recent polling shows Americans fed up with radical Left priorities, and indicating they would prefer to see action on issues touching daily American life, such as inflation.
Versions of WHPA known as the Freedom of Choice Act “have been introduced in every Congress for more than three decades,” explained John McCormack of the National Review, but “the bill didn’t make it to the floor of the House or the Senate for a full vote until September 2021, when House Democrats voted almost unanimously to pass it.”
“Groups such as Planned Parenthood and NARAL demanded a vote on the legislation last fall, and Nancy Pelosi complied,” McCormack wrote:
The ostensible trigger for Pelosi’s decision to hold the vote was the passage of the Texas Heartbeat Act, but the WHPA is not narrowly targeted at the unpopular provisions of that state law; it’s a sweeping bill that would wipe nearly all state abortion laws off the books, from parental-consent laws to 24-hour waiting limits to meaningful limits on late-term abortions.
Another factor which may prove daunting for Democrats is the prospect of a historic pro-life victory at the Supreme Court, which will issue a ruling in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson in the coming months. It is widely believed that the ruling by the majority-pro-life Court could overturn or drastically curtail the legal precedents upholding so-called “abortion rights” in the U.S., including Roe v. Wade itself.
In anticipation of that possibility, abortion groups – and Democratic lawmakers where they are able – are pushing for a radical legal embrace of abortion that will likely prove to be out of step with public opinion.
In January, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, a pro-abortion Democrat who claims to be Catholic, signed legislation that vastly expanded abortion for any reason up to birth, including by non-physicians.
This week, Virginia Democrats voted against a Republican bill that would merely require physicians to provide life-saving medical treatment to babies who survive failed abortion attempts.
“The timing is horrible for Democrats, and the messaging will likely hurt them more than Republicans,” said CatholicVote President Brian Burch of Sen. Schumer’s decision to force the Senate vote on WHPA this week:
Democratic Senators who are up for re-election will have to explain on the campaign trail why they voted for legislation that seeks to not only make abortion legal at ALL stages (right up to and past birth) but also to overturn all state pro-life gains. What’s more, the Act would put pro-life legislators in the states under investigation by the Department of Justice if they try to re-introduce pro-life bills.
The Senate is expected to vote on WHPA Monday, Feb. 28.