Republican Senators Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski have joined with Democrat Senators Tim Kaine and Kyrsten Sinema once again to reintroduce the “Reproductive Freedom For All Act,” which was originally introduced last August. It failed to advance through Congress last year, and the bipartisan group is trying to get the legislation passed again now, with a larger number of Democrats in the Senate.
In a press release, Kaine said the bill would essentially reinstate Roe v. Wade, although the federal ‘right’ to an abortion would be placed in the United States Constitution instead.
“Congress must restore women’s rights to make personal health care decisions,” Kaine said. “In the wake of the Dobbs decision, we have seen just how necessary Roe v. Wade was, which is why I’ve worked with my colleagues to find common ground on this bipartisan compromise that would restore Roe’s protections. The Reproductive Freedom For All Act is much-needed legislation to protect a woman’s freedom to choose.”
Previously, pro-abortion members of Congress attempted to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA), but that effort failed, with both Collins and Murkowski voting against it because the legislation went much further than codifying Roe. However, the senators promised to introduce their own legislation that would protect abortion, without being as “extreme” as the WHPA.
If enacted, the Reproductive Freedom For All Act would ban all restrictions on abortion before “viability,” which is a meaningless and arbitrary standard not based in science. Emily Brewer, a delegate for the state of Virginia, recently spoke at her state’s March for Life about how she was able to successfully carry her daughter to term, even though there was a fetal anomaly detected at 26 weeks; Virginia law allows abortion through 26 weeks.
“There are people in this Capitol who thought her life should have ended at that moment,” she said. “I cannot and will not accept that answer as long as I stay here.”
Though there are polls showing support for Roe, these tend to be misleading. Many Americans do not understand how broad Roe was, and when they are explicitly asked about restricting late-term abortions or allowing individual states to set their own abortion laws, the answers tend to change in support of the overturning of Roe.
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