The House this week will vote on a bill that the U.S. bishops’ conference warns would effectively impose abortion on demand throughout pregnancy.
United States (09/22/2021 10:00, Gaudium Press) The Women’s Health Protection Act (H.R. 3755), introduced by Rep. Judy Chu, Democrat California., recognizes the “statutory right” of women to have abortions. It states the “right” of doctors, certified nurse midwives, nurse practitioners and doctor’s assistants to perform abortions. It prohibits many limitations on this right, such as state pro-life laws requiring ultrasounds or waiting periods before abortions.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Catholic, announced the House vote on the bill earlier this month after a Texas law went into effect restricting abortions after detection of a fetal heartbeat; a fetal heartbeat can be detected as early as six weeks into pregnancy. After the Supreme Court rejected a challenge to the law on Sept. 1, Pelosi vowed to bring up the Women’s Health Protection Act and “enshrine into law reproductive health care for all women across America.” The bill is scheduled to be voted on this week in the House.
The White House stated its support for the legislation. “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,” the White House stated.
The White House statement comes after President Joe Biden promised a “whole-of-government” effort to maintain abortion in Texas, following implementation of the state’s “heartbeat” law.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a “three-pronged” response to the Texas law, increased funding for emergency contraceptives and “family-planning services” in the state.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) calls the legislation “the most radical abortion bill of all time.”
Archbishop Joseph Naumann, chair of the USCCB‘s pro-life committee explained “This deceptively-named, extreme bill would impose abortion on demand nationwide at any stage of pregnancy through federal statute. It would force all Americans to support abortions here and abroad with their tax dollars, it would also likely force health care providers and professionals to perform, assist in, and/or refer for abortion against their deeply-held beliefs, as well as force employers and insurers to cover or pay for abortion.”
The bill also allows for late-term abortions when a physician’s “good-faith medical judgment” deems the mother’s life or health at risk from the pregnancy. This, the USCCB argues in a fact sheet, is not a “meaningful limitation” on late-term abortion and would effectively allow abortions until birth.
Via CNA and NCR