Explainer: House to vote on pair of extreme pro-abortion bills

July 12, 2022

Friday, the U.S. House of Representatives will vote on a pair of bills titled the “Women’s Health Protection Act of 2022” and the “Ensuring Access to Abortion Act of 2022.” This vote is expected to be largely along party lines, with every Republican and likely only one Democrat, Rep. Cuellar (D-TX), voting against the harmful bills. Together, these pieces of legislation are some of the most pro-abortion bills ever considered by Congress.

Speaker Pelosi brought these bills to the House floor in response to the recent landmark Supreme Court decision, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization that overturned disastrous abortion precedents and returned the issue to the states.

What is the Women’s Health Protection Act of 2022?

The Women’s Health Protection Act of 2022 removes all restrictions and limits on abortion and allows for abortion up to the point of birth. Additionally, this bill removes all pro-life protections at the federal and state levels and eliminates a state’s ability to legislate on abortion. This bill also fails to protect the conscience of American taxpayers and would force taxpayer dollars to pay for abortions. Longstanding pro-life protections such as the Hyde Amendment and the Weldon Amendment would be permanently removed.

Despite the bill’s name, vulnerable women and families will only be put at greater risk if the Women’s Health Protection Act were to ever become law. The reality is, abortion is not healthcare. Because dignity is bestowed upon each person when created in the womb, then abortion is not only an assault on those made in the image of God but also causes irreparable harm to a vulnerable life. We believe abortion denies precious human lives both personhood and protection, and therefore cannot be considered as healthcare.

The role of government should be to protect these vulnerable, preborn babies, not to exploit them by removing restrictions on abortion that put their lives in grave danger.

This bill is extraordinarily pro-abortion and ought to shock and grieve our consciences.

What is the Ensuring Access to Abortion Act of 2022?

The Ensuring Access to Abortion Act of 2022 requires states to allow the purchase and mailing of abortion pills from across state lines. The bill weaponizes interstate commerce protections to prevent states from restricting access to FDA-approved abortion pills bought in other states. This bill would defy existing restrictions in at least 19 states and expand access to abortion pills nationwide.

Not only would the bill curb state authority to restrict access to the abortion pill, but it would also prevent states from restricting or impeding interstate travel for the purpose of obtaining an abortion. Some lawmakers and advocacy groups have proposed laws that would prevent people from traveling out of state to obtain abortions or open out-of-state providers to civil liabilities. This bill would ban such efforts nationwide.

The Ensuring Access to Abortion Act of 2022 would enshrine interstate access to the dangerous abortion pill in federal law and would promote abortion tourism nationwide. The bill is extremely pro-abortion and should be opposed by pro-life advocates.

How is the ERLC involved?

The ERLC is strongly opposed to these bills and any effort to support the abortion industry, including the legalization of abortion. We urge the House to vote down these destructive pieces of legislation and would ask the Senate to note give any consideration to these bills. Their passage would endanger thousands of vulnerable preborn lives, handcuff state legislatures from enacting pro-life protections, and steamroll over the the consciences of millions of Americans who do not wish to pay for or be compelled to provide abortions.

The ERLC will always advocate for life before Congress, the courts, and in the public square, and we are working toward a day when abortion is illegal and lives are saved, mothers are no longer told the lie that it is necessary by a predatory abortion industry, and our culture views this grievous practice as completely unthinkable. We desire to see a culture of life created where mothers are supported, resources are provided that promote the flourishing of families, and where every life is honored and valued. 

Chelsea Sobolik

Chelsea Sobolik serves as the Director of Public Policy with the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission in the Washington, D.C. office. Previously, she worked on Capitol Hill on pro-life policies, domestic and international religious freedom, adoption, and foster care issues. Chelsea has been published at the Wall Street Journal, USA … Read More