This week, the U.S. Senate will vote on a bill titled the “Women’s Health Protection Act of 2022.” This vote is expected to fail, with all Republican senators as well as Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) signaling that they will vote against the bill. This piece of legislation passed the House in September and is one of the most pro-abortion bills to have ever done so. Sens. Collins, a pro-choice Republican, has vowed to oppose this legislation because, “It supersedes all other federal and state laws, including the conscience protections that are in the Affordable Care Act,” and, “it doesn’t protect the right of a Catholic hospital to not perform abortions.”
Though an earlier version of this bill already failed in the Senate this year, Majority Leader Schumer is once again bringing this legislation up for a vote in response to last week’s leaked Supreme Court draft opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. Though it is unclear whether the current majority in the draft opinion will hold and represent the final opinion, it seems that the court could be prepared to overturn the disastrous precedents set in Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey and return the issue of abortion to the states.
Though a final decision in the case is not expected until late June, it could be released at any time. In the meantime, Democratic legislators and President Biden are working to legislatively codify access to abortion at a federal level; however, it remains very unlikely that any of these legislative efforts will be successful due to the legislative filibuster and Sen. Manchin’s pro-life position.
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 removed.
Despite the bill’s name, vulnerable women and families will only be put more at risk if the Women’s Health Protection Act were to ever become law. Additionally, abortion is not healthcare. If human dignity is given to 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 on 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.
How is the ERLC involved?
The ERLC is strongly opposed to this bill and any effort to legalize abortion. We urge the Senate not to pass this destructive piece of legislation. It would put thousands of vulnerable, preborn lives at risk 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’re are working toward a day when abortion is not only illegal but also unnecessary and unthinkable. We desire to see a culture where mothers are supported and provided with needed resources and where life is honored and valued.