“Republican” senators file federal legislation to enshrine legalized abortion on demand

Last week marked a victory for the Pro-Life movement with the failure of the anti-Life Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA) to pass the United States Senate. However, this will certainly not be the last we hear of federal attempts to enshrine legalized abortion. Unfortunately, there is already another federal bill seeking to do just that. But this time, anti-Life radical Senator Chuck Schumer (D-New York) is not championing the legislation, but rather two “Republican” women.

Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) are notoriously squishy, particularly in regard to protecting preborn children from abortion. They are once again proving that to be true. Both women voted against advancing the WHPA, helping to stop the bill from passing, and they simultaneously filed an amendment to the WHPA that, although not as far-reaching, would still have the effect of federally establishing legalized abortion on demand throughout the United States.

This amendment, also filed as a stand-alone bill (S.3713) the same day as the vote on the WHPA, is known as the “Reproductive Choice Act” with the intention of establishing in federal law the Supreme Court of the United States’ rulings in Roe v. Wade (1973) and Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992). The bill clarifies how states are allowed to restrict abortion and protect preborn children:

  • States may not impose an undue burden on a woman’s ability to obtain an abortion before the preborn child reaches viability;
  • States may restrict a woman’s ability to obtain an abortion after the preborn child reaches viability, with an exception for the [broadly defined]life and health of the mother; and
  • States may enact regulations for the purpose of safeguarding the mother’s health and safety. 

Collins and Murkowski decided to introduce this alternate legislation as an anti-Life compromise to the radical WHPA, between federally legislating abortion and respecting life-saving state statutes, rather than nullify every existing Pro-Life law and ban states from enacting future Pro-Life laws as the WHPA seeks to do. Another critical reason they decided to file their own abortion bill was how the WHPA slashes conscience protections and would supersede the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), the long-standing federal law protecting religious liberty. 

However, Collins and Murkowski’s bill, though not as overtly extreme as WHPA, is still deadly and dangerous. Their legislation continues to rely on viability, an arbitrary standard for protecting preborn children. Traditionally, when we think about who most needs our protection as a society, the weakest, smallest, and most vulnerable come to mind. The concept of viability reverses that traditional ethical framework, instead asserting that the weakest, smallest, and most vulnerable preborn children cannot be protected from the violence of abortion until they achieve a certain level of development. 

The bill also makes a feeble and confusing attempt to define “undue burden,” a standard that has proven unworkable for decades. The impracticality of viability and undue burden standards was argued in the SCOTUS case currently pending, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which Pro-Life Americans are optimistically hoping will substantially weaken or overturn Roe v. Wade.

The Republican Party is, and must remain, unequivocally the Party of Life. Republicans should not settle for a “compromise” that is no compromise at all. Any legislation that is to be passed federally on this issue must emphatically and unmistakably protect preborn children from the injustice and cruelty of abortion. 

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