The Women’s Health Protection Act is a bill written by Democrats that would guarantee access to abortion services in the United States. While this bill is unlikely to become law, learning what exactly the Democrats are proposing is instructive, as many of us will be voting with abortion in mind later this year. Now that the Supreme Court is poised to overturn previous decisions that guaranteed access to abortion services for the past 50 years, what do Democrats hope to do in response?
Executive Producer: Brandon K. Lewis
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Laura Temme. May 12, 2022. “Roe v. Wade Case Summary: What You Need to Know” FindLaw.
Grace Panetta, Shayanne Gal, and Taylor Tyson. Updated May 9, 2022. “The latest point in pregnancy you can get an abortion in all 50 states.” Business Insider.
Jon O. Shimabukuro. Feb 25, 2022. “Abortion: Judicial History and Legislative Response.” [RL33467] Congressional Research Service.
Katherine Kortsmit et. al. Nov 27, 2020. “Abortion Surveillance — United States, 2018.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
United Kingdom National Health Service. “Week-by-week guide to pregnancy” Start for Life.
A. Pawlowski. Nov 9, 2017. “‘Miracle baby’: Born at 21 weeks, she may be the most premature surviving infant.” Today.
Supreme Court of the United States. Jun 29, 1992. “Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pa. v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833.” Justia.
The Draft Decision
Adeel Hassan. May 6, 2022. “What to Know About the Mississippi Abortion Law Challenging Roe v. Wade.” The New York Times.
Supreme Court of the United States. Feb 10, 2022. “1st Draft: Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization”
Sponsor: Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA)
Sponsor: Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT)
- Gives health care providers the right to provide abortion services and gives patients the right to receive abortion services “without any of the following limitations or requirements”:
- Requirements to perform specific tests or medical procedures prior to an abortion
- Requirements that direct health providers to provide medically inaccurate information before or during abortion services
- Limitations on the health care provider’s ability to provide drugs to the patient
- Limitations preventing the health care provider from performing abortion services via telemedicine
- Limitations placed on abortion providing facilities that are not placed on hospitals and other facilities where similar procedures are performed
- Requirements that the patient attend medically unnecessary pre-abortion in-person office visits
- Limitations on abortions “at any point or points in time prior to fetal viability”
- Limitations on abortions “after fetal viability when, in the good-faith medical judgement of the treating health care provider, continuation of the pregnancy would pose a risk to the pregnant patient’s life or health.”
- Requirements that patients disclose the reason they want an abortion prior to fetal viability.
- Allows the courts to consider the following in determining if a requirement illegally impedes access to abortion services:
- If the requirement interferes with a health care providers ability to provide care and services or poses a risk to the patient’s health or safety
- If the requirement would likely delay or deter some patients from accessing abortion services
- If the requirement is likely to increase the financial costs of providing or obtaining abortion services
- If the requirement would likely limit the availability of abortion services in a State or geographic region
- If the requirement imposes penalties on health care providers that are not imposed on or are more severe than penalties imposed on other health care providers for comparable conduct or failures to act
- This law would apply to the Federal Government and “each State government” and no State government can implement and enforce any law or regulation that conflicts with this law.
- The law would not govern physical access to clinic entrances, insurance coverage for abortions, contracts, or bans on partial birth abortions.
- Immediately upon enactment.
- Allows the Attorney General to sue any State or government official who implements or enforcement limitations or requirements that would be prohibited by this law.
- Allows individuals, “entities”, and health care providers adversely affected by violations of the law to also sue the State that violates the law with illegal limitations and requirements
- The costs of the trial and attorney’s fees would be paid by the State if the State loses the case. The person suing could not be forced to pay for attorney’s fees if the claim was judged to be “non-frivolous” even if they lose.
Sponsor: Trent Franks (R-AZ)
Status: Died in 113th Congress
May 10, 2022
September 24, 2021
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