Senators Introduce Long-Shot Bipartisan Effort To Protect Some Abortion Access

In an try to seek out some center floor, a gaggle of senators from each events launched a long-shot invoice Monday that will prohibit states from banning abortion earlier than a fetus is viable.

The laws was co-authored by two Democratic senators, Virginia’s Tim Kaine and Arizona’s Kyrsten Sinema, together with two Republican senators, Maine’s Susan Collins and Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski. It comes within the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court docket ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Ladies’s Well being Group, which has allowed greater than a dozen states to outlaw or severely prohibit abortion entry.

The invoice unveiled Monday would enable states to ban abortion solely after a doctor determines that the fetus may survive exterior the womb, which generally occurs at round 24 weeks of being pregnant. In lieu of implementing a agency cutoff date, the invoice would activity a affected person’s well being care supplier with making a dedication about fetal viability.

For now, the trouble is extra symbolic than the rest.

“My colleagues and I’ve launched this bipartisan invoice in the present day demonstrating that there’s now bipartisan assist and majority assist in america Senate to guard reproductive freedom for all,” Kaine stated on the Senate ground Monday.

Passing the invoice would require assist from all Democrats and at the least eight extra Republicans ― one thing Kaine is aware of is simpler stated than executed.

“I’m very nicely conscious, as are my co-sponsors in introducing that invoice, that we shouldn’t have the votes in the present day, ought to or not it’s put up, to get 60 votes within the Senate,” he stated.

“And but,” Kaine continued, “I’m given some inspiration by the truth that we lately handed a gun security invoice, the place two months earlier than there weren’t 60 votes both,” referencing a invoice the Senate handed final month to enact modest limits on acquiring firearms.

Invoice co-sponsors Collins and Murkowski didn’t assist a earlier try within the Senate to codify Roe v. Wade’s abortion protections, nor did Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.).

A coalition of greater than a dozen abortion rights teams responded to the laws with disappointment, saying its textual content is just not clear sufficient.

“This invoice claims to ‘codify’ Roe v. Wade however fails to take action,” they wrote in a press release. “In reality, it doesn’t expressly prohibit pre-viability abortion bans, leaving states in a position to proceed to cross abortion bans which can be denying folks entry to important well being care throughout the nation. This invoice has been written for a world that doesn’t exist and would supply little solace within the nightmare we live.”

Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Heart for Reproductive Rights, identified that this new invoice “doesn’t prohibit the citizen-enforced bans which, even earlier than the Dobbs choice, shut down the clinics in Oklahoma and restricted Texas clinics to offering solely as much as six weeks of being pregnant.”

“What we want from the invoice’s sponsors is a dedication to finish the filibuster to cross abortion rights laws that may meaningfully restore entry to abortion all through the nation,” she stated in a press release, referring to the present Senate guidelines that enable Republicans to simply cease a invoice from coming to a vote except 60 senators vote to advance it.

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