A new report published by the Heritage Foundation warns the so-called Women's Health Protection Act (WHPA) advocated by pro-choice lawmakers in both the U.S. House and Senate is intended to radically mandate abortion across the nation by ending existing and future federal and state pro-life laws.
Melanie Israel, a policy analyst at the Heritage Foundation's DeVos Center, points out that despite claims that the proposed measure simply codifies Roe v. Wade, it in fact does much more. The WHPA's stated purpose is to "promote access to abortion" by effectively repealing broadly supported existing pro-life policy and prohibiting the enactment of pro-life policy in the future.
Re-introduced last June, the proposed legislation could come up for a House vote as the U.S. Supreme Court hears a Mississippi case this fall challenging Roe v. Wade.
The analyst also specifies that the proposed legislation would endanger every pro-life law passed over the last four decades with bipartisan consensus.
"Since 1973, states have enacted more than 1,300 life-affirming policies—more than 500 in the past decade alone," she wrote.
The WHPA would endanger all state-level pro-life laws protecting the unborn and women's health—including inhumane late-term abortion procedures—as well as existing state and federal laws protecting medical providers' conscience rights and religious freedoms and various provisions limiting taxpayer funding for abortions.
Israel explains that if Congress were to pass the legislation it would threaten laws that already protect unborn children from being targeted for their gender, race, or health issues.
"The bill would prevent state protections for children from abortion based on their sex, race, or diagnosis of a genetic abnormality such as Down Syndrome—policies that, in the words of Justice Clarence Thomas, 'promote a State's compelling interest in preventing abortion from becoming a tool of modern-day eugenics'," the policy analyst indicated.
Israel also notes the WHPA also threatens conscience rights and religious liberty by doing away with the laws that guarantee doctors, nurses and religiously affiliated hospitals do not have to violate their moral or religious convictions.
"It further threatens Americans' fundamental First Amendment rights by explicitly stating that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 will not provide recourse if a policy otherwise runs afoul of the WHPA," the report said.
The proposed bill would do away with pro-life policies that many Americans broadly support.
"Rather than take away the American people's ability to have a say in pro-life policymaking, Congress should pursue policies that protect innocent unborn human lives," she wrote.
The Hill reported Monday that even though the White House has endorsed the WHPA, it faces an uphill battle in the Senate.
The Senate version of the bill has the support of 48 Democrats. But Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) have not co-sponsored the bill.
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