The recently introduced S.1696, "The Women's Health Protection Act" could potentially overturn years of pro-life legislation. Essentially it is a reintroduction of the "Freedom of Choice Act" introduced in 2004.
Americans United for Life President and CEO Dr. Charmaine Crouse said "This dangerous legislation could invalidate virtually any type of current state health and safety regulation and the kinds of common-sense regulation of abortion that has strong momentum across the country. Going even further, S.1696 would also prohibit the future enactment of laws designed to protect mothers and their unborn children from abortion industry abuses and trample Americans conscience rights."
If enacted, the pro-life laws the bill would eliminate include:
- abortion bans (such as 5 month limits or sex-selection bans)
- health and safety standards for abortion clinics
- ultrasound requirements
- laws limiting state funding for abortion facilities
Testifying before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, Carol Tobias, President of the National Right to Life Committee said, “This bill is really about just one thing: it seeks to strip away from elected lawmakers the ability to provide even the most minimal protections for unborn children, at any stage of their pre-natal development. Calling the bill the ‘Abortion Without Limits Until Birth Act’ would be more in line with truth-in-advertising standards.”
Anna Franzonello and Mary Harned staff attorneys at Americans United for Life, write in National Review Online, "In the over forty years since Roe, numerous examples exist to demonstrate the necessity of regulating abortion clinics. The trial of now-convicted murderer Dr. Kermit Gosnell brought some attention to the tragic impact that the “legal” abortion industry has had on women’s health. Gosnell’s clinic was not an aberration."
Franzonello and Harned note, "Contrary to the assurances made in Roe, and in the subsequent cases Planned Parenthood v. Casey and Gonzales v. Carhart, S. 1696 would permit abortion clinics, particularly in states with a limited number of them, to run unregulated practices and perform abortions through all nine months of pregnancy. Abortionists, not women, benefit from this dangerous bill."