The Senate voted to kill the Girls’s Well being Safety Act of 2021 Monday, Feb. 28. Don’t let the identify idiot you; it was simply one other try by progressive Democrats to codify a proper to abort in federal regulation. With states passing new restrictions and a predominately conservative Supreme Court docket contemplating authorized challenges which have pro-choice activists trembling, the so-called reproductive proper is a sizzling challenge. The invoice might have flopped within the higher chamber, however some argue the loss can be utilized to grab victory from the jaws of defeat come election time in November. Can Democrats scare sufficient voters to interrupt the approaching pink wave? Let the spin start.
Setting The Narrative
Some model of this invoice has come earlier than each Congress since 2013, however this most up-to-date effort is particular. Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA) launched the cleaver little bit of laws on July 6, 2021, and the Home handed it 218-211 on September 24. Whereas Democrats champion this as a backstop ought to Roe v. Wade be overturned, in actuality, it does far more.
Beneath the WHPA, no state might go a regulation that blocks abortion earlier than the purpose of viability. Which means no extra so-called heartbeat payments. Even after the purpose of viability, abortions could be federally protected as long as the “treating well being care supplier,” who underneath this regulation doesn’t essentially should be a physician, believes in “good-faith medical judgment” that persevering with the being pregnant might “pose a threat to the pregnant affected person’s life or well being.” Such open-ended language could possibly be argued to permit late-term abortions in any being pregnant, as there are all the time dangers.
Moreover, no regulation might require any medical assessments and even an in-person seek the advice of earlier than a pregnant lady could possibly be prescribed – over the telephone – medicine to abort. Parental discover and consent for minors additionally wouldn’t be allowed. Even a regulation that has a “cheap chance” of deterring some sufferers not directly could be prohibited, and defending such a regulation would require “clear and convincing proof” that it “considerably advances the security of abortion companies” in a approach that may’t be achieved by means of much less restrictive methods.
As if that weren’t radical sufficient, the invoice additionally explicitly states that it applies to any state or federal regulation “whether or not adopted earlier than or after the date of enactment of this Act.” Taken actually, this may undo even the rules already in place. Moreover, for the reason that WHPA additionally empowers each the person and the Division of Justice to sue any state over such a regulation, an argument could possibly be made for fits towards any state that has beforehand handed any restriction that might change into prohibited, no matter how constitutional they may have been earlier than.
Spin That Yarn
“The American individuals should see that whereas Democrats are combating to guard their constitutional rights, Republicans are hoping the Supreme Court docket rolls again Roe and are actively blocking Congress from performing to guard reproductive rights,” declared Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) earlier than the vote. That’s a reasonably story for the left – but it surely falls just a bit wanting the reality.
With precisely half of the Senate occupied by Democrats or Independents who’re Democrats in all however identify, Vice President Kamala Harris’ tie-breaking vote provides her social gathering a technical majority within the higher chamber – which suggests a trifecta of energy over the federal authorities. Dems like to level to party-line votes and proclaim that the GOP is standing firmly in the best way of progress. If solely it weren’t for that dang previous filibuster. However in fact, Democrats might get rid of that procedural hurdle completely in the event that they solely held a real majority. Fortunately for the Republic, they don’t. All 50 Republicans and not less than two of the Democrats – Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Arizona’s Kyrsten Sinema most frequently, although others often take part – maintain a slim majority towards eliminating the filibuster.
On this vote, nevertheless, not even that much-ballyhooed Senate rule is accountable. Within the 46-48 vote, Sen. Manchin sided with the GOP, as was anticipated. Nonetheless, even had he stood together with his personal social gathering members, the vote would have failed 47-48. Bob Casey (D-PA) was the one different Democrat who didn’t co-sign the invoice. Whereas he did vote to open dialogue, there’s no assure he would have endorsed the completed product. Even had all 48 Democrat co-sponsors been current and voted for it, that’s nonetheless two shy of a 50/50 cut up that could possibly be weighted their approach by the VP if it weren’t for the filibuster. Even the pro-abortion Republicans Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska voted towards starting debate – they usually adopted up by introducing a invoice of their very own to codify Roe v. Wade, if not in such a broad method because the WHPA. This invoice is just too excessive for average Democrats and pro-abortion Republicans to just accept – and it seemingly solely obtained a Home vote in response to the Texas heartbeat invoice banning abortions after six weeks.
Rally Round Abortion?
The vote represents yet one more legislative loss for the Democrats. Nevertheless, with the proper spin, it additionally presents a chance for fearmongering to drive liberal voters in any other case disinterested and disheartened by the social gathering’s lackluster efficiency to indicate up on election day. “It’s laying the groundwork for a really highly effective distinction,” defined Democratic pollster Celinda Lake. “One of many greatest issues we now have is convincing voters that any rights they’ve would ever be taken away, or that we’d ever backtrack.” However this, together with the Supreme Court docket deliberations, can simply be offered as a disaster.
“We’re going to carry accountable each senator who votes towards this invoice,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) warned earlier. “Make no mistake, reproductive freedoms will likely be on the poll this November.” Will Democrats actually marketing campaign on their very own failures? Don’t doubt it for a minute. The true query is: What number of helpful idiots can they idiot?
~ Learn extra from James Fite.