Senate Judiciary Committee to Debate Women’s “Health” Proposal

SEEKS TO ELIMINATE “BLOCKADES” TO SERVICES

by Sharon Rondeau

Sen. Richard Blumenthal was Connecticut’s Attorney General before being elected to the U.S. Senate in 2010

(Jul. 15, 2014) — At 10:00 a.m. EDT, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) will lead discussion in the on S1696, titled “The Women’s Health Protection Act: Removing Barriers to Constitutionally Protected Reproductive Rights.”

Members of the House of Representatives are also scheduled to speak.

Blumenthal is the sponsor of the bill, which was introduced last November.

The meeting will be broadcast live.

The text of Blumenthal’s proposal is here. The bill seeks to remove restrictions passed by individual states on abortions.

Groups which support the bill are the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, the National Women’s Law Center, and the National Partnership for Women & Families, among others.

The “Findings and Purpose” of the proposal are stated as “(1) Access to safe, legal abortion services is essential to women’s health and central to women’s ability to participate equally in the economic and social life of the United States. (2) Access to safe, legal abortion services has been hindered in the United States in various ways, including blockades of health care facilities and associated violence; restrictions on insurance coverage; restrictions on minors’ ability to obtain services; and requirements and restrictions that single out abortion providers and those seeking their services, and which do not further women’s health or the safety of abortion, but harm women by reducing the availability of services.”

Writing at National Review Online, Thomas M. Messner stated that the bill is “extreme” and “bad policy.”  In an extensive analysis of the proposal published on Monday, Messner states that “S. 1696 would jeopardize the ability of the States to restrict the performance of abortions to licensed physicians,” among other limitations which would clash with various laws passed by the various states over the last three years.

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