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

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

“My colleagues and I have introduced this bipartisan bill today demonstrating that there’s now bipartisan support and majority support in the United States Senate to protect reproductive freedom for all,” Kaine stated on the Senate flooring Monday.

Passing the invoice would require help from all Democrats and a minimum of eight extra Republicans ― one thing Kaine is aware of is less complicated stated than performed.

“I’m very well aware, as are my co-sponsors in introducing that bill, that we do not have the votes today, should it be put up, to get 60 votes in the Senate,” he stated.

“And yet,” Kaine continued, “I am given some inspiration by the fact that we recently passed a gun safety bill, where two months before there were not 60 votes either,” referencing a invoice the Senate handed final month to enact modest limits on acquiring firearms.

Invoice co-sponsors Collins and Murkowski didn’t help 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 isn’t clear sufficient.

“This bill claims to ‘codify’ Roe v. Wade but fails to do so,” they wrote in an announcement. “In fact, it does not expressly prohibit pre-viability abortion bans, leaving states able to continue to pass abortion bans that are denying people access to essential health care across the country. This bill has been written for a world that does not exist and would provide little solace in the nightmare we are living.”

Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Heart for Reproductive Rights, identified that this new invoice “does not prohibit the citizen-enforced bans which, even before the Dobbs decision, shut down the clinics in Oklahoma and limited Texas clinics to providing only up to six weeks of pregnancy.”

“What we need from the bill’s sponsors is a commitment to end the filibuster to pass abortion rights legislation that will meaningfully restore access to abortion throughout the nation,” she stated in an announcement, referring to the present Senate guidelines that permit Republicans to simply cease a invoice from coming to a vote until 60 senators vote to advance it.