National Right to Life President Carol Tobias will testify against “Abortion Without Limits Until Birth” measure
WASHINGTON – Four months before the mid-term congressional election, Senate Democrats are pushing into the national spotlight “the most radical pro-abortion bill ever considered by Congress,” said Carol Tobias, president of the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), the federation of state right-to-life organizations.
Tobias is one of only two non-congressional witnesses who will testify against the so-called “Women’s Health Protection Act” (S. 1696), at a hearing before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee tomorrow, Tuesday, July 15, 2014, at 10 AM EDT.
The bill has been heavily promoted by pro-abortion activist groups since its introduction last November, although it has been largely ignored by the mainstream news media. The measure has 35 Senate cosponsors, all Democrats, including nine of the 10 Democrats on the Judiciary Committee. The chief sponsor of the bill, Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Ct.), has been designated to chair the hearing.
The bill is an updated and expanded version of the old “Freedom of Choice Act” that was championed by Barack Obama when he was a senator. The new bill would invalidate nearly all existing state limitations on abortion, and prohibit states from adopting new limitations in the future, including various types of laws specifically upheld as constitutionally permissible by the U.S. Supreme Court. Among the laws that the bill would nullify are requirements to provide women seeking abortion with specific information on their unborn child and on alternatives to abortion, laws providing reflection periods (waiting periods), laws allowing medical professionals to opt out of providing abortions, laws limiting the performance of abortions to licensed physicians, bans on elective abortion after 20 weeks, meaningful limits on abortion after viability, and bans on the use of abortion as a method of sex selection. These laws generally have broad public support in the states in which they are enacted, including support from substantial majorities of women.
The bill would also invalidate most previously enacted federal limits on abortion, including federal conscience protection laws and most, if not all, limits on government funding of abortion.
Regarding the bill, Blumenthal told Roll Call last November, “As the election approaches, I think the voters are going to want to know where legislators stand on these issues.” Tobias commented, “We believe that many voters will be appalled to learn that nearly two-thirds of Senate Democrats have already cosponsored a bill to impose nationwide the extreme ideological doctrine that elective abortion must not be limited in any meaningful way, at any stage of pregnancy.”
In her testimony, Tobias will call on Senate Democrats to also allow consideration of the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (S. 1670), sponsored by Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), which has an even greater number of Senate cosponsors (41), and which duplicates legislation that has already passed the House of Representatives (H.R. 1797). The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act would generally protect unborn children in the sixth month and later, by which point they are capable of experiencing great pain during abortions.
The complete list of witnesses for and against the bill is posted on the Senate Judiciary Committee website.