House Democrats hold hearing to advocate for abortion without limits until birth

Just how far they are willing to go on display

By Jennifer Popik, J.D. Director of Federal Legislation

Today, House Democrats held a hearing ominously entitled, “Threats to Reproductive Rights in America,” mean to criticize the wave of pro-life laws passing in the states and reinforce Democrats’ full-throated commitment to allowing abortion for any reason up to the moments of birth.

In their statements and their questions, Democrat members of Congress doubled-down on what has now become the standard position of Democrats, including all those running for President.

Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY), Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said in his opening statement:

It is my hope that today’s hearing is Congress’ first step towards shoring up the right to abortion across this country through legislation like Representative Judy Chu’s Women’s Health Protection Act which would put an end to states banning or otherwise limiting access to abortion or Representative Barbara Lee’s EACH Woman Act which would end abortion coverage bans or other legislative initiatives.

An analysis of these two radical pieces of legislation show how committed to abortion on demand through all 40 weeks the Democrats have become.

H.R. 2975, formally titled the “Women’s Health Protection Act,” is sponsored by Rep. Judy Chu (D-Ct.) and strongly opposed by National Right to Life. The bill is strongly supported by the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, NARAL, and other pro-abortion activist groups. A more accurate title for this radical bill would be the “Abortion Without Limits Until Birth Act.”

H.R. 2975, if enacted and upheld by the federal courts, would invalidate nearly all state limitations on abortion, including waiting periods and women’s right-to-know laws. For example, it would invalidate state laws to protect pain-capable unborn children after 20 weeks fetal age — and would require all states to allow abortion even during the final three months of pregnancy based on an abortionist’s claim of “health” benefits, including mental health.

H.R. 2975 would also invalidate nearly all existing federal laws limiting abortion. For further information on this sweeping legislation, including testimony against it presented to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee by NRLC President Carol Tobias in 2014, click here.

The “EACH Woman Act” (H.R. 1693) sponsored by Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Ca.) and also strongly opposed by National Right to Life, would mandate coverage of abortion without limitation in Medicaid, Medicare, CHIP, and other federally funded health insurance programs. (An array of federal laws currently restricts such coverage in some, but not all, federally subsidized health programs.)

In addition, the bill would nullify the laws in effect in about half of the states that restrict coverage of abortion in health plans sold on the Obamacare exchanges, and all other state laws or policies that “inhibit insurance coverage of abortion by private health plans.”

This hearing comes while Democrats in the House have blocked Republicans 50 times in calling for the House to vote on H.R.962, the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. This bill requires that a child who survives an abortion receive access to appropriate healthcare. Further a procedural tool, known as a discharge petition, has reached 201 signatures. If it reaches a simple majority of House Members (218 Members), H.R. 962 can be offered on the House floor despite Democrat obstruction. See if your member of Congress has signed by clicking here.

Melissa Ohden, who survived a saline abortion in 1977, is a speaker and author and directs the Abortion Survivors Network. Her story puts a human face on the Democrats resistance to providing the same care to abortion survivors as would be provided to a child of the same gestational age born prematurely—no more, but no less. Melissa tearfully testified,

All of these people here have a privilege that I was not given, and that is simply the right to be born, and not be born accidentally. As you can hear in my voice, I get choked up about it. We see this as a political issue, but I have to live with this every single day.

The Committee did not vote on any particular piece of legislation, and the full video is available here.

If you have the time to watch, and I hope you do, the exchange between Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tx.) and actress Busy Phillips was highly instructive. He simply asked, in a very measured and very respectful way, what about the baby who survives an abortion? Specifically, someone like Melissa Ohden who had just testified. Does she have a right to life—“a control over her body where no one else takes her life??

Ms. Phillips used every dodge you could think of, beginning with her saying that although she plays a doctor, she isn’t one; “it’s not a politician’s place…”; she’s not speaking about “birth” but “abortion,” etc. Their exchange can be found here.

Two things, at least, remain clear. Democrats remain committed to continuing to push a radical pro-abortion agenda in the House. And they continue to sidestep what obligations we have to babies who survive the abortionist’s best efforts to kill them.