NY Times concedes “Women’s Health Protection Act” would go “far beyond simply codifying Roe”

By Dave Andrusko

On Wednesday, for the second time, the Senate rejected a bill which represented a wish-list for pro-abortion extremists. The vote was 49 in favor, 51 against the so-called “Women’s Health Protection Act.” 

S. 4132 “would nullify nearly all existing protective state laws,” said Jennifer Popik, J.D., director of Federal Legislation for National Right to Life. “In addition, this legislation also would have prohibited states from adopting new protective laws in the future, even laws specifically upheld as constitutionally permissible by the U.S. Supreme Court.” 

Popik added, “According to pro-abortion groups, if this law were enacted, abortion-on-demand would be allowed in all 50 states, even if Roe v. Wade is overturned. With this bill, elective abortion would become the procedure that must always be facilitated – never delayed, never impeded to the slightest degree.”

While bemoaning the defeat of S. 4132, the New York Times’s Annie Karni also included a stunning admission:

The legislation Democrats tried to advance on Wednesday, called the Women’s Health Protection Act, would protect abortion access nationwide, going beyond simply codifying Roe. It would explicitly prohibit a long list of abortion restrictions, including some that have been enacted by states since Roe was decided in 1973 and that have severely limited access to the procedure.

Democrats conceded that their bill was more expansive than Roe, saying that they had drafted the measure in line with their view that some of the statewide restrictions that have been put in place over the past decade are inconsistent with that precedent.

Whoa. That was decidedly not among the pro-abortion talking points. The bill, supposedly, would merely “codify” Roe. 

But since many, many people have no idea what Roe made possible, they would think that merely “codifying” Roe would be a vote for the status quo. That the status quo is abortion on demand throughout the entire pregnancy would be news to a vast majority of Americans! And that the bill could go even beyond that would be, to most people, unfathomable. 

Sen. Joe Manchin was the lone Democrat to vote against S. 4132, citing how extreme the bill was.

“Make no mistake, it is not Roe v. Wade codification,” he said of the Women’s Health Protection Act. “It is an expansion. It wipes 500 state laws off the books, it expands abortion, and with that, that’s not where we are today. We should not be dividing this country further than we’re already divided, and it’s really the politics of Congress that’s dividing the country.”

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell called S. 4132 “extreme and radical,” according to CBS News’s Melissa Quinn: 

“It ignores modern science. It is tone-deaf to public opinion,” he said on the Senate floor before the vote. “Nothing about their bill merely codifies the current case law on this issue. Their extreme proposal goes way, way beyond codifying the status quo.” 

Sen. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said yesterday’s vote was taken with an eye on the midterm elections. Schumer believes the Senate’s action would drive up voter turnout to his party’s advantage.

One other item. Under the headline, “A 49-year crusade: Inside the movement to overturn Roe v. Wade,” The Washington Post paid pro-lifers a backhanded compliment: 

With almost no change in national public opinion over the past five decades, and as a majority of Americans remain opposed to overturning Roe, the movement succeeded by mobilizing a determined minority of Americans and adopting the protest tactics and sometimes the language of the left. They transformed religious interpretations of prenatal life, embraced medical advancements that gave new understanding of the fetus and helped to build an academic legal movement in the Ivy League universities that railed against the evolution of American jurisprudence. Most importantly, they nurtured a generation of political and legal leaders who saw in the setbacks of the 1970s to 1990s a defining cause.”

More to come as we examine the fallout from yesterday’s vote and last week’s leaked Supreme Court preliminary opinion that called for overturning Roe and Casey.