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Abortion Battle Has A New Front Line

Graham Clark |
November 13, 2013 | 3:37 p.m. PST


The proposed policy would change how pregnancies are handled across the United States. (via Flickr Creative Commons)
The proposed policy would change how pregnancies are handled across the United States. (via Flickr Creative Commons)
A new era of reproductive-rights legislation began Wednesday, according to some supporters of the Women's Health Protection Act.

The act has been officially supported by bi-partisan members of congress, including Richard Blumenthal and Tammy Baldwin of the U.S. Senate and U.S. Representatives Judy Chu and Marcia Fudge.

As designed by the non-profit Center For Reproductive Rights, the Women's Health Protection Act would serve to retool protocol surrounding the creation and operation of abortion clinics on a national scale. Proponents say the bill will reform a system that currently bars women from getting necessary medical treatment and others from accessing accurate information.

Rep. Fudge said, “Restrictive laws like the one passed in Ohio make it extremely difficult, and sometimes nearly impossible, for a woman to obtain essential reproductive health care services,” as quoted by Cleveland.com.

NARAL Pro-Choice America is a lobbying group that supports the act. NARAL President Ilyse Hogue encouraged the politicians behind the proposal by saying:

The introduction of this bill means we are going on offense. We’re not merely fighting against bad policy and proposing good new legislation that takes a stand for the protection and expansion of women’s freedom.

Not everyone sees the bill in that light. Responding to the announcement from NARAL, Executive Director of California Right To Life Committee Inc. Camille Giglio said, "It's like Goliath and David—it's too much for me to handle."

"They’re just beating the drums for their people, letting them know they’re on top of it."

"It’s overkill," Giglio said. "This takes everything out of the hands of states. This bill apparently says that no state can do anything to set standards."

According to Giglio, who operates her organization out of Sacramento, the debate currently comes down to one basic question: "Who can set the standards on healthcare? If they can start chipping away at one element of so-called Women’s healthcare, they can take everything." She suggested that the Women’s Health Protection Act was created as a “hurried, slapdash response,” to prolife efforts being led in Montana and Oklahoma.

Christina DiPasquale responded to Giglio's statement as a representative of NARAL, saying that the push for reproductive policy change in Oklahoma and Montana was not "the primary impetus for the bill."

The Women's Health Protection Act can be viewed as it stands in full online, and will be debated during the 2013 legislative year.

Reach Editor-At-Large Graham Clark here; follow him on Twitter here.



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