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Women’s Health Protection Act Introduced In Senate

Ashley Yang |
July 15, 2014 | 4:33 p.m. PDT

Executive Producer

The law brings national attention on unreasonable state regulation of abortion providers. (Dave Walker, Wikimedia Commons)
The law brings national attention on unreasonable state regulation of abortion providers. (Dave Walker, Wikimedia Commons)
Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday on a bill that would greatly push back the growing wave of regulations targeting safe abortion clinics. By singling out women’s health clinics that offer abortion services and holding them to a standard that is both prohibitively expensive and medically unnecessary, these anti-choice TRAP (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers) laws are intended to legislate abortion clinics out of existence (via Slate). 

Unfortunately, these clinics also provide primary gynecological care to millions of women, most of whom are poor and minorities. In Texas, dozens of clinics have had to shutter their doors after HB 2, one of the most restrictive pieces of legislation targeting abortion clinics in the country was signed into law.

The Women’s Health Protection Act seeks to end the attacks on abortion clinics by requiring states to regulate abortion providers in the same way they do clinics and physicians who provide comparable services. It lists in detail what targeted restrictions would be illegal, but essentially, the bill says that states must regulate abortions the same way it does any other outpatient procedure, such as a biopsy or an endoscopy.

Democrats know that the bill has zero chance of passing in the Republican-controlled House. But it may pressure conservatives into admitting the truth about the intention of these laws (because it is obvious that they aren’t there to “protect women’s health”). And considering that it is just a matter of time before such a case appears before the Supreme Court, it is critical that more scrutiny is cast upon TRAP laws and more evidence is produced that they do, in fact present an “undue burden” on women seeking an abortion.

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