July 15, 2014 — While abortion-rights supporters "have been forced to play a defensive game" against state abortion restrictions, a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Tuesday on "could begin to move the dynamics of the fight in a positive direction," a New York Times editorial states.
The hearing will focus on the Women's Health Protection Act (S 1696, HR 3471), "a vital measure that would safeguard the reproductive rights of women all across the nation, regardless of where they live," the editorial explains. For example, the bill would "bar states from imposing uniquely oppressive 'safety' rules on reproductive health care providers in a thinly veiled effort to drive them out of business," the Times states.
"The bill stands little chance of enactment in this Congress," the editorial notes. However, "the hearing can serve a valuable purpose if it alerts legislators and the public to a pernicious charade by removing the 'patina of respectability' from what are essentially phony restrictions of no medical value," the Times concludes, citing the words of bill sponsor Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) (New York Times, 7/14).