January 21, 2015 — A group of Democratic lawmakers on Wednesday is reintroducing a measure aimed at protecting women's access to health care and limiting abortion restrictions, Politico's "Pulse" reports (Villacorta, "Pulse," Politico, 1/21).
More than 200 state-level abortion restrictions have passed since 2010, when Republicans gained seats in state legislatures across the U.S., according to The Hill.
Sens. Richard Blumenthal (Conn.) and Tammy Baldwin (Wis.) are leading the group of Democrats sponsoring the measure in the Senate (Ferris, The Hill, 1/20).
Congressional Democrats also introduced the Women's Health Protection Act (S 1696, HR 3471) last session. The bill would have prohibited states from imposing burdensome restrictions that specifically target abortion providers. It also would have barred states from banning abortion prior to viability or if a doctor believes that continuing the pregnancy would harm a woman's health. In addition, the bill would have established guidelines for judges reviewing the constitutionality of state laws restricting abortion (Women's Health Policy Report, 11/14/13).
Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio), who is one of the lead sponsors in the House, said that state-level abortion restrictions have "diminished access to essential reproductive care."
Blumenthal in a statement on the bill said, "The protections in this measure are more necessary now than ever before in our history because an avalanche of restrictive, reprehensible state laws is drastically reducing fundamental health care rights" (The Hill, 1/20).