In an try to seek out some center floor, a bunch of senators from each events launched a long-shot invoice Monday that might prohibit states from banning abortion earlier than a fetus is viable.
The laws was co-authored by two Democratic senators, Virginia’s Tim Kaine and Arizona’s Kyrsten Sinema, together with two Republican senators, Maine’s Susan Collins and Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski. It comes within the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court docket ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Girls’s Well being Group, which has allowed greater than a dozen states to outlaw or severely limit abortion entry.
The invoice unveiled Monday would permit states to ban abortion solely after a doctor determines that the fetus might survive outdoors the womb, which usually occurs at round 24 weeks of being pregnant. In lieu of imposing a agency cutoff date, the invoice would activity a affected person’s well being care supplier with making a willpower about fetal viability.
For now, the trouble is extra symbolic than anything.
“My colleagues and I’ve launched this bipartisan invoice at the moment demonstrating that there’s now bipartisan assist and majority assist in america Senate to guard reproductive freedom for all,” Kaine stated on the Senate ground Monday.
“I’m very nicely conscious, as are my co-sponsors in introducing that invoice, that we don’t have the votes at the moment, ought to it’s put up, to get 60 votes within the Senate,” he stated.
“And but,” Kaine continued, “I’m given some inspiration by the truth that we not too long ago handed a gun security invoice, the place two months earlier than there weren’t 60 votes both,” referencing a invoice the Senate handed final month to enact modest limits on acquiring firearms.
Invoice co-sponsors Collins and Murkowski didn’t assist a earlier try within the Senate to codify Roe v. Wade’s abortion protections, nor did Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.).
A coalition of greater than a dozen abortion rights teams responded to the laws with disappointment, saying its textual content isn’t clear sufficient.
“This invoice claims to ‘codify’ Roe v. Wade however fails to take action,” they wrote in an announcement. “The truth is, it doesn’t expressly prohibit pre-viability abortion bans, leaving states in a position to proceed to move abortion bans which can be denying folks entry to important well being care throughout the nation. This invoice has been written for a world that doesn’t exist and would offer little solace within the nightmare we live.”
Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Heart for Reproductive Rights, identified that this new invoice “doesn’t prohibit the citizen-enforced bans which, even earlier than the Dobbs determination, shut down the clinics in Oklahoma and restricted Texas clinics to offering solely as much as six weeks of being pregnant.”
“What we want from the invoice’s sponsors is a dedication to finish the filibuster to move abortion rights laws that can meaningfully restore entry to abortion all through the nation,” she stated in an announcement, referring to the present Senate guidelines that permit Republicans to simply cease a invoice from coming to a vote except 60 senators vote to advance it.