The PJ Tatler

Dems Introducing Bill to Override All States' Abortion Restrictions, Regulations

Democratic lawmakers will announce this afternoon a bill to override state abortion laws that have placed restrictions on the services.

The Women’s Health Protection Act “would protect a woman’s right to safe and legal abortion by preempting restrictive regulations and laws—such as those in place in states including Texas and Wisconsin—intended to curtail reproductive health services for women,” according to Sen. Richard Blumenthal’s (D-Conn.) office.

Blumenthal will be joined at an afternoon press conference by Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) and Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Reps. Judy Chu (D-Calif.),  Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio) and Lois Frankel (D-Fla.).

Also at the announcement of the bill will be leader of NARAL, Planned Parenthood and the Center for Reproductive Rights.

“This legislation would prohibit laws that impose burdensome requirements on access to women’s health such as requiring doctors to perform tests and procedures that doctors deemed unnecessary in their professional opinion,” says the announcement of the Dirksen event.

The Texas measure now being fought in court bans abortions after 20 weeks, requires abortion clinics to meet the same standards as surgical centers and requires abortion providers have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital.

Wisconsin lawmakers are considering a ban on gender-selection abortions and a bill to keep public employees’ health plans from covering abortion.

The Democrats’ bill states the “following limitations or requirements are unlawful and shall not be imposed or applied by any government because they single out the provision of abortion services for restrictions that are more burdensome than those restrictions imposed on medically comparable procedures, they do not significantly advance women’s health or the safety of abortion services, and they make abortion services more difficult to access”:

“A requirement that a medical professional perform specific tests or follow specific medical procedures in connection with the provision of an abortion, unless generally required for the provision of medically comparable procedures.

A limitation on an abortion provider’s ability to delegate tasks, other than a limitation generally applicable to providers of medically comparable procedures.

A limitation on an abortion provider’s ability to prescribe or dispense drugs based on her or his good-faith medical judgment, other than a limitation generally applicable to the medical profession.

A limitation on an abortion provider’s ability to provide abortion services via telemedicine, other than a limitation generally applicable to the provision of medical services via telemedicine.

A requirement or limitation concerning the physical plant, equipment, staffing, or hospital transfer arrangements of facilities where abortions are performed, or the credentials or hospital privileges or status of personnel at such facilities, that is not imposed on facilities or the personnel of facilities where medically comparable procedures are performed.

A requirement that, prior to obtaining an abortion, a woman make one or more medically unnecessary visits to the provider of abortion services or to any individual or entity that does not provide abortion services.

A requirement or limitation that prohibits or restricts medical training for abortion procedures, other than a requirement or limitation generally applicable to medical training for medically comparable procedures.”