Democrat behind ‘sweeping’ abortion bill won’t say if it bans sex-selective abortions

Laurel Duggan, DCNF

Democratic Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal refused to say whether his abortion bill, which the Senate is voting on Wednesday, would prevent states from banning sex-selective abortions, according to National Review.

The Women’s Health Protection Act, which is cosponsored by 47 Senate Democrats, would enshrine a right to elective abortion throughout the first six months of pregnancy and would strike down any state laws banning abortions even in the third trimester in cases wherein a healthcare worker finds that pregnancy could harm a patient’s mental or physical health. It is loosely based off the Roe v. Wade precedent, according to the bill’s proponents, which allows abortions until the point at which a child can survive outside the womb at around six months.

Blumenthal sidestepped a reporter’s question about whether his bill would strike down state-level bans on sex-selective abortions, according to National Review.

“Asked in the Capitol if the Women’s Health Protection Act prohibits states from banning sex-selective abortions that usually target baby girls, the WHPA’s chief Senate sponsor Richard Blumenthal tells @NRO: ‘I can’t comment on hypothetical state laws,’” National Review reporter John McCormack tweeted.

Policy experts have warned that the bill would overrule state legislation barring sex-selective abortion procedures.

“If enacted, the WHPA would threaten policies that protect unborn children in a variety of ways. The bill would prevent state protections for children from abortion based on their sex, race, or diagnosis of a genetic abnormality such as Down Syndrome,” wrote Melanie Israel, policy analyst at the DeVos Center for Life, Religion and Family at the Heritage Foundation.

Republican Maine Sen. Susan Collins and Republican Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski have also previously pointed out that the legislation would strike down bans on sex-selective abortions.

“The WHPA’s overly broad language far exceeds Roe by striking down state laws such as those that require certain materials to be given to the patient, prohibit sex-based abortions, or require parental or guardian notification for minors seeking an abortion,” read a joint press release from Collins‘ and Murkowski’s offices.

The two senators critiqued the bill as too extreme when introducing their own bill codifying the precedents of Roe v. Wade and Casey v. Planned Parenthood.

“In contrast to the sweeping Women’s Health Protection Act, the Reproductive Choice Act would simply codify Roe, Casey protections,” the joint press release said.

The legislation would strike down every state law and regulation limiting abortions in the first six months of pregnancy and would impede the ability of states to regulate third trimester abortions.

Blumenthal’s office did not respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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