June 22, 2021

Pro-Life Women at Senate Hearing Testify Against Radical Abortion Bill

photo credit: Eric Walker / Flickr
On June 16, the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution held a hearing on the recently reintroduced Women's Health Protection Act (WHPA). This bill would end most abortion restrictions across the country, including Illinois's parental notification law.

The precedent of Doe v. Bolton allows abortion through all nine months of pregnancy if the abortionist can say that the abortion benefits the "health of the mother" in some way. Abortionists can even argue that having an abortion will improve a woman's mental health. The WHPA would expand this by eliminating state laws limiting abortion. These would include parental notification laws, conscience protections for pro-life physicians, mandatory ultrasound laws, and informed consent laws.

National Right to Life President Carol Tobias said that the legislation is so far-reaching that calling it the "Abortion Without Limits Until Birth Act" would be more accurate.

Catherine Foster, President and CEO of Americans United for Life, testified in front of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution to oppose the WHPA. In her testimony, she said,

"The Women’s Health Protection Act would effectively ban all lifesaving, state protections for women considering abortion, and for our youngest preborn children, including those upheld as constitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court, for women considering abortion, for children before viability, and even for many late-term viable children.

These include protections for women and children from dangerous and painful late-term abortion, laws that prevent children from being eugenically aborted because they may have Down syndrome, and laws guaranteeing that children born alive during an abortion are provided basic medical care.

Informed consent standards, gone. Health and safety standards, gone."

At the age of 19, Foster was forced into an abortion by staff who physically held her down while she objected to the procedure.

“They took my money, my agency, my child, and an irreplaceable part of my health and well-being as a woman,” she said. “They gave me no information and no support, and they rushed me out the door. No doctor-patient relationship. No informed consent. No medical care. This is my story. And it’s the story of countless American women — past, present, and if this Congress succeeds, future.” 

Saline abortion survivor Melissa Ohden also testified in front of the committee. In her testimony, she challenged Senators to reconcile the rights of those who survive failed abortions with the harm caused to them by the WHPA.

“We’re citizens of this country who were denied their basic right to life,” Ohden said. “We’re members of a marginalized, unprotected population that continues to experience trauma, as abortion access is lauded as a right to be pursued. As our tax dollars go to fund the very act meant to end our lives, which has left deep emotional, mental, and — for many — physical scars. As our experiences and suffering are overlooked or played down as political fodder…. However, when we hear stories about abortion, the narrative is woefully one-sided. I’m here today to ask if there’s space in this abortion narrative for stories like mine, the men and women who are alive today after survived failed abortion procedures.”

If the WHPA is passed into law, it will have lasting consequences for abortion rights in pro-life and pro-abortion states across the country.

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