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Democrats roll dice by clearing abortion bill — again

The new conservative Supreme Court has agreed to hear the cases most likely to be used to overturn the groundbreaking abortion decision of 1973. Roe v. Wade.. And Capitol Hill Democrats were convinced that the issue would lead to their political interests and vowed to enact legislation to write abortion protection in federal law. “We will discuss it. We will vote. And we will pass it,” the Senate Democratic leader promised.

Are you familiar with it? That year was 1992.The Supreme Court proceedings in question Southeastern Pennsylvania vs. Casey’s Planned Parent-Child Relationship.. After the court surprised almost everyone by upholding the right to abortion, a law called the “Freedom of Choice Act” never reached the Senate or House floors. (Click the hyperlink to go back to the past.)

Today’s legislators face much the same situation. This week, the Supreme Court scheduled a December 1 discussion in a Mississippi case challenging the ban on abortion after 15 weeks of gestation. And earlier this week, House was able to vote for the latest version of the Freedom of Choice Act, now known as the Women’s Health Protection Act.

The question now is, as it was then, whether law helps or hurt Democrats in one of the most polarized issues in politics.

As in 1992, the opposition to the current bill is simply egg To federal law. In addition to ensuring the rights of those who have an abortion, the law will revoke many state restrictions granted by the Supreme Court. egg Positions that include those that require parental involvement in the decision to abort a minor.

“This may be the most extreme law ever,” Cathy McMorris Rogers, a Republican, told the House Parliamentary Rules Committee on Monday. “Abortion at any stage of pregnancy, for whatever reason before childbirth.”

Republicans have complained that the bill could not only overturn existing state abortion restrictions, but also lead to compulsory public funding for abortion. Overturning the so-called Hyde amendment, which has banned most federal abortion funding since the late 1970s, is a priority for many progressive Democrats, but many Swing district voters are crossed by elected civil servants. It shows the line that you don’t want to do.

The scenario looks creepy, but there are some important differences. Maximum: In 1992, the threat to the right to abortion was theoretical. In 2021, millions of pregnant people have already lost their right to give birth because the High Court failed to block the controversial Texas law that bans almost all abortions as early as six weeks gestation. I have. To prevent the court from blocking it, the law should be enforced not by state officials, but by individuals who sue those who “help or assist” someone in obtaining an abortion.

Under the law, Congressman Jamie Raskin (Democratic Party) told the Rules Commission Monday that “the whole country has turned into a bounty hunter for women who exercise basically constitutional rights.” ..

“Texas has completely changed what’s at stake,” said Cecil Richards, a former president of the planned parent-child relationship and a longtime political observer in Texas. (Her mother, Ann Richards, who died in 2006, was governor in the 1990s.) “Women think’this will never happen,'” said Richards, who is now co-chair of American Bridge 21. Says.NS Century, democratic super-political action committee. “Well, that just happened.”

However, the politics of abortion are both much the same as they were 30 years ago and are very different.

The same is that the outliers of both Democrats who oppose the right to abortion and Republicans who support it prefer not to have to vote on this issue. The difference is that today there are far fewer outliers. In 1992, nearly one-third of Democrats opposed abortion. This includes Pennsylvania Governor Robert Casey. Robert Casey, a defendant in a planned parent-child proceeding, attempted to change the party platform in 1992 to oppose abortion, but failed. His son, Senator Robert “Bob” Casey Junior (D-Pa.), Is one of the few Senate Democrats who do not strongly support the right to abortion.

But it’s not just Democrats who oppose abortion that are in short supply. In 1992, Republicans, like Democrats, were likely to lead the abortion struggle, with most efforts bipartisan. In fact, before 1972, Republicans generally favored the right to abortion over Democrats.

And obviously, the biggest difference between now and 1992 is that Republican President George HW Bush has vowed to veto if the abortion bill is passed. President Joe Biden will sign it, according to a formal “Executive Branch Statement” issued on Monday. “In the wake of Texas’s unprecedented attack, it is more important than ever to codify this constitutional right and enhance medical access for all women, regardless of where they live.” The statement states.

Bush and Biden’s own abortion position is probably the best indication of how much the parties have shifted on this issue. As a member of the House of Representatives, Elder Bush was the lead sponsor of the Federal Title X Family Planning Program and is now strongly opposed by Republicans against abortion. A devout Catholic, Biden has been criticized by activists for opposed the right to abortion early in his Senate career and for not saying the word “abortion” as president until Texas law came into force. ..

However, Biden will almost certainly never have the opportunity to sign women’s health protection legislation. At least soon. The bill may have enough support to squeeze the House of Representatives, but Senate support remains far below the 60 votes needed to break the filibuster.

But that doesn’t stop the fight from happening. What has not yet been seen is which side of the abortion debate will ultimately win the fight for public support.

A regular feature of Kaiser Health News, HealthBent provides policy and political insights and analysis from KHN’s Washington correspondent Julie Robner, who has covered healthcare for over 30 years.

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Democrats roll dice by clearing abortion bill — again

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