The attacks on reproductive rights just keep coming. Today, Congress held a hearing on a bill that would outlaw abortion as early as just six weeks of pregnancy. This amounts to an effective ban on abortion, as many women do not even know if they are pregnant by that time. In fact, it’s the second unconstitutional pre-viability abortion ban that the House has considered in the last month. Just a few weeks ago, the House passed a bill banning abortion beginning at 20 weeks. And President Trump said that he would sign that bill if it landed on his desk.
It is clear that the goal of the president and leaders in Congress is to ban abortion completely, and the anti-choice activist behind this latest piece of legislation has boasted that the bill would prohibit abortion before a woman even knows she’s pregnant and was crafted “to be the arrow in the heart of Roe v. Wade.”
She also claimed that Mike Pence expressed support for her bill in a White House meeting.
It’s not surprising that anti-choice activists feel emboldened by Donald Trump’s presidency to attack women’s health and rights — no matter if the bills they are pushing don’t stand a chance in court.
Trump, who as a presidential candidate proposed punishing women who have an abortion and pledged to appoint only opponents of Roe v. Wade to the Supreme Court, is carrying out a virulent anti-choice and anti-women’s health agenda.
He has reinstituted and expanded the Global Gag Rule, severely undermined the ACA’s birth control benefit by allowing virtually any boss to deny coverage to their employees, signed legislation weakening protections for Title X family planning providers, and pushed for the passage of an Affordable Care Act repeal bill that would cut patients off from care at Planned Parenthood health centers and gut Medicaid coverage for millions of women and families.
Not only that, Trump has also appointed a slew of abortion rights opponents to key administration posts, such as Scott Lloyd, who as Director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement prevented young immigrant women in federal custody, like Jane Doe, from obtaining an abortion.
This House bill is just the latest sign that the administration and leaders in Congress are determined to attack reproductive freedoms every chance they get -- which is why the fight for these constitutionally-protected rights is more urgent than ever.