DES MOINES, Iowa – The U.S. House of Representatives voted 218 to 211 to pass the “Women’s Health Protection Act” (H.R. 3755) on Thursday. U.S. Rep. Cindy Axne, D-Iowa, was the only member of Iowa’s U.S. House delegation to vote for the bill.
Supporters of the bill say it protects a woman’s right to choose and 50 years of legal precedence. Opponents call the bill “Abortion on Demand Until Birth Act” and state that it expands abortion on demand by preventing the enforcement of existing laws that limit abortion at the federal and state level and blocking the passage of new laws that would protect the unborn.
The Charlotte Lozier Institute, in an analysis of the bill, stated, it “represents a federal takeover of abortion policy by nullifying the will of citizens and state legislatures.”
The bill prohibits states from banning abortions at any point before fetal viability, outlawing specific kinds of medicine or medical procedures, or blocking post-viability decisions that would threaten the health or life of the mother.
Essentially, the legislation goes beyond Roe v. Wade and even threatens late-term abortion bans.
The Biden Administration, in its “Statement of Administration Policy,” supported the bill saying, “In the wake of Texas’ unprecedented attack, it has never been more important to codify this constitutional right and to strengthen health care access for all women, regardless of where they live.”
“For nearly half a century, a woman’s right to make her own decisions about her body and her reproductive health has been supported by the ruling of our nation’s highest court. Those decisions have been recognized as the law of our land, but recently we have seen a dangerous erosion of that precedent which threatens the health of millions of women,” Axne said in a released statement. “When precedents are no longer enough to protect women’s rights, it’s time for Congress to act. It’s my job as a member of Congress to ensure that these protections are explicit and undeniable by making them clear in federal law.”
House Democrats pushed the bill after the Supreme Court allowed Texas’ ban on abortion effectively after six weeks to take effect.
U.S. Rep. Ashley Hinson, R-Iowa, voted against the bill tweeted about her opposition.
“Today, House Dems advanced a bill that would overturn pro-life laws in Iowa & across the nation & prevent states from enacting #prolife legislation,” she said. “Not only is this a huge overreach, it would dramatically expand abortion nationwide. I will always stand up for the unborn.”
Today, House Dems advanced a bill that would overturn pro-life laws in Iowa & across the nation & prevent states from enacting #prolife legislation.
Not only is this a huge overreach, it would dramatically expand abortion nationwide.
I will always stand up for the unborn.
— Ashley Hinson (@RepAshleyHinson) September 24, 2021
U.S. Rep. Randy Feenstra, R-Iowa, released a video statement after voting against the bill.
“Their bill abolishes laws preventing late-term abortions and removes nearly all pro-life protections — including protections against abortions based on a Down syndrome diagnosis and prohibiting dismemberment abortions, he said. “It is appalling to see Democrats continue attacking the right to life.”
“While we have recently made significant progress in pursuing pro-life policies, including in a recent Supreme Court victory that upheld a Texas abortion ban, there is clearly still a lot of work to be done,” Feenstra added.
“My faith teaches me that every person is created for a purpose and a reason, and that all people — including the unborn — deserve to be treated with respect and dignity. I will continue standing up for our most vulnerable by fighting to protect the fundamental right to life,” he concluded.
U.S. Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks, R-Iowa, also voted against the bill but did not release a public statement.