Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Feb 26, 2022 / 08:22 am (CNA).
The U.S. Senate on Monday is scheduled to vote on a bill that would nullify state restrictions on abortion and permit unborn children to be killed even up to the moment of their birth, for any reason.
Titled the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA), the measure would radically reshape abortion law in the United States, regardless of whether or not the Supreme Court later this year overturns the landmark decisions that effectively legalized abortion-on-demand nationwide nearly 50 years ago.
“This is the most extreme piece of abortion legislation to ever receive a vote in the U.S. Senate,” says Michael Warsaw, chairman of the board and chief executive officer of the EWTN Global Catholic Network, writing in the National Catholic Register, where he is the publisher.
“This bill would nullify every single state law regulating abortion. That includes state laws that limit painful late-term abortions and laws that prohibit abortions from being performed because of the race, sex or condition of the child. It would even end basic informed-consent laws that ensure that mothers have all the relevant information before choosing an abortion,” Warsaw writes.
The Senate’s vote comes as the Supreme Court prepares to issue a ruling later this year in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a case that directly challenges Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that legalized abortion nationwide. The Dobbs case, involving a 2018 Mississippi law, centers on the question of whether “all pre-viability prohibitions on elective abortions are unconstitutional,” or whether states can ban abortion before a fetus can survive outside the womb, which the court previously determined to be 24 to 28 weeks into pregnancy.
If the Supreme Court does not uphold Roe when it decides Dobbs, abortion could be left up to individual states. The WHPA threatens these state laws.
The House of Representatives passed the bill in September. Although President Joe Biden, a Catholic, strongly backs the measure, it is not expected to pass the Senate when it comes up for a vote.
Even so, Warsaw urges Catholics and pro-life Americans to recognize the bill’s grave threat to the unborn and the dignity of human life. He cites the clear teaching of the Catholic Church, which calls abortion a “grave offense,” and condemns legislative efforts to fund and promote it. But resistance to such wrongs is not enough, Warsaw says; the Church and the pro-life movement must continue to press for policy changes that provide real help to mothers and their babies.
“The crux of the abortion lobby’s agenda is not just a total devaluation of the dignity of every human life, it is the pitting of mothers against their children — flipping the understanding of the most fundamental human relationship on its head,” he writes.
“It is utterly false to claim that children are an impediment to women’s flourishing, that the only solution to an unexpected pregnancy is abortion, and that “unwanted” babies are better off dead. Catholics and pro-life people must unite to forcefully dispel these myths,” he continues.
“We are at a critical turning point in our struggle to protect life. We cannot falter. We cannot allow all our progress to be wiped out,” Warsaw writes. “This legislation must be defeated — for the good of humanity.”
You can read the full text of Warsaw’s commentary here.