The Democrats’ latest attempt to codify Roe v. Wade into law pointedly omits the words “woman,” “women,” and “female,” The Daily Signal reports, using the word “person” to identify people who can conceive and bear children instead.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the Women’s Health Protection Act of 2022 failed to advance Wednesday, in a vote that was designed to draw a clear contrast with Republicans ahead of the midterm elections.
The vote was 49 in favor to 51 against, falling short of the 60 votes needed. The legislation also failed to pass in February.
“Choice should not be up to a handful of right-wing justices,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., told reporters on Sunday. “Choice should not be up to a handful of right-wing politicians. It’s a woman’s right. Plain and simple.”
While the New York Democrat referred to abortion as a “woman’s right” and the word “women” is included in the bill’s title, the legislation’s stated purpose is to “protect a person’s ability to determine whether to continue or end a pregnancy.”
“Nothing in this Act shall be construed to authorize any government to interfere with a person’s ability to terminate a pregnancy,” the bill states, “to diminish or in any way negatively affect a person’s constitutional right to terminate a pregnancy, or to displace any other remedy for violations of the constitutional right to terminate a pregnancy.”
The latest attempt to enshrine Roe into law comes after last week’s leaked Supreme Court draft opinion, which revealed that the court’s conservative majority seem likely to overturn the 1973 case, which established a federal right to abortion access.
The draft centers on the abortion case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. A ruling in that case is expected within the next two months.
According to the Daily Signal, a 2021 version of the Women’s Health Protection Act used the word “women” 13 times throughout the text. It also specified that the “terms ‘woman’ and ‘women’ are used in the bill to reflect the identity of the majority of people targeted and affected by restrictions on abortion services.”
“[A]ccess to abortion services is critical to the health of every person capable of becoming pregnant,” the 2021 bill read.
Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List, called the legislation “Orwellian” during a teleconference with reporters Tuesday and said that Democrats are “setting themselves up as the party of abortion absolutism.”
When referring to those who give birth to children, the White House has deliberately used the term “birthing person,” instead of “woman” or “mother.”
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