UPI: Bipartisan senators introduce bill to guarantee abortion rights

A bipartisan group of senators has introduced legislation that would guarantee federal access to abortion, after the Supreme Court overturned Roe vs. Wade, despite a lack of Republican votes to pass the bill.

The Reproductive Freedom For All Act would codify abortion rights and contraception access. It was co-authored by Democratic Sens. Tim Kaine of Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.

"After the Supreme Court gutted the right to choose, I've been working on a bipartisan compromise to restore that right," Kaine said in a tweet. "We just introduced the Reproductive Freedom For All Act -- which would codify Roe v. Wade and enshrine in federal law the right to reproductive freedom."

The new bill is a bipartisan attempt to find a middle ground after Democrats introduced the Women's Health Protection Act, which failed twice in the Senate this year. It would prevent states from enacting laws that put an "undue burden" on access to pre-viability abortions, while also allowing some limits on post-viability abortions except to protect the life or health of the mother. The bill does not define viability.

Seventeen states, including Indiana and West Virginia, have passed abortion ban legislation since Roe vs. Wade was overturned.

"Every American should have autonomy over their own health care decisions, and the Supreme Court's decision in Dobbs has made it imperative for Congress to restore women's reproductive rights," Murkowski said in a tweet. "I'm proud to introduce bipartisan legislation with my colleagues to write into law the protections provided through Roe and Casey as well as affirming access to contraception provided in Griswold and other cases."

The legislation also guarantees federal access to contraception to prevent states from trying to outlaw contraceptives such as Plan B and intrauterine devices.

"For five decades, reproductive health care decisions were centered with the individual," Murkowski said. "We cannot go back in time in limiting personal freedoms for women."

By:  Sheri Walsh
Source: UPI