Saturday, February 26, 2022

In Context: Implications of H.R. 3755

Last week, we looked at the contrast between America's founding heritage and the subsequent vote on H.R. 3755 in this coming Monday's Senate schedule.

This week, we take a closer look at the implications of what that abortion bill would mean for pro-life policy in America.

The Virginia Society for Human Life notes, H.R. 3755 would establish abortion-on-demand in all 50 states, regardless of the status of Roe v. Wade.

Among the protective laws this legislation would nullify:
  • Nearly all federal limits on taxpayer funding of abortion;
  • Conscience protection laws allowing medical professionals to opt-out of providing abortions;
  • Requirements to provide women seeking abortion with specific information on their unborn child;
  • Laws providing reflection periods (waiting periods);
  • Laws requiring parental consent or notification for minors seeking an abortion;
  • Laws limiting the performance of abortions to licensed physicians;
  • Bans on elective abortion after 20 weeks when an unborn child is capable of feeling pain;
  • Requirements to provide women with information on alternatives to abortion;
  • Bans on the use of abortion as a method of sex selection, and abortions done based on a diagnosis of a disability, including Down Syndrome.

The bill codifies abortion on demand until birth for any reason. It would undo all existing state limits on abortion and prevent future federal, state and local limits. This would force every state to be a late-term abortion state.

The bill carves out the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and makes clear that it cannot be used as a claim. Though other bills (like the Equality Act) have attempted to do the same thing, Congress has never exempted RFRA from any statute since RFRA became law in 1993.

H.R. 3755 Summary

  • Gestational age limits—The bill would make every state a late-term abortion state, and invalidate laws currently in effect that protect pain-capable unborn children, and that protect babies with heartbeats. The bill would categorically ban States from enacting any gestational limits on abortion before viability, or even after viability, up until birth, by gutting any such limits with sweeping “health” exceptions that include emotional or mental health, and which allow the abortionist to determine case-by-case whether the baby is “viable”.
  • Dismemberment abortion—Bans states from stopping gruesome dismemberment abortion procedures in which unborn children are pulled apart limb from limb
  • Parental involvement—Parents would not know, or have any say over, if their daughter has an abortion
  • Telemedicine abortion—Every state would be forced to allow telemedicine/mail-order abortions without an in-person visit and prescribed by a doctor outside the state (or country).
  • Ultrasound—Requirements that ensure women’s access to see their ultrasound, hear a heartbeat would be invalidated
  • Informed consent—Requirements for counseling and information about the baby and complications of abortion would be banned
  • Reflection periods—All state laws establishing time between the counseling or ultrasound and abortion would be struck down
  • Prenatal Nondiscrimination—States could not protect babies from discriminatory abortions on the basis of race, sex, or diagnosis of a disability like Down syndrome
  • Coercion—State laws to prevent coerced abortion, like in-person counseling, would be invalidated.
  • Conscience protections—Laws that protect the conscience rights of healthcare professionals to not participate in abortion would be at risk. The bill specifically carves out the protections of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

Resources and In-depth Analysis:

Father, we ask that you would awaken the hearts of your people to these evil actions. May this not be dismissed as a vote expected to fail, but may we in faith earnestly seek you for this very real threat that so much of America wants and would take right now if it could. Legislation like this is already law in some states, some quite recently. Father awaken both those who are spiritually alive and those who are spiritually dead to Your handiwork and our need to respect those You have made.

“My son, keep your father's command, and do not forsake the law of your mother. Bind them continually upon your heart; tie them around your neck. When you roam, they will lead you; when you sleep, they will keep you; and when you awake, they will speak with you.” (Proverbs 6:20-22)

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