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Congressional Democrats push bill to permanently block states from enacting pro-life laws

'No heartbeat bills'

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

In the wake of recent victories for the pro-life movement in multiple states, Democratic lawmakers in Washington, D.C., introduced a bill Thursday that would hamstring states' abilities to enact pro-life legislation.

At a news conference outside the U.S. Capitol, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Rep. Judy Chu (D-Calif.) announced the introduction of the "Women's Health Protection Act," which would prohibit states from enacting a laundry list of abortion restrictions while invalidating laws that already exist.

Chu and Blumenthal have introduced versions of the bill in previous Congresses. The pro-abortion Center for Reproductive Rights' summary of a previous version of the legislation bills it as "a federal legislative response designed to fight back" against state-level abortion laws.

"Our bill finally puts a stop to the state-based attacks that anti-abortion advocates have been trying to use to undermine or even reverse Roe," Chu said at Thursday's news conference.

"It means no abortion bans," Chu added, noting that the bill "prohibits any non-medical restrictions on our bodies," which would mean "no heartbeat bills," mandatory waiting periods, or ultrasound requirements.

During his remarks, Blumenthal stressed the importance of making sure that abortion rights "are protected, once and for all and forever, against the demagogues who would restrict them." Blumenthal cited the recently signed law outlawing abortion in Alabama as well as what he called "the cut by cut erosion that is just as dangerous as the draconian, demagogic law in Alabama, or Georgia, or Kentucky, or Ohio."

After the news conference, the bill garnered support from multiple congressional Democrats on social media, including 2020 presidential candidate Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.):

While the bill is likely to pass out of the Democrat-controlled House before the end of this session, it has very little chance of even coming up for a vote in the Senate under Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

Video of Thursday's news conference is available here.

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