We have received word that two of three reproductive rights bills are included in a package of legislation that House Republicans plan to bring to the floor as soon as Wednesday, January 11. Reportedly, the first bill is the Born-Alive Survivor Protection Act of 2021, sponsored in the previous Congress by Rep. Ann Wagner (R-MO), H.R. 619. The current version of the legislation does not appear on Congress.gov, so we have to assume that the new bill is similar, if not identical. The legislation had 208 co-sponsors. A second measure is likely the Protect Pregnancy Care Centers Act of 2022 (H.R 8926), sponsored by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), a long-time abortion rights opponent. Again, this version is from the previous Congress.
Debate on the two bills is set to begin at noon on Wednesday, with votes beginning around 4 p.m. ET. In our view, making two abortion-related bills among the first to be brought up is a ‘salute’ to the deep-pocketed anti-abortion rights funders who have given millions to elect right-wing extremist Republicans who are now in control of the U.S. House of Representatives.
WHAT IS AT STAKE
A summary on Congress.gov for the Born-Alive Survivor Protection Act explains that this bill establishes requirements for the degree of care a healthcare practitioner must provide in the case of a child born alive following an abortion or attempted abortion. Persons who fail to provide that care are subject to a fine and up to five years in prison. Further, quoting the bill summary again, an individual who intentionally kills or attempts to kill a child born alive is subject to prosecution for murder. The bill bars prosecution of the mother and permits her to bring a civil action against persons who violate the provisions of the act. THE DANGER OF SUCH AN ACTION BECOMING LAW IS CLEAR.
The second bill, the Protect Pregnancy Care Centers Act of 2022, directs the Inspectors General of the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security to report to Congress on domestic violent extremism against pregnancy centers, lays out specific requirements for investigations and reports, and establishes a grant program for what are more widely known as phony crisis pregnancy centers. There is no such history of “violent extremism against pregnancy centers.” In reality, there is a documented record concerning abortion rights extremists who have carried out thousands of attacks over many decades on women’s health centers that provide abortion care. The toll includes eight murders of healthcare providers and staff, including several doctors, plus at least 17 attempted murders and thousands of incidents of bombing, arson, vandalism, and harassment of personnel and patients. The Feminist Majority Clinic Access Project has monitored this form of terrorism and reports findings at, National Clinic Access Project – Feminist Majority Foundation. NEEDLESS TO SAY, THE PROTECT PREGNANCY CARE CENTERS ACT MUST BE OPPOSED.
WHAT CAN I DO? Please immediately call your representative in the House and urge her/him to vote against both the Born-Alive Survivor Protection Act and the Protect Pregnancy Care Centers Act. (We do not yet have their new bill numbers so just give them the titles of the bills.) Tell them that votes could happen Wednesday, January 11.
HOW DO I DO IT? Every U.S. Representative can be reached at the Capitol Switchboard at 202–224–3121 and a directory of their contact information can also be found here, Representatives | house.gov Or, if you don’t know who your representative is, go here Find Your Representative | house.gov. Some new members have not constructed their congressional websites as yet, so you must call the member’s office.
WHAT DO I SAY? I am calling to urge Representative [LAST NAME] to urge her/him to oppose both the Born-Alive Survivor Protection Act and the Protect Pregnancy Care Centers Act. The Born-Alive Survivor Protection Act is dangerous and unnecessary. The Protect Pregnancy Care Centers Act is a phony effort to falsely claim that violent extremists have attacked these centers to use this as a reason to establish a grant program for these non-medical and deceptive centers.
Thanks for all that you do for women’s rights.