Senator Jean Shaheen recently sat down with Adam Sexton of WMUR to discuss the most recent so-called “Women’s Health Protection Act” or WHPA which went down to defeat in the U.S. Senate earlier this month. The interview, although about a now-defunct bill, is an object lesson in the obfuscation surrounding around any attempt to place limits on abortion. In a time when false talking points are consistently presented as truth, Sen. Shaheen’s comments unfortunately underscore that sad reality.
Let’s take a closer look at her assertions and the facts.
“What the WHPA did was codify the Supreme Court decision in Roe.”
Not even close. The bill wouldn’t “codify” anything. The term “codification” refers to putting current law into statute, in this case into federal statute. In fact, what Senate Bill 4132 attempted to do was to force all 50 states to allow abortion up to birth, throwing out existing state law and any meaningful limitations.
As our General Counsel has pointed out, “Under the WHPA, any state abortion restriction would be illegal except those that narrowly advance ‘the safety of abortion services’ for the mother, period.” It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that this means states may not protect fetal life at any state of development – even days before birth.
It’s ironic that Sen. Shaheen continually cited the fact that the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade did not mandate abortion up to birth. While the Roe decision did not mandate abortion up to birth, that’s exactly what the WHPA would have done. And that is what Sen. Shaheen voted for.
According to SCOTUS in ROE: “The pregnant woman cannot be isolated in her privacy. She carries an embryo and, later, a fetus… it is reasonable and appropriate for a State to decide that at some point in time another interest, that of… [fetal] life, becomes significantly involved.”
A key deciding vote in the defeat of the WHPA was Democratic Senator Joe Manchin. Interestingly, Manchin said he would actually vote for a law codifying the Roe decision. He only voted against the WHPA because it went well beyond Roe. The Democrats could successfully codify Roe tomorrow, that is clearly not their goal. Abortion up to birth is the only acceptable course for what has become a fanatical anti-life party.
As a side note, the body of the WHPA no longer uses the term “woman” in deference to the LGBTQ community and in accordance with the Democrat’s current parlance of “pregnant persons.” So the WHPA label is itself a misnomer according to the sponsoring party.
Regardless, Senator Shaheen is deliberately misrepresenting the facts or she is simply ignorant of the substance of the law she just voted for. It’s disturbing any way you look at it.
“Gov. Sununu signed the first abortion restrictions in modern NH history.”
We’ll agree with Sen. Shaheen here. New Hampshire recently went from a climate of unrestricted abortion up to the moment of birth to a ban at six months with exceptions for the mother’s life and physical health. It is interesting to note that her talking points, as is typical, don’t address the late-term nature of the ban.