Columnist details how House Republicans plan to escalate their anti-abortion 'agenda'

Columnist details how House Republicans plan to escalate their anti-abortion 'agenda'

On Friday, September 23, House Republicans unveiled their “Commitment to America” — an outline of proposals that they will pursue if they flip the U.S. House of Representatives in the 2022 midterms. The Commitment has received scathing responses from liberal columnists who include the New York Times’ Paul Krugman to the Washington Post’s Eugene Robinson, and Vanity Fair’s Bess Levin has weighed in as well — slamming the Commitment from an abortion standpoint.

If Republicans retake the House, Levin warns in her September 23 column, they will aggressively pursue an anti-abortion agenda.

“In a one-page ‘Commitment to America’ officially unveiled on Friday, wherein House conservatives laid out their legislative priorities should they prevail in the midterms, the party declared that it will devote its time to, among other things, ‘protect(ing) the lives of unborn children,’” Levin explains. “Obviously, what they mean by this is that they’ll do everything in their power to obliterate the rights of pregnant people. While the agenda is short on any specifics or proposals, it’s not hard to fill in the blanks. Speaking to Axios, Rep. Bob Good approvingly noted that there is a ‘strong majority’ of House Republicans co-sponsoring the Life at Conception Act, which would define life as beginning at the moment of fertilization, effectively making abortion illegal. The bill currently has 166 co-sponsors.”

READ MORE: How OB-GYNs are 'at the forefront' of the fight for abortion rights

Levin continues, “Meanwhile, Rep. Don Bacon told the outlet he believes leadership will put a 15-week abortion ban on the floor for a vote and that it will ‘pass, most definitely.’ We saw legislative precursors to these efforts just months ago, in July, when 209 House Republicans voted against the Women’s Health Protection Act; 205 House Republicans voted to prevent women from traveling across state lines to obtain an abortion; and 195 House Republicans voted against the Right to Contraception Act.”

House Democrats sponsored the Right to Contraception Act in response to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas saying that the Court should “reconsider” the 1965 ruling in Griswold v. Connecticut — which struck down as unconstitutional a ban in Connecticut on access to contraception for married couples. Griswold, for married couples, made access to contraception a national right, just as Roe made abortion a national right eight years later in 1973.

House Republicans’ anti-abortion agenda, Levin notes, is wildly out of touch with public opinion.

“If you’re a sentient being who’s been conscious over the last several months, you’re probably aware of the fact that the Republican Party is waging an all-out attack on reproductive rights,” Levin writes. “Since Roe v. Wade was overturned in June, GOP officials all across the country have passed or put into effect extreme abortion laws, while conservatives in Congress have set their sights on a national abortion ban. Given the unpopularity of this position — the majority of the public disapproved of Roe being overturned, with 62 percent of Americans in support of the medical procedure in ‘all’ or ‘most’ cases — you might have thought congressional Republicans would refrain from mentioning the subject between now and November, when they are hoping to take back control of the House and Senate. But apparently, they just can’t help themselves.”

READ MORE: How Clarence Thomas’ concurring opinion suggests other rights may be vulnerable after Roe: analysis

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