Murkowski is all for putting abortion into law, but Women’s Health Protection Act is too extreme even for her

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U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski today reiterated her strong support for the putting abortion rights into law, as established by Roe v. Wade (1973) and affirmed by Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992). But the law being considered in the Senate on Wednesday is a bridge too far for Murkowski.

“While urging the preservation of those important rights for women, Murkowski will vote against S. 4132, the Women’s Health Protection Act, which has been described as codifying Roe v. Wade, but in reality goes much further—nullifying state and religious freedom laws across the country in the process,” the senator’s office released in a statement.

“I strongly support women’s reproductive freedoms, including the right to abortion established by Roe and Casey. I also believe in limited government and an individual’s liberty to make choices about their own health,” Murkowski said.

“Consistent with Roe and Casey, I support reasonable limits on abortion services related to maternal health. I oppose late-term abortion, as long as there are clear and workable exceptions in the case of rape, incest or when a woman’s life is threatened. I also oppose the use of taxpayer dollars to pay for abortions, and oppose any requirement for individuals to provide these services against their religious beliefs.

“Congress should codify the important protections from Roe and Casey into law as they currently exist. That’s why, in February, Senator Collins and I introduced our Reproductive Choice Act, which would prevent women’s reproductive choices from being weakened or eliminated. Our bill would reassure women that the rights they have relied on for almost 50 years will continue to be the law of the land.”

But the legislation in the Senate on Wednesday goes far beyond the precedent established in Roe and Casey, Murkowski said. It doesn’t include the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits taxpayer dollars from being spent on abortions, which has been law almost as long as Roe. It does not include the conscience protections for healthcare workers, so they may refused to perform abortions if it violates their religious beliefs. And it overrides the Religious Freedom Restoration Act for the first time. It also allows late-term abortions without notable restrictions.

“Instead of taking yet another failed vote on a wholly partisan measure, I urge Democrats and Republicans alike to recognize that what Senator Collins and I have offered is in line with the views of a strong majority of Americans—who support a woman’s right to choose but believe that legal abortion should include reasonable limitations,”  Murkowski said.

In Alaska, courts have interpreted abortion rights as protected under the State Constitution, so the repeal of Roe v. Wade will have no immediate effect in Alaska. 

Details About S. 3713, the Reproductive Choice Act:

  • Would prohibit states from imposing an “undue burden” on the ability of a woman to choose whether or not to terminate a pregnancy prior to fetal viability;
  • Would continue to allow states to enact regulations to further the health or safety of a woman seeking to terminate a pregnancy, while clarifying that unnecessary health regulations that have the purpose or effect of presenting a “substantial obstacle” to a woman seeking to terminate a pregnancy constitute an “undue burden”;
  • Would continue to permit states to restrict the ability to terminate a pregnancy after fetal viability, except when necessary to preserve the life or health of the woman as consistent with Roe and Casey; and
  • Would not have any effect on laws regarding conscience protections, including laws that protect health care providers who refuse to provide abortions for moral or religious reasons.

17 COMMENTS

  1. As I have noted in earlier comments, Senator Murkowski’s sponsorship of abortion legislation borders on being incoherent. As Suzanne notes, Roe has little to do with the law on abortion in Alaska because the Alaska Supreme Court will use the privacy provision in the Alaska Constitution to strike down effectively all restrictions on abortion in Alaska. Thus, Senator Murkowski is trying to legislate on behalf of citizens of other states – not Alaskans. Talk about empty virtue signaling.

  2. Murkowski confuses me…she approves abortion only if it endangers the health of the woman…does she not realize that having an abortion itself endangers the woman’s life!? An abortion can take two lives…sad!

  3. The US Constitution was written, in part, to limit the powers of Congress. Where in the Constitution does Murkowski think she has the right to tell the states what to do when there is nothing in the Constitution that allows Congress to have anything to do with abortion? Here’s the 10th Amendment:

    “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

    Finally, where/when are the constitutional rights of the unborn recognized?

    Amendment IX
    “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”

    This was James Madison’s attempt to ensure that the Bill of Rights was not seen as granting only the rights it addressed.

    Finally, the Fifth Amendment reads, in part: “No person shall… be deprived of life…without due process of law.”

    Who do these members of Congress think they are? God?

  4. “Women’s Health Protection Act”
    .
    Whenever Congress names an act, you can be damned sure it has nothing to do with the name.
    .
    Aside from requiring a medical professional, how is abortion “healthcare?” In fact, it is the opposite if healthcare in the overwhelming majority of cases. Carrying a healthy child to term is a clear demonstration of good health. Removing a child for convenience is not improving anyone’s physical health, in fact, it is endangering the health of the mother (100% of the time), and killing the child. (And before I get blasted, each and every time you go under anesthesia, you risk medical issues up to and including death.)
    .
    Aborting a child is the opposite of healthcare.

  5. Unfortunately, Frankie and I know Lisa’s tactics very well. She will support codification as crafted by Chuck Schumer and the baby-killing, Left-wing Democrats ….. IF she knew she needed to do it in order to get all of the Democrat and RINO votes.
    Frankie and I are life-long, fully committed, Pro-Life Republicans. We do not believe in killing unborn babies, and we have Lisa around to prove it! God Bless Kelly Tshibaka.

    • Yes, and we ARE practicing Catholics. Unborn baby killers have ascribed themselves to eternal condemnation. We pray for Lisa’s misguided soul. And we really pray that Kelly Tshibaka will be our next US Senator for Alaska.

  6. Roe has been unconstitutional law for decades.

    Curious why, if Princess feels so passionately about it, she didn’t push congress to protect it earlier?

    Situational outrage in a tight election year?

  7. But Congress cannot, under the Supreme Court ruling, make a law that supersedes the law of each individual State on abortion.
    The freakout from Murkowski and the deranged faction of liberals is ridiculous. Worst case scenario? A woman may have to go to another State for an abortion.
    Likewise, Congress cannot make a law outlawing abortion either.
    I suppose if EVERY State outlawed abortion (highly unlikely), one would have to go to another country.
    The Supreme Court Decision is actually a great decision for everyone because it gives each State an opportunity to make its own regulations. As time goes by, the regs will evolve into similar standards through the experiences in the law laboratory of the States.
    And, I have to wonder, how all this will affect Planned Parenthood. I don’t understand how it can be federally funded since it so politically active. “Family Planning Services”? Are there not many other non-profits that can do that job?

    • Planned parenthoods idea of family planning is an abortion for every pregnancy.
      They are in the dead fetus selling business, not the health business.

  8. It’s not too extreme for HER, it’s too extreme for us and she knows that. This is a last ditch effort by her to codify that she’s still a republican no matter how absurd or far from the truth it may be. Lisa is quelling both sides. It’s that simple.

  9. Well then perhaps Murkowski could explain why she voted to advance the Woman’s Health Protection Act of 2014 (SB 1969). She was, in fact the only Republican to join all the Democrats in that vote. Too, at the time she and her staff were still lying through their rotten teeth about her being pro-life. I know because I asked them including her people at her Fair booths why she voted for that monstrosity which was just as bad as the one they’re voting on now. They all had the exact same lie, “She voted for it to advance it to the Floor.” So I asked why, if she’s so strongly pro-life as you say, would she want to advance it? Every time I got only a “deer in the headlights” look—funny if it wasn’t so pathetic.

    Also, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act applies only to the Federal Government so I have no clue what she’s even talking about with that.

  10. She is not worth the criticism I could spew other then it is too bad those who think like her, it would have been nice if their parents had that view before they were born.

  11. Typical of Murky, she will always vote with the Dems when the chips are really down…In this case her vote does not matter one way or the other so she feels good with opposing the Dem’s….

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