The Reasons Behind the Senate Vote on Banning Abortion.
The Senate has scheduled a vote on a bill, already passed by the House, that bans abortions after 20 weeks, and the Trump Administration has signaled its support of this bill. While some websites are raising the alarm, The Hill asserts that the bill has little chance of passing in the Senate with the narrow Republican majority. According to The Hill, the purpose of scheduling this vote is to get Senators on record with their votes for or against the bill. Anti-abortion activists are hoping that Democrats up for re-election in battleground states will suffer the consequences of their vote, while Democrats characterize the bill as an extreme assault on a woman’s right to make decisions about her health care. This bill, titled “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act” is based on faulty “science” mis-representing fetal development as outlined by Dr Daniel Grossman on Twitter (@DrDGrossman). When politicians insert themselves into medical decisions best made between doctors and their patients, decisions that should be based on the patient’s individual circumstances and unique needs, unintended consequences and unforeseen harm often follow.
The key to the electoral impact of the bill may be how issues-influenced voting weighs against voting based on economic factors. As always, who shows up to vote in an election can be critical – in 2017 special elections were sometimes decided by a strong showing of voters who have previously not been active at the voting booth. As The New York Times points out in their editorial post this evening, having Democrats take back control of either house of Congress will guard against future actions to restrict reproductive freedoms. Voting in local elections is important, as are actions supporting progressive voters in red states. Don’t forget, primaries in Illinois are March 20 and election day is November 6th – cast your vote and make your voice heard!