Hoping to appeal to female voters, Senate
Democrats say the bill would prevent states from singling out abortions and protect women's reproductive rights. The Women's Health Protection Act comes in response to the recent push in some states to impose new limits on the practice. These restrictions include requiring that doctors who perform abortions have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals, curtailing training for abortion services and limiting the remote prescription of drugs to end a pregnancy without a doctor's visit.
With no Republican support, the bill has little chance of passing the House and critics dismissed the measure as a political tactic aimed at the midterm election.
“This bill is a weak political ploy,” said Sen.
Since 2011, states have passed more than 200 laws that limit access to abortion, according to Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights, a Washington-based legal advocacy group. Critics of the state measures say these limitations do not apply to other medical procedures and are not supported by scientific evidence.
Mississippi also passed a law requiring local hospital admitting privileges. Willie Parker, a doctor providing abortions in Mississippi, said the law threatened to "shut down the one remaining abortion clinic in the state, effectively denying women access to coverage." When Parker applied for hospital admitting privileges, he was denied, he said.
Republican lawmakers said the Democrat-backed bill was overreaching and interfered with state rights.
“I don’t recall