Left-wing outlet Vox is cheering Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren (MA) — who’s still struggling mightily to gain any traction in the presidential polls — for being “one of the few Democratic candidates with a clear reproductive rights plan” and being “aggressive” in her approach. There’s only one problem: It’s got basically no shot at being implemented, unless Democrats gain full control of Congress.
“The legislation Warren supports has little chance of passage without a Democratic majority in Congress,” Vox admits. “But anti-abortion groups in recent years have abandoned an incremental approach in favor of a more aggressive one, and have seen major victories around the country. Now Warren is proposing an equally aggressive response.”
So what exactly is this “aggressive” approach? Warren lays it out in a statement posted on Medium detailing her “congressional action to protect choice” — and blasting the “extremists” trying to protect unborn children (formatting adjusted):
- Create federal, statutory rights that parallel the constitutional right in Roe v. Wade. The extremists behind proposals like the Alabama law don’t reflect public opinion in America. Polling data shows that 71% of Americans oppose overturning Roe — including 52% of Republicans. Congress should do its job and protect their constituents from these efforts by establishing affirmative, statutory rights that parallel Roe vs. Wade.These rights would have at least two key components. First, they must prohibit states from interfering in the ability of a health care provider to provide medical care, including abortion services. Second, they must prohibit states from interfering in the ability of a patient to access medical care, including abortion services, from a provider that offers them. …
- Pass federal laws to preempt state efforts that functionally limit access to reproductive health care. States have passed countless Targeted Regulations on Abortion Providers (TRAP) laws, which are designed to functionally limit and eliminate women’s access to abortion care while not technically contravening Roe. Geographical, physical, and procedural restrictions and requirements. Restrictions on medication abortion. These kinds of restrictions are medically-unnecessary and exist for only one purpose: to functionally eliminate the ability of women to access abortion services. A bill already proposed in Congress, The Women’s Health Protection Act, would provide the mechanism to block these kinds of schemes concocted to deny women access to care. Congress should pass it.
- Guarantee reproductive health coverage as part of all health coverage. All women — no matter where they live, where they’re from, how much money they make, or the color of their skin — are entitled to access the high-quality, evidence-based reproductive health care that is envisioned by Roe. Making that a reality starts with repealing the Hyde Amendment, which blocks abortion coverage for women under federally funded health care programs like Medicaid, the VA, and the Indian Health Service. Congress should also expand culturally- and linguistically-appropriate services and information and include immigrant women in conversations about coverage and access. Congress must also pass the EACH Woman Act, which would also prohibit abortion restrictions on private insurance. And we should ensure that all future health coverage — including Medicare for All — includes contraception and abortion coverage.
- Ensure equal access and reproductive justice. Securing a federal right to Roe and ensuring that reproductive health care is available to every woman in America is just the beginning. We must undo the current Administration’s efforts to undermine women’s access to reproductive health care — including ending Trump’s gag rule and fully support Title X family planning funding. We must crack down on violence at abortion clinics and ensure that women are not discriminated against at work or anywhere else for the choices they made about their bodies.
Though Warren repeatedly slams the new abortion laws in the southern states and asserts that “the overwhelming majority of Americans have no desire to return to the world before Roe v. Wade,” she doesn’t mention widespread support for banning abortion when a heartbeat is detected. A Hill-Harris poll published this week found that a majority of registered voters do not believe banning abortion after the sixth week of pregnancy is “too restrictive.”
“The May 10-11 poll found that 21 percent of registered voters said that such abortion bans are “too lenient” while 34 percent said they believe they are ‘just right.'” The Hill reported Wednesday. “Forty-five percent of respondents said they believe the laws are ‘too restrictive.'”
The Hill also notes that the poll “found comparatively little difference between women and men on the question” and, notably, that younger voters (34 and under) were “most likely to say the abortion bans did not go far enough, although far less than a majority — 27 percent — said this. Forty-three percent said the laws were too restrictive while 30 percent said they were just right.”