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House panel examines impact of state abortion restrictions after Roe reversal



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WASHINGTON — The Home Committee on Oversight and Reform is listening to testimony from state officers, abortion rights advocates and authorized consultants Wednesday concerning the influence the Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade has had in states that have imposed limits on abortion.

Amongst these testifying on the 10 a.m. ET hearing are Democratic Michigan state Sen. Mallory McMorrow, Democratic Georgia Home Rep. Renitta Shannon, Nationwide Ladies’s Legislation Middle President Fatima Goss Graves, College of California, Irvine legislation professor Michele Bratcher Goodwin, We Testify abortion advocate Sarah Lopez, and Alliance Defending Freedom senior counsel Erin Hawley, spouse of Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo.

The committee tried to get abortion suppliers to testify, a few of whom have skilled violence, however they have been too afraid to look and share their tales, committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., mentioned.

“At the moment’s listening to is particularly essential as a result of Republicans should not going to cease with Dobbs,” Maloney mentioned in her opening assertion, referring to the Supreme Courtroom ruling. “They’re brazenly planning to impose a nationwide ban on abortion. The harm that might trigger is inconceivable.”

“As we hear concerning the influence of the lack of abortion rights right now, I want to ask these watching our listening to a easy query: Is that this the nation we would like for our youngsters?” Maloney continued. “Do we would like a rustic the place our youngsters have fewer rights than we did? Or will we wish to stay in a rustic that respects and trusts girls to make the very best decisions for themselves and their households?”

“The reply is obvious,” she mentioned. “Individuals overwhelmingly assist the proper to abortion.”

Committee rating member James Comer, R-Ky., defended the Supreme Courtroom ruling in his opening remarks, saying the Dobbs resolution “didn’t outlaw abortion” however merely returned the difficulty to the states.

Comer criticized Democrats for attacking the excessive courtroom’s legitimacy and “looking for to intimidate via thinly veiled threats.” He mentioned Democrats are attempting to “draw consideration away from the failures of the Biden administration — failures which have led to skyrocketing inflation, record-high fuel costs, a daunting scarcity of child formulation and the worst border disaster within the historical past of America.”

Goss Graves, of the Nationwide Ladies’s Legislation Middle, testified that she “can not overstate how a lot authorized uncertainty and chaos that this Supreme Courtroom has unleashed with this unsound opinion,” leading to individuals going through “imprecise and evolving and even typically conflicting state legal guidelines.”

“Employers and faculties and metropolis governments, they’re all buried underneath the burden of this explosion,” she mentioned. “Clinics and well being care professionals, they’re making an attempt to make sense of this shifting panorama. Sufferers are confused and they’re scared about their rights they usually as people are compelled to navigate an unsure authorized panorama. Many can not journey together with those that can’t afford it.”

Michigan Rep. McMorrow famous that whereas her state has a 1931 set off legislation that makes offering an abortion a felony, with no exception for age, rape or incest, the process remains to be authorized due to a preliminary injunction blocking the legislation’s enforcement. She defended sustaining and growing entry to abortion providers.

“Each state of affairs is completely different,” McMorrow mentioned. “Each particular person and household looking for abortion care does so for various causes. Typically contraception fails. Typically a household already has youngsters and is aware of that they can not assist anymore for thus many others. Getting pregnant is difficult and staying pregnant, safely and healthily is even tougher.”

Georgia Rep. Shannon spoke about having an abortion 20 years in the past and going through “important pointless burdens.” Over the past 20 years, she mentioned, “boundaries to accessing abortion care have solely elevated, exacerbating an ongoing public well being disaster outlined by extra maternal deaths growing poverty and higher inequality general.”

“The Dobbs resolution will quantity to structural violence for a lot of communities, however most egregiously for black, brown, indigenous individuals of shade and other people with disabilities, LGBTQ+ individuals and other people dwelling on the intersection of those identities who’ve already sustained centuries of oppression and lack of entry to reproductive freedom,” Shannon mentioned.

Hawley, the one witness invited by Republicans, referred to as Roe “horrible constitutional legislation” and mentioned there’s “no such factor as an undesirable youngster.” She mentioned abortion “treats infants as mere objects, even whereas science establishes that infants are each absolutely alive, and absolutely human.” Hawley additionally mentioned that many firms are “keen” to assist pay for girls to finish their pregnancies however questioned what number of of them provide to pay for diapers, youngster care or allow versatile work schedules.

The Supreme Courtroom overturned Roe in a 5-4 decision on June 24 — almost 50 years after the landmark ruling — in a case it heard on Mississippi’s abortion ban, which the courtroom dominated 6-3 to uphold.

The committee mentioned the listening to will concentrate on the nearly half of states where abortion has been or may soon be banned. It mentioned the listening to may also look at how these restrictions perpetuate “cycles of hostile well being and financial outcomes” and actions proposed by Democrats to guard and develop the proper to an abortion.

The Home is scheduled to vote this week on two abortion rights payments, together with laws to codify the abortion rights that have been assured underneath Roe v. Wade and to bar states from trying to stop women from going out-of-state for abortions, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., mentioned in a letter to her colleagues. Neither invoice has an opportunity of passing within the Senate due to Republican opposition.

In the meantime, the Senate Well being, Schooling, Labor and Pensions Committee is holding the same hearing Wednesday at 10 a.m. ET, with witnesses from varied pro-abortion organizations, together with Deliberate Parenthood.

President Joe Biden signed an government order final week that goals to safeguard entry to reproductive well being care providers, together with abortion and contraception; defend sufferers’ privateness and entry to correct info; and promote the security and safety of sufferers, suppliers and clinics.

Biden and prime Democrats have been urging individuals to end up to vote in November to elect pro-abortion rights candidates and have been warning that Republicans intend to enact a federal abortion ban.