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Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY)

WASHINGTON, D.C. (LifeSiteNews) – On February 28, the Democrat-controlled U.S. Senate will vote on legislation that would enshrine abortion-on-demand in federal law, forcing states to allow the practice to go on virtually unregulated regardless of what the U.S. Supreme Court may say about Roe v. Wade.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York has scheduled the so-called Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA) for a cloture vote after the upcoming legislative recess. Under current Senate rules, the bill would have to receive 60 votes before a final passage vote decided by a simple majority.

Last December, the nation’s highest court heard oral arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which concerns Mississippi’s ban on committing abortions past 15 weeks for any reason other than physical medical emergencies or severe fetal abnormalities. Abortion defenders argue it violates the judicially-created “right” to pre-viability abortions; pro-lifers hope the case will finally lead to the reversal of the 1973 Roe precedent.

Last May, Democrats reintroduced the WHPA in the U.S. House of Representatives, purportedly to prepare for such a future, though it would go much further than granting the tenets of Roe statutory legitimacy.

The bill, which has been repeatedly introduced over the years without success, establishes a federal statutory right to perform and obtain abortions, including after fetal viability (under the broad cover of “health”), and specifically forbids states from subjecting abortion to ultrasound requirements (even though these are standard to discern fetal age), mandatory waiting periods, informed-consent requirements, and other health and safety regulations, such as admitting privileges.

The WHPA also protects so-called “webcam” abortions (i.e., dispensing abortion pills without an in-person doctor’s visit), forbids banning abortions on the basis of a baby’s race, sex, or disability, and forbids banning particular techniques such as dilation and evacuation (D&E) procedures, better known as “dismemberment” abortions because they entail literally ripping unborn babies apart in the womb, then removing them from the uterus limb by limb.

The House voted 218-211 in September to pass the WHPA, which has the support of President Joe Biden. However, the vote is likely to be little more than a symbolic gesture for Democrats’ left-wing base, since the Senate is evenly-divided between Republicans and Democrats, and therefore would need at least ten Republicans to join every Democrat for it to pass under current rules.

Abolishing the legislative filibuster would enable the bill to pass with a simple majority, but Democrat Sens. Kyrsten Sinema and Mark Kelly of Arizona, and Joe Machin of West Virginia, are not in favor of going that far, to the frustration of left-wing activists.

In the meantime, the vote offers Americans an illustration of Democrats’ intentions for the country should they keep the House and presidency and expand their Senate majority, an illustration pro-lifers will be sure to highlight in campaigning for this fall’s midterm congressional elections.