Blumenthal tells Congress to invalidate state abortion restrictions

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) called on Congress to pass a bill that would invalidate state laws and regulations restricting abortions.

On the 41st anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision, Blumenthal said “anti-choice extremists” were still pushing “unconscionable and unconstitutional” state statutes designed to restrict a woman’s right to choose.

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“We cannot allow such unconstitutional laws to stand between women and their doctors — preventing them from making personal decisions about their healthcare based on their own values and privacy rights,” Blumenthal said in a press release Wednesday. “My hope is that Congress will pass The Women’s Health Protection Act – legislation … that would invalidate regulations and laws intended to restrict a woman’s right to choose or access other reproductive health services.”

Blumenthal introduced S. 1696 in November. The bill would deem state restrictions, such as requiring multiple medical visits before obtaining an abortion, unlawful.

The same day, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) announced that the House would vote next week on legislation that would ban the use of taxpayer funds for abortion.

Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) joined Blumenthal in criticizing Republicans for making 2013 a “record-breaking” year in terms of state legislatures passing abortion restrictions.

“And if this week’s conversation being held by national Republicans is any indication, it appears the extreme right-wing of this country has no intention of letting up after their record-breaking year attacking women,” Murray said.