Democrats announce 'historic pro-choice' bill

A group of Democrats is hoping to regain ground in their national fight for abortion rights with a bill that makes it illegal for states to “chip away at women’s reproductive rights.”

The group, led by Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Tammy BaldwinTammy Suzanne BaldwinIt's time for Congress to establish a national mental health crisis number The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Better Medicare Alliance - Dems unveil impeachment measure; Vindman splits GOP The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Better Medicare Alliance - Dems shift strategy on impeachment vote MORE (D-Wis.), said it will introduce a “historic pro-choice bill” on Wednesday. The bill directly targets harsh laws recently passed in Texas and Wisconsin, which now face court challenges.

“The protections in this measure are more necessary now than ever before in our history because an avalanche of restrictive, reprehensible state laws is drastically reducing fundamental health care rights,” Blumenthal wrote in a statement.

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Legislative attacks on abortion have spiked since the Republican wave election of 2010, when the party made gains in state legislatures around the country.

Since then, more than 200 new abortion rules have passed through state legislatures.

Nationally, the number of abortion clinics has shrunk by nearly one-quarter over the last five years, with 60 facilities shuttered in 2014, according to research by the anti-abortion rights group Operation Rescue.

The abortion debate is already taking center stage on Capitol Hill this week. The Republican-led bill to ban abortions after 20 weeks is slated for a vote Thursday, the same day that thousands of people will rally on the Mall for the March for Life.

The bill and the anti-abortion rally were both timed to take place on the anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court case establishing abortion rights, Roe v. Wade.

The group of Democrats said the bill would ban laws imposing “unnecessary, extreme measures” that make it more difficult for doctors to perform abortions and more difficult for women to obtain them.

Rep. Marcia FudgeMarcia Louise FudgeHillicon Valley: Zuckerberg to testify on Libra | Extremists find home on Telegram app | Warren blasts Facebook for not removing anti-Biden ad | California outlaws facial recognition in police body cameras | China rips US tech sanctions House Democrats introduce new legislation to combat foreign election interference Harris wins endorsement of former CBC Chairwoman Marcia Fudge MORE (D), who will co-sponsor the bill in the House, said state legislation has “diminished access to essential reproductive care,” including in her home state of Ohio.

“These burdensome and unlawful regulations do nothing to protect a woman’s health or safety,” she wrote in a statement.

The Democrats will hold a press conference on Wednesday announcing the legislation.