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 BaldwinThe Hill's Morning Report — Mueller Time: Dems, GOP ready questions for high-stakes testimony Overnight Health Care — Presented by PCMA — Judge upholds Trump expansion of non-ObamaCare plans | Williamson says she believes in vaccines | House committee to hold oversight hearing on Juul The Hill's Morning Report: Trump walks back from 'send her back' chants 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.

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 FudgeHere are the 95 Democrats who voted to support impeachment New York bans discrimination against natural hair Democrats already jockeying for House leadership posts 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.