Manchin: bill to codify Roe v. Wade “sensible legislation”

WASHINGTON D.C. (WOAY) – A bill essentially codifying Roe v. Wade was introduced in the United States Senate last week.

The bill has bipartisan support and is being cosponsored by Senators Joe Manchin [D], Tim Kaine [D], Lisa Murkowski [R], Krysten Sinema [I], and Susan Collins [R].

The bill would prohibit states from banning birth control and make abortion legal before the fetus is viable.

A fetus is considered viable when health care practitioners believe there is a “realistic possibility of maintaining and nourishing a life outside the womb.”

The bill emphasizes access to reproductive rights without government interference and cites the congressional right to regulate interstate commerce since reproductive health services “frequently” require travel and shipment of goods across state lines.

Manchin issued a statement today in support of the bill, saying that the overturn of Roe v. Wade abandoned legal precedent and went against the will of the American people.

While Manchin says he himself is pro-life, he does not support the government taking away the rights of women to their own healthcare decisions.

“A majority of Americans support the balanced protections established under Roe v. Wade, and it’s our job to represent the will of the people. Our sensible legislation, the Reproductive Freedom For All Act, would reinstate the fundamental protections women held for five decades. It strikes a commonsense balance between radically different viewpoints on access to reproductive health services and neither expands nor restricts what had been the law of the land,” Manchin said. “I am hopeful Republicans and Democrats will come together to see this important, bipartisan legislation across the finish line.”

West Virginia has a stringent abortion ban that only allows exceptions for the victims of rape and incest in the first eight weeks. Minor victims can seek an abortion for up to 14 weeks. In both cases, the victims must report the crime to law enforcement.

If the bill in the Senate passes, that ban would no longer apply, and any attempts to enforce it would be punishable in state or federal court.

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