Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders took to Twitter on Wednesday to tell his followers that “abortion is a constitutional right.”
Abortion is a constitutional right.
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) May 15, 2019
The Democratic presidential candidate did not unpack his statement, though his tweet comes as a series of abortion bills that limit the circumstances under which a woman can receive an abortion have gained support to become law in states such as Georgia, Alabama and Ohio have made national headlines.
Since the 1973 Supreme Court decision of Roe v. Wade, abortion has been legal in the United States. Many individual states, however, have enacted legislation to restrict access to abortion and to limit the time during which an abortion can be secured.
The most recent example was the passage Tuesday of the “Human Life Protection Act” by the Alabama Senate. The bill would effectively ban all abortions in the state — with the exception of the case when an abortion is assessed to be necessary “in order to prevent a serious health risk.”
Abortion providers would face up to 99 years in prison for contravening the law. (RELATED: Alabama Rep Argues For Abortion Access: ‘Kill Them Now Or Kill Them Later’)
In February, Missouri passed a law that would ban abortions when a fetal heartbeat is detected — popularly known as a “heartbeat bill” (or law, in this case). Last week, the Ohio General Assembly passed similar legislation to the governor’s desk, and in Georgia, Gov. Brian Kemp signed another heartbeat bill into law.
While many states are advancing pro-life policies, however, the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives is promoting pro-abortion policies. Democrats want to repeal the Hyde Amendment that prevents taxpayer dollars being spent on most abortions and they have also moved to restore funding for overseas abortions.
President Donald Trump has been a friend of the pro-life movement, nominating pro-life judges and passionately condemning the practice of late-term abortion during his last State of the Union address. (RELATED: Why Are So Many Democrats Supporting Or Quiet On Late-Term Abortion? They Owe A Lot To Planned Parenthood)
“To defend the dignity of every person, I am asking the Congress to pass legislation to prohibit the late-term abortion of children who can feel pain in the mother’s womb,” Trump said.
Most Democrats in the House sat on their hands when Trump made his comments. A notable exception was West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin.