The text of the bill says its purpose is to “permit health care providers to provide abortion services without limitations or requirements.”
The bill, if signed into law, would have guaranteed abortion remains legal even if the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.
The Biden administration endorsed the bill last year.
Pro-life groups celebrated its defeat.
“We thank all our pro-life Senate allies who spoke out about the extremism of this atrocious bill and helped defeat it,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List.
The bill, Dannenfelser said, would “enshrine an unlimited abortion ‘right’ in federal law and block common ground pro-life laws around the country, including limits on late-term abortions when unborn babies feel pain, bans on lethal discrimination abortions, and many more.”
The bill explicitly says it “supersedes” all state laws. Under the bill, abortion laws and regulations are illegal if they “do not significantly advance reproductive health or the safety of abortion services.” The bill notes that “since 2011, States and local governments have passed nearly 500 restrictions” on abortion.
Supporters called it the Women’s Health Protection Act, while some pro-life groups dubbed it the Abortion on Demand Until Birth Act.
“Despite contending to be about women’s health, the so-called ‘Women’s Health Protection Act’ would have endangered women and unborn babies by prohibiting most – if not all – of the reasonable state regulations on abortion currently in place,” said Denise Burke, senior counsel of Alliance Defending Freedom. “This legislation was just the latest example of the extreme lengths to which congressional Democrats will go to cater to abortionists.”