Democrats have once again preempted Republicans on the issue of women's health, this week introducing in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate, the Women's Health Protection Act. In response to an unprecedented level of attacks on women’s reproductive health over the past few years, the Women’s Health Protection Act would create federal protections against state restrictions on abortion that do not advance women’s health and safety but actually create barriers to women accessing a safe and legal medical procedure that also is constitutionally protected.
The Act currently has more than 30 senators and nearly 60 House members as sponsors who are all Democrats. As a Republican this saddens me because respecting a women’s right to access quality reproductive health care should not be a partisan issue. I joined the GOP because of its roots being firmly in personal responsibility, individual liberty, and freedom without government intrusion, nothing about supporting women’s health rights takes away from those three tenets of the party, which used to be a big tent.
Republican co-sponsorship of the Women’s Health Protection Act would send a signal that they care about women's health and are not going to let politicians interfere with women’s personal health care decisions. A bipartisan bill could do nothing but help a political party that continues to suffer from a major gender gap while it also ensures that a woman’s constitutional rights don’t depend on her zip code.
Republicans in the House and Senate should step up and show they care about women's health by supporting these bills and demonstrating that "compassionate conservatism" that the party once so proudly trumpeted.