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Local party leaders weigh in on Women’s Health Protection Act

Published: Sep. 25, 2021 at 7:42 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - On Friday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Women’s Health Protection Act by a narrow margin of 218-211. The bill would codify Roe V. Wade and protect women’s access to abortion across the country.

On Saturday, WHSV talked with two local party leaders to get their thoughts on the highly debated bill.

“This bill moves forward what the American people want, a wide majority of Americans support safe access to reproductive care for women,” said Alleyn Harned, the Chair of the Harrisonburg Democratic Committee. “This bill would allow and enable further safe access to these care services that are needed by the American population and that are limited to folks of low income and means to travel. This would directly benefit areas like Harrisonburg, which has a variety of income levels.”

The bill would essentially counteract the controversial abortion bans in Texas and Mississippi, which Harned said is much needed.

“In Texas, the law prohibits a rape victim from getting an abortion, and it criminalizes her. It essentially establishes a fine of at least $10,000 to a rape victim. That’s insane,” he said.

Area Republicans, however, are critical of the bill saying it creates more problems than it solves.

“It opens up a lot of areas for more informed consent, waiting times for abortions, less contact with doctors, and mail in for abortion drugs without any real doctors consent or discussion,” said Daryl Borgquist, the Chair of the Rockingham County Republican Party.

Borgquist said among other problems, the bill is an example of overreach by the federal government.

“This goes at stripping the states of all rights in health care laws for women, it removes some of the waiting period for abortion, it removes requirements for parental involvement,” he said.

Sixth district Republican Congressman Ben Cline voted against the bill, which now goes to the Senate where it is unlikely to pass.

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