Republican lawmakers are introducing pro-life legislation ahead of the March for Life aimed at protecting babies with Down syndrome and stopping college campuses from distributing abortion pills to students.
Introduced by Republican Texas Rep. Chip Roy in the House and Republican Montana Sen. Steve Daines in the Senate, the Protecting Life on College Campus Act of 2023 would prohibit “the award of federal funds to an institution of higher education that hosts or is affiliated with a student-based service site that provides abortion drugs or abortions” to students or university employees.
“A college dorm room is no place to have a do-it-yourself abortion, and the American taxpayer should not be paying for the destruction of innocent human life on our college campuses,” Roy told The Daily Signal in a statement. “But, as we already know, what the abortion industry really cares about are profits—not the welfare of mothers or the integrity of higher learning.”
Colleges or universities that provide abortion drugs or abortions to students of the institution would be barred from receiving federal funding under the legislation, and to remain eligible for federal funds, colleges and universities with “school based service sites” would submit annual reports to the secretaries of the Education and Health Departments “certifying that no such site provides abortion drugs or abortions” to students or employees.
The term abortion drug, according to the legislation, means any drug or substance used to intentionally kill an unborn child or to end the pregnancy with an intention other than producing a live birth, removing a deceased unborn child, or treating an ectopic pregnancy.
“Unfortunately, the state of California now requires every public university in the state to provide abortions to their students,” Roy added on Thursday. “The Protecting Life on College Campus[es] Act is about guarding young college women and their unborn children from the predatory abortion industry’s radical and reckless push for universal access to abortions.”
The Protecting Life on College Campus Act of 2023 is supported by a number of pro-life and pro-family groups, including former Vice President Mike Pence’s Advancing American Freedom, which included the legislation in its “Future of Freedom” roadmap to promoting human dignity and religious freedom.
“Chemical abortions present severe complications such as hemorrhaging, infection, and physical and emotional trauma, and students should be protected from these dangerous drugs,” Marilyn Musgrave, vice president of Susan B. Anthony List Pro-Life America, said in a statement. “As the Biden administration continues to strip away life-saving regulations on chemical abortion, legislators across the country are working hard to safeguard moms and babies in their states.”
Daines also introduced the Protecting Individuals with Down Syndrome Act, which makes it illegal for a doctor to knowingly perform an abortion because the baby has or might have Down Syndrome. If the doctor wonders if Down syndrome is a contributing factor, the legislation would require the doctor to first ask the mother if she is aware of a test result showing her child has Down syndrome and to let her know about the law.
“Every life is created with God-given dignity and potential—no matter how small or how many chromosomes they may have,” Daines said in a statement. “We are making great strides to build a culture of life in America but there is more work to be done. Now more than ever it’s critical we continue our fight on the federal level to be a voice for the most vulnerable and protect young moms from the dangers of do-it-yourself chemical abortions.”
The bill also would protect the mother from prosecution but impose fines or imprisonment of up to five years on the abortion doctors who violated the law.
The legislation comes ahead of the 50th annual March for Life, which will take place on Friday. It is the first March for Life since the historic overturn of Roe v. Wade in June.
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