Latest News 15-05-2024 12:02 5 Views

Dems say Katie Britt’s new bill would create ‘database of pregnant women’

Shortly after it was introduced, Democrats quickly condemned a new Republican bill that aims to compile resources on a government website for expecting mothers, postpartum women and young mothers. They alleged that it was a covert attempt to establish a 'database of pregnant women,' potentially enabling the government to block access to abortions.

The More Opportunities for Moms to Succeed Act, which was shortened to the MOMS Act, was introduced by Sen. Katie Britt, the Alabama Republican who made headlines for her response to the State of the Union speech this year. The MOMS Act would establish a government-run website, pregnancy.gov, intended to be a go-to resource for mothers and pregnant women as they seek support through the various stages of both pregnancy and early motherhood.

There is currently a government website for abortion resources, ReproductiveRights.gov. The site routes women to AbortionFinder.org, telling visitors that it can assist with obtaining 'abortion funds.' The site provides information on rights to abortions, where to find legal help, and points them toward the Justice Department's Reproductive Rights Task Force.

Pregnancy.gov would be 'a clearinghouse of relevant resources available for pregnant and postpartum women, and women parenting young children,' per the bill. The site would ask for a woman's zip code in order to find local resources and populate them for her. It would additionally include 'a mechanism for users to take an assessment through the website and provide consent to use the user’s contact information, which the [Department of Health and Human Services secretary] may use to conduct outreach via phone or email to follow up with users on additional resources that would be helpful for the users to review.'

Democratic National Committee Chair Jaime Harrison slammed the proposal, writing on X, formerly Twitter, 'So she creates a database of pregnant women, so Trump then knows who to prosecute if any of those women get an abortion.'

'Yet another example of why this election is fundamental to protecting your liberty & freedoms!' he added. 

Democrat lawmakers echoed the claim made by the DNC chair. Senate President Pro Tempore Patty Murray, D-Wash., wrote on X that the measure is 'a dystopian proposal to track, intimidate, & coerce pregnant women into carrying their pregnancies to term, no matter their circumstances.'

'It is a dangerous road map for how the GOP would weaponize the government to control women's bodies,' she wrote.

Rep. Dan Goldman, D-N.Y., attacked the bill as 'horrific' and that 'Rs are already escalating their authoritarian repression of reproductive freedom – calling for a pregnancy database and funding for anti-abortion centers,' referencing the crisis pregnancy centers that could be eligible for grants under the measure.

Crisis pregnancy centers are organizations that usually provide emotional and financial support to women, among other things. The centers are known for encouraging women to seek out non-abortion alternatives and often providing support for women to do so.

Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, lobbed the same criticism, calling the bill 'hypocritical' because many Republicans oppose 'a national firearm registry.'

Britt hit back at the critics, telling Fox News Digital in a statement, 'The desperate Democrat smear campaign against the MOMS Act is shameful but not surprising.'

'Instead of being a part of a commonsense solution that would help vulnerable women, children, and families, some on the left would apparently rather fearmonger and spread intentionally false disinformation in a blindly partisan attempt to demonize their political opponents,' she said.

The proposed legislation is co-led by Sens. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., and co-sponsored by Sens. Roger Marshall, R-Kan., Steve Daines, R-Mont., Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., Jerry Moran, R-Kan., Thom Tillis, R-N.C., Eric Schmitt, R-Mo., Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, Mike Rounds, R-S.D., Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and James Lankford, R-Okla.

A review by Fox News Digital found that nowhere in the bill text is any language authorizing the construction of a so-called 'database' of pregnant women. And it is not explicitly written that any woman must indicate whether she is pregnant or not, as the site purports it will provide resources for postpartum women and mothers with young children.

According to language in the legislation, there is no compulsory element mandating women to visit the site or provide their zip code, email or phone number, as the idea of a pregnancy database might imply.

If Britt's measure were to become law, it would not be the first government website to prompt visitors for location or contact information. Healthcare.gov, for example, asks visitors for their home state, email and data policy consent before taking any other action on the site.

Furthermore, when the secretary is tasked under the proposal with preparing a report on the website's usefulness to Congress, they would be specifically prohibited from including 'any personal identifying information regarding individuals who have used the website.'

'These claims are intentionally false and dangerous,' top Pro-Life organization Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America told Fox News Digital in a statement. 

'We encourage everyone to read the bill, which provides a database of help for women, not a database of women. Women’s privacy is expressly protected,' the statement continued. 

'Any claims to the contrary are nothing but a cynical attempt to distract from the Democrats' obsession with abortion and their relentless attacks on charities that help women,' per the SBA Pro-Life America statement. 

Advancing American Freedom, an organization started by former Vice President Mike Pence, also weighed in on the false claims spread regarding the legislation. AAF Policy Director John Shelton told Fox News Digital, 'The abortion industry tipped its hand when it made baseless smears against Senator Britt’s MOMS Act.'

'Planned Parenthood would rather force hopeful mothers into abortions than ensure they have access to pregnancy resource centers and child support as they seek to raise their kids,' he continued, noting the measure's provision for child support to be accessible during pregnancy.


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