A bipartisan group of four senators on Monday introduced legislation aimed at codifying abortion rights into federal law, The Hill reports.
Sens. Tim Kaine, D-Virginia, Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, introduced the bill in response to this summer's Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade. It faces an uncertain future since some Democrats fear it is too conservative and some Republicans fear it allows too much.
The Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization decision handed regulation on abortion back to the states after decades under federal control.
"After the Supreme Court gutted a woman’s right to make personal health care decisions, Congress must restore that right," Kaine said in a statement.
The bill would prevent states from passing laws that put an "undue burden" on women trying to obtain abortions in the pre-viability stage, but allow "reasonable" limits on those in the post-viability stage if they do not put the life or health of the mother at risk.
The bill does not define viability or say what would be considered a danger to the life and health of the mother, according to The Hill.
The middle-ground effort comes after a Democrat-only bill failed twice on the Senate floor. That bill, titled the Women's Health Protection Act, would have codified Roe v. Wade and expanded abortion access. All 50 Republicans and Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia voted against it.
Since the Dobbs decision, many conservative states have moved to restrict abortion, including moves to complete bans. Some Democrats fear Republicans want to outlaw contraceptives, and the new bill prevents such actions.
“For five decades, reproductive health care decisions were centered with the individual — we cannot go back in time in limiting personal freedoms for women,” Murkowski said in a statement.
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