House passes abortion rights bill in response to restrictive Texas law

House passes abortion rights bill in response to restrictive Texas law

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks at a press conference on the House vote on HR 3755, the “Women’s Health Protection Act” for ” establish a federally protected abortion right ”Washington, United States On Capitol Hill, September 24, 2021.

Kevin Lamarck | Reuters

House Democrats on Friday approved sweeping legislation to protect abortion rights, a swift but mostly symbolic response to the Supreme Court’s refusal to block a Texas law banning most abortions.

The bill, which passed 218-211, is primarily a show of solidarity, noting that the bill, the Women’s Health Protection Act, will face strong opposition from Republicans in the United States. Senate and should not go through the chamber.

Democrats believe the bill would secure abortion rights through federal law and the ruling in Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 Supreme Court decision that established a constitutional right to procedure.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Moved quickly to follow through on the bill earlier this month after the High Court refused to block a controversial Texas law that bans abortions after nearly six weeks. before they get pregnant.

Specifically, Texas law states that doctors cannot perform an abortion if a fetal heartbeat can be detected, an activity that typically begins around six weeks gestation. This law came into force on September 1.

Texas law makes no exceptions for pregnancy to result in rape or incest, and is unprecedented in employing private citizens to prosecute anyone who treats her or “helps and encourages her. “.

Pelosi made the comments Friday morning ahead of the bill’s passage and severely reprimanded the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision earlier this month. Judges who voted not to block the law focused on procedural issues and stressed that they had yet to judge the constitutionality of the law.

“It’s about freedom. It is about the freedom of women to make choices about the size and timing of their families, not people’s occupations. [Supreme] Members of the Court or of Congress, ”declared the President of the Chamber.

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Representative Pramila Jayapal, Washington Democrat and chair of the Progressive Caucus, said she had aborted and urged fellow lawmakers not to criminalize the procedure.

“One in four women in the United States has an abortion. I’m one of them, ”she said. “Ending my pregnancy, Madam Speaker, was not an easy choice for me. But it was my choice. It’s time for everyone to save it.

Despite its long chances in the Senate, the House-approved bill could fuel Democrats midway through 2022 and be a strong point for voters who see the recent Supreme Court ruling as an erosion of rights, which , of course, there are several laws.

Republicans, including Representative Julia Letlow of Louisiana, opposed the bill ahead of the House vote, arguing it went beyond Rowe’s decision.

In particular, GOP members say the bill undermines their ability to regulate abortion. They also argue that the measure would prevent states from introducing measures to make abortion safer and result in many more procedures in the later stages of pregnancy.

“As a woman, and more importantly a mother of two, I feel uniquely qualified to speak out about this,” Letlow said at the House Table.

“The legislation before us is possibly the most extreme abortion measure Congress has ever considered,” she said. “It would reverse the countless protections for unborn children that states have already put in place. “

The tightly Democratic-controlled Senate cannot accept the bill because it is unclear whether a majority in the House supports it.

Two Democrats, Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Senator Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, have not joined the rest of their aides in supporting the Senate version of the bill and are expected to oppose it. Susan Collins, a Republican from Maine who has supported abortion rights in the past, has reportedly said she will not support the bill in its current form.

Even if the Democrats managed to win a majority in the Senate together, it is almost certain that the Republicans will dismiss the bill and prevent it from going forward with less than 60 votes.

A group of abortion providers and advocates on Thursday asked the Supreme Court to immediately review their challenge to the Texas law.

Instead of trying again to temporarily block Texas law, Thursday’s petition asked the Supreme Court to seek a reconsideration of their case. Abortion rights advocates have urged the High Court to deal with the case quickly, rather than wait for a final decision from the appeals court.

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