House Democrats Vote to Establish Federal Right to Abortion

The U.S. House of Representatives voted at the end of last week to establish a federal right to abortion. The move comes as a response to the Supreme Court’s refusal to block a Texas law that effectively bans all abortions in the state. 

The Women’s Health and Protection Act was approved by the House, passing largely along party lines. The bill would protect abortion services at the federal level. 

The legislation is part of the strategy to push back against state law proposals set to restrict, or nearly completely ban, abortions. It comes on the heals of a Texas law that bans abortions, with zero exception, after about the six week pregnancy — which is before the majority of women know that they are pregnant.

The law aims to eliminate abortions in Texas by circumventing the landmark Supreme Court decision from Roe v Wade that legalized abortion at a federal level.

Other Republican states are also in the midst attempting to pass laws that would restrict abortions further. 

Mississippi, for example, seeks to ban abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, which is seen as a direct attack against Roe. 

Reproductive rights activists and protectors warn that the Supreme Court may attempt to further rollback, or even dismantle, Roe. 

Next up in the vote to approve the Women’s Health and Protection Act is the Senate. Because most Republican lawmakers oppose abortions, it’s expected that Republican senators will vote along their party lines. Therefore, it’s not expected to pass the evenly divided Senate. At least 10 Republicans are needed to pass the legislation.

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