The United States House of Representatives is preparing to vote on a bill that would “enshrine” the right to an abortion into federal law. In effect, the act would codify the Supreme Court’s 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade.
The announcement that the House will vote on the “Women’s Health Protection Act” (WHPA) comes on the heels of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision not to block Texas’ Heartbeat Bill, which prohibits abortions after six weeks gestation, as legal proceedings play out.
The Daily Citizen reported on the Supreme Court’s decision, writing that even though it doesn’t have any effect on the future of Roe, it does mean that “babies’ lives will be saved on a daily basis unless and until a future court rules otherwise.”
Following the court’s decision, Planned Parenthoods in Texas were cancelling appointments for abortions.
Should the WHPA become law, it would override all state pro-life laws including “mandatory waiting periods … counseling, two-trip requirements, and mandatory ultrasounds.”
According to the text of the WHPA, the bill says abortion providers and woman cannot be subject to “a prohibition on abortion at any point or points in time prior to fetal viability, including a prohibition or restriction on a particular abortion procedure.”
And as The Daily Citizen previously noted, the bill would also “force all American taxpayers to fund abortions.”
In a strongly worded statement announcing a future vote on the WHPA, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi derided the Supreme Court’s decision as “cowardly” and “radically partisan.” She also described the Texas law as a “flagrantly unconstitutional assault on women’s rights and health.”
“Upon our return, the House will bring up Congresswoman Judy Chu’s Women’s Health Protection Act to enshrine into law reproductive health care for all women across America,” the speaker added.
Lawmakers will return to Washington, D.C. on September 20. The WHPA stands a good chance of passing the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives.
However, it faces nearly impossible odds in the evenly divided Senate, where Democrats and Republicans each hold 50 seats. The bill would need the support of 60 senators to pass in that chamber.
Should the WHPA ever become law, there is also a question of whether the bill would hold up in court with the lawsuits that would be sure to follow.
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