The House passed the Women’s Health Protection Act on Friday. The bill is directed at preserving nationwide access to abortion rights as it gets threatened by Republican rights across the country. This is relevant as Texas has signed into law a measure in May that would prohibit abortions from as early as 6 weeks into pregnancy.
The Texas law is especially objectionable as it would ban abortion from a time when most women don’t even realize they are pregnant or have missed a period. The Texas law seeks to ban abortion if a fetal heartbeat is detectable.
In a surprising move, even the US Supreme Court had not acted on emergency requests to stop the law from taking effect from the beginning of this month. Despite court challenges, it had allowed the policy to go ahead.
President Biden Had Branded Texan Law ‘Extreme’, And Thus The Women’s Health Protection Act
President Biden had called the law ‘extreme.’ He had said that it ‘blatantly violates’ a constitutional right and vowed to defend and protect that right. The US Justice Dept. has already filed a lawsuit to block the Texas bill.
But the new Women’s Health Protection Act would override the anti-abortion law in force in Texas and several other Republican states. the bill was passed in the votes largely along party lines. Democratic Representative from Texas, Henry Cuellar voted along with the Republicans against the bill which went 218-211.
But the Women’s Health Protection Act bill will face opposition in the US Senate from the Republicans. Women in the US have for decades had the right to abortion services under a landmark ruling in the Supreme Court in the Roe vs. Wade case.
But an unprecedented conservative majority on the court threatens to overturn the judicial precedent. The Conservatives have a 6-3 majority.
The proposed new Women’s Health Protection Act is aimed at creating the right to abortion in federal law. This first-time step would make it difficult for states and courts to restrict the right to abortion.
Democratic lawmaker Rep. Jackie Speier, who championed the proposed bill said that the nation could face an uprising if the rights are not codified into law. She called upon her Senate colleagues to do the same.