Let us pray that this becomes law!
Excerpts from the Article:
The House on Friday passed legislation that would create a statutory right for health-care professionals to provide abortions, amid an intensifying legal battle over a Texas law that is the most restrictive in the nation.
H.R. 3755, the Women’s Health Protection Act, was approved by the Democratic-controlled House 218 to 211, but faces tough odds in the evenly divided Senate.
The measure states that health-care providers have a statutory right to provide, and patients have a right to receive, abortion services without any number of limitations that states and opponents of the procedure have sought to impose.
The measure would essentially codify Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision guaranteeing the right to abortion before viability, usually around 22 to 24 weeks.
The new Texas law, which took effect Sept. 1 after the Supreme Court refused to immediately block its enforcement, bans abortions as early as six weeks into pregnancy and makes no exceptions for rape, sexual abuse or incest.
The law allows private citizens to file civil lawsuits against anyone who helps a woman in Texas terminate her pregnancy. It was deliberately designed to avoid judicial scrutiny by barring state officials, who would typically be the target of lawsuits, from enforcing the ban.
Abortion rights proponents fear the most serious threats to the landmark law in nearly a half century, with Mississippi asking the conservative Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade to allow the state’s restrictions on abortion access. The Mississippi law would ban most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.
Democrats see a political issue that has the potential to galvanize female voters ahead of the 2022 midterm elections.
Rep. Beth Van Duyne (R-Tex.) held a doll of a baby in fetal position. Rep. Sylvia Garcia (D-Tex.) waved a wire coat hanger in the air and declared that “we will not go back” to the days of back-alley abortions. Speier spoke about her own second-term abortion, which she first revealed on the House floor a decade ago. Rep. David Schweikert (R-Ariz.) spoke about being adopted, reuniting with his birth mother and later adopting a daughter himself.
Pelosi defended the House legislation at a Thursday news conference, telling reporters that supporters of Roe have long sought to codify the decision but haven’t been able to in recent years because they lacked unified Democratic control of Congress and the White House. “And now we do,” Pelosi said. “Every woman everywhere has a constitutional right to basic reproductive health. Yet for years, that has been questioned by some.” She pointed to the Texas law in particular, describing it as an “un-American” measure that achieves its goal through the deployment of “vigilantes and bounty hunters.”
Public polling shows a majority of Americans support the right to abortion in most instances. A Monmouth University poll this week showed that 62 percent of Americans say abortion should be either always legal or legal with some limitations. Those figures had changed little from a survey the university conducted two years ago.
After declining for weeks to say whether Biden would support the House measure, the White House said Monday that it “strongly supports” the legislation, declaring, “We will not allow this country to go backwards on women’s equality.”
“The constitutional rights of women are essential to the health, safety, and progress of our nation,” the White House said in a statement of administration policy. “Our daughters and granddaughters deserve the same rights that their mothers and grandmothers fought for and won — and that a clear majority of the American people support.”
Alan Braid, a San Antonio physician, stepped forward last week to say that he had performed an abortion for a woman who was in the early stages of a pregnancy but beyond the state’s new limit. Braid is now being sued by three private citizens, in what may become a key test of the Texas ban’s constitutionaltiy.