US House Passes Bill Ensuring Abortion Access

© REUTERS / KEVIN LAMARQUEHouse Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks during a news conference about the House vote on H.R. 3755, the "Women's Health Protection Act" legislation to "establish a federally protected right to abortion access" at the Capitol in Washington, U.S., September 24, 2021
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks during a news conference about the House vote on H.R. 3755, the Women's Health Protection Act legislation to establish a federally protected right to abortion access at the Capitol in Washington, U.S., September 24, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 24.09.2021
The US has seen intense debate and squabbles over reproductive rights. In Texas, a new GOP-sponsored law prohibits abortions after the sixth week, which will effectively end abortion in the state. The US Supreme Court is also set to hear a Republican Mississippi abortion law case in which the justices will be asked to overturn Roe v. Wade.
The US House of Representatives on Friday passed legislation guaranteeing an American's right to have an abortion, with the bill dubbed the Women’s Health Protection Act.
Even though the Women's Health Protection Act (WHPA) is backed by the White House, observers suggest that it is unlikely to pass in the Senate because a large number of Republicans oppose the rights of women to manage their own bodies. For the legislation to make it through the Senate, it will need at least 60 votes.
In the House of Representatives, however, the initiative, introduced by Dem. Rep. Judy Chu was greenlighted in a 218-211 vote. Expectedly, all Republicans in the House opposed the measure.
If passed in the Senate, the act would codify the right to receive an abortion, nationwide.
This precedent, however, is to be challenged in the US Supreme Court, with justices being asked to overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling, when they hear a case in regard to Mississippi abortion laws in December. Currently, the Magnolia State allows abortions before the 15th week, instead of 24 weeks allowed under Roe v. Wade. Exceptions are "only in medical emergencies or for severe fetal abnormality", without no mention of impregnation by rape or incest.
While the White House has urged the Supreme Court to uphold Roe v. Wade and thus strike down the Mississippi abortion law, others, like Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch, insist that the precedent is "egregiously wrong" and should be overturned.
Another abortion-related legislation that prompted waves of backlash is a GOP-sponsored Texas abortion law called the Heartbeat Act, which goes even further and bans abortions after the sixth week. Under ordinary health conditions, most women will not recognise they are pregnant before this time, so many have concluded that the new law has banned all abortions in the Lone Star state.
The Republican-sponsored Heartbeat Act was one of the factors that encouraged the White House to back the Women’s Health Protection Act.
"In the wake of Texas’ unprecedented attack, it has never been more important to codify this constitutional right and to strengthen health care access for all women, regardless of where they live," the White House said on Monday.
Ahead of the House vote, Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that the new legislation was "about freedom of women to have a choice, that the size and timing of their families is not the business of people on the court or members of Congress."
Not everyone agrees, as GOP Representative Marjorie Taylor-Greene, who almost started a squabble with the Democratic lawmakers, lambasted the new legislation shortly after it was passed in the House.

“Killing a baby up until birth is a lack of civility. It’s called murder", she is heard shouting on the congressional steps.

Another Republican House Representative, David Valadao, opposed the new act, suggesting that it "removes nearly all pro-life protections for the unborn and overrides existing laws against late-term abortions."
House representatives immediately took to social media to celebrate new legislation that will "safeguard [one's] liberty" to control their own bodies and ensure access to "health care... that includes the full range of reproductive care services."
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