Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, announced that the House would adopt the Women’s Health Protection Act of 2021 at the end of September, but it is a bill that faces many difficulties before the Senate.
Pelosi said the House would be tasked with voting on a reproductive rights bill when all lawmakers meet in Washington this month after the U.S. Supreme Court roundly blocked the new six-week abortion ban in the Texas state.
Representative Judy Chu of California introduced the Women’s Health Protection Act of 2021. This law is about guaranteeing the legal right of a pregnant person to abortion. Additionally, it allows health care providers to provide abortion services without so many limitations as to highlight the provision of abortion services. This law faces difficulties that make its approval in the Senate unlikely. Still, the proposed legislation is expected to pass the House with a slim majority.
This bill is a strategy to counter the new Texas law prohibiting abortions after 6 weeks of pregnancy before women even know they are pregnant. Legal and reproductive health experts argue that the single law enforcement mechanism effectively circumvents a pregnant person’s constitutional right to abortion, established in Roe v. Wade, which also aims to invite the public to sue abortion providers and anyone who helps a woman through the abortion process.
Democrats are in the majority by 50 seats in the Senate, but the bill will only pass if it has a minimum of 60 votes to avoid potential obstruction. This is a Senate procedure that allows members to delay or avoid voting on proposed legislation. There is no indication that this law will pass, especially since only two Republican senators have previously supported abortion rights, Senator Susan Collins of Maine and Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.
Congressional Democrats have done everything in their power to codify R.O. v. Wade as an attempt to provide a federal response to bills enacted by the Republican-controlled Texas state legislature that renewed calls for obstructionist reform.
Texas Democrats lobbied Congress this summer to pass a comprehensive federal voting rights bill to prevent Republican attempts.
The U.S. House of Representatives passed the To the People Act in June, but with insufficient support to break obstructionism, the bill died in the Senate.
Earlier this month, Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law a Texas law that further tightens state election laws and restricts local control of elections by limiting the ability of counties to expand voting options.