House votes to restore abortion rights; Senate passage unlikely

(NewsNation) – The House of Representatives on Friday passed two bills that would restore and guarantee access to abortion nationwide and protect a woman’s right to travel across state lines to receive the procedure.

The House of Representatives voted 219 to 210 to advance the Women’s Health Protection Act and 223 to 205 to ensure access to abortion.

The vote comes as Democrats wait on the Supreme Court’s landmark Roe v. to overthrow Wade, legislate to respond. But both bills are likely to face obstacles in the Senate, where legislative filibuster requires 60 votes to pass, and they stand little chance of becoming law.

Pelosi said she would not negotiate a leaner abortion rights bill that could potentially pass the Senate.

“We will not negotiate a woman’s right to vote. Senators Murkowski and Senator Collins may have their opinions, but it’s not about a woman having the right to decide,” Pelosi said. “So we’re not negotiating that, no.”

One of the two abortion laws passed by the House of Representatives would prohibit punishing a woman or child who decides to travel to another state to have an abortion. It states that physicians cannot be penalized for providing reproductive care outside their home state.

“Congress today has the authority and responsibility to protect people from these unconstitutional efforts, to prevent, restrict, impede or otherwise punish people who travel to another state to obtain a legal abortion, and the healthcare providers to protect,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Friday.

The second House bill, first passed in September but stalled in the Senate, would enshrine access to abortion as protected by federal law. It would also expand the protections Roe previously provided by banning what proponents say are medically unnecessary restrictions blocking access to safe and accessible abortions.

“The law takes Roe v. Wade into the country’s law, protecting it from some of the attacks that have occurred since it was overturned by the Supreme Court,” Pelosi said.

By overthrowing Roe, the court allowed states to enact strict abortion restrictions, which is expected to result in abortion bans in about half of the states.

Ahead of the House vote, Democrats highlighted the case of a 10-year-old girl who was raped and had to cross state lines to Indiana to get an abortion, citing it as an example of how the court’s decision is already having serious consequences .

“We don’t have to imagine why that might matter. We don’t have to conjure up hypotheses. We already know what happened,” Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar said in the Senate on Thursday.

“Should the right of the next little 10-year-old, the right of the 12-year-old, or the right of the 14-year-old to the care they desperately need be jeopardized?”

Republicans strongly opposed the law, praising the Supreme Court’s decision and condemning the bills as extreme.

Oklahoma GOP Senator James Lankford, who supports the introduction of a statewide abortion ban, accused his peers across the aisle of trying to “inflame” the abortion issue. He said supporters of the travel law should ask themselves, “Does the unborn child have the right to travel in its future?”

Washington GOP representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers said Democratic legislation “has nothing to do with protecting women’s health. It has everything to do with imposing an extreme agenda on the American people.”

Only two Senate Republicans, Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins, support abortion rights, but they do not support the Democrats’ proposal, calling it too far-reaching. They have introduced alternative legislation, among other provisions, that would prevent states from placing an “unreasonable burden” on a woman’s ability to obtain an abortion before the viability of the fetus.

At a press conference ahead of the vote, Pelosi joined the White House in urging women to make abortion a key issue in the midterm elections.

“I have no doubts about this administration’s support for a woman’s right to choose and to take the necessary actions to ensure that this is something that is at the core of who we are,” Pelosi said. “It’s about freedom, it’s about health care, it’s about respect for women. And that’s something the President is married to.”

The Hill and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

Read the full article here House votes to restore abortion rights; Senate passage unlikely

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