The U.S. House of Representatives on Friday passed two bills aimed at restoring abortion rights after the U.S. Supreme Court on June 24 overturned Roe v. Wade, which had protected the constitutional right to terminate a pregnancy in the first three months of pregnancy since 1973.
The first of these new laws is called the Women’s Health Protection Act, and seeks to establish the legal right for women who wish to terminate their pregnancies to receive medical care and abortion services.
The House of Representatives has given the ‘green light’ to this law with 219 votes in favor and 210 against -no member of the Republican Party has voted in favor-, so now it will be up to the Senate to ratify it.
The second legislative proposal is the so-called ‘Abortion Access Guarantee Act’, which seeks to counteract the efforts of some state governments to prohibit travel to other parts of the United States where abortion is legal.
Thus, it seeks to ensure that no person acting under state law can prevent or retaliate against a person who crosses state borders to receive abortion services, according to the U.S. news network ABC.
This proposal has been approved by 223 members of the House of Representatives, while 205 others have positioned themselves against it.
However, despite coming out ahead in the lower house, the Democratic Party needs the support of at least ten Republicans in the Senate – where each party currently has 50 senators each – for the bills to receive the majority needed to finally be approved.
Since that controversial judicial decision, the Democratic Party, to which U.S. President Joe Biden belongs, has reinforced its political discourse on abortion rights in the hope that this issue will mobilize the more progressive electorate in the mid-term elections next November.
«We must make sure that the American people remember in November, because with two more Democratic senators, we can eliminate obstructionism when it comes to a woman’s right to choose and make reproductive freedom the law of the land,» remarked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
«It is outrageous that 50 years later, women must again fight for our most basic rights against an extremist court and the Republican Party (…) Democrats are honoring the basic truth: women’s most intimate health decisions are theirs,» Pelosi said.
Already last week President Biden signed an executive order to defend abortion for American women and took the opportunity to call the Supreme Court ruling «extreme» and «totally wrong».
The order urges the Department of Health to take measures to guarantee access to abortion medication, seeks to increase the protection of health care providers who perform these practices within the framework of the ‘Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act’, as well as the privacy of patients and to reinforce awareness campaigns in public centers.
Biden pointed in the same direction as Pelosi and invited citizens in the mid-term elections to elect members of Congress who have come out in favor of supporting federal laws that protect the right to abortion.