Politics /

House Passes Bills That Would Codify Abortion and Make it Illegal for Clinics to Refuse to Perform Procedure on Out-of-State Patients

At least one of the bills is unlikely to make it through the Senate


The House passed two bills on Friday that would codify abortion access nationwide and prohibit abortion providers in legal states from refusing to perform the procedure on people travelling from a banned state.

The bills come in response to the Supreme Court’s ruling which overturned Roe v. Wade.

The first bill, the Women’s Health Protection Act, would federally “protect a person’s ability to determine whether to continue or end a pregnancy, and to protect a health care provider’s ability to provide abortion services.”

Texas Rep. Henry Cuellar was the only Democrat to join all Republicans in opposing the bill — which passed with a 219-210 vote.

It was the second time that this bill has passed through the House in the last year after being stalled in the Senate.

“[The Women’s Health Protection Act] is the bill that will protect the right to access abortion after the tragic fall of Roe vs. Wade. It ensures in federal law the right to abortion care for every woman in every state and ensures states may not erode that right,” Rep. Judy Chu, who sponsored the bill, said during a speech on the House floor on Friday. “You will hear Republicans say our bill goes too far, but that’s simply not true. Our bill preserves the protections of Roe that we’ve lived with for 50 years, affirmed through decades of subsequent court decisions.”

The Hill reports that “the measure, however, will likely face headwinds in the Senate. Senate Republicans and Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin (W.Va.) blocked the bill in February and March of this year when it was brought up for consideration.”

In order to avoid a filibuster, the Democrats would need 60 votes — which they are unlikely to achieve.

The second bill, the Ensuring Access to Abortion Act, would “prohibit the interference, under color of State law, with the provision of interstate abortion services, and for other purposes.”

The goal of the bill is to protect women who travel to other states for abortions if it is illegal in their own and prevent abortion providers from denying service to women who travel from banned states.

The bill would also protect people who assist women with obtaining abortions in other states and federally allow the state-to-state transportation of FDA-approved abortion drugs.

The legislation gained support from three House Republicans, including Rep. Adam Kinzinger. It had a far easier time passing, with a 223-205 vote.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said that congressional Democrats have additional bills in the works aimed at protecting abortion nationally.

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