US House Passes Bill Protecting Abortion Rights, Senate Approval Unlikely
Washington, Sept 24 (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 24th Sep, 2021 ) :The US House of Representatives approved a bill on Friday protecting abortion rights, a historic but largely symbolic move that has little chance of passage in the Senate.
In a landmark 1973 case, Roe v. Wade, the US Supreme Court guaranteed a woman's right to an abortion so long as the fetus is not viable outside the womb, which is usually not until the 22nd to 24th week of pregnancy.
But numerous Republican-led states have been seeking to roll back access to abortion and the House action is an attempt by Democrats to codify Roe v. Wade as Federal law, negating any state restrictions on the procedure.
The "Texas Heartbeat Act" allows members of the public to sue doctors who perform abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected or anyone who helps to facilitate the procedure.
The Supreme Court, which was shifted to the right with the confirmation of three conservative justices nominated by former president Donald Trump, refused by a 5-4 margin to block the Texas law from taking effect.
She said that in states across the country more than 500 laws restrict access to abortion and 90 percent of American counties no longer have abortion clinics.
"And so today, if the justices across the street won't act to protect this freedom of health care, this House of Representatives will," DeGette said.
The court ruled on the Texas law without hearing oral arguments, and the Mississippi case will be the first abortion case argued before the court since Trump named three justices to the panel, giving conservatives a 6-3 majority.
Alexis McGill Johnson, president of Planned Parenthood, welcomed the House vote, calling it "an important step in protecting the right to access an abortion in the US and halting the wave of harmful and deeply unpopular abortion restrictions across the country." Georgeanne Usova, senior legislative counsel at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), said the House has "taken a historic leap forward.""For decades, politicians have attacked abortion access bit by bit, pushing care out of reach for countless people," Usova said in a statement.
"Texas has made clear the end-goal of these attacks: to ban abortion and force people to carry pregnancies against their will."