The bill, which would replace new laws in Texas and other Republican-led states restricting abortions, passed the House by a vote of 218-211, but faces opposition from Republicans in the Senate American.
For decades, women in the United States have had access to abortion services under a landmark 1973 United States Supreme Court ruling in the Roe v Wade case. But the judicial precedent is under attack and potentially risks being overthrown by a new conservative majority in the court.
By proposing the new law, the Democrats in Congress are aiming to create the right to abortion in federal law, which Congress has not done before. This would make it very difficult for courts and states to legally restrict women’s access to abortion.
Texas’ new law, which is already being challenged in court, seeks to ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detectable, which occurs at about six weeks – often before a woman knows she is. pregnant.
It allows individuals to sue anyone who “assists or encourages” an abortion and, if successful, to be awarded a minimum of $ 10,000. The law entered into force on September 1.
“We are going to witness an uprising like we have never seen before if we do not codify this law which has been passed in the House now, and we will ask our colleagues in the Senate to do so,” said the representative. Jackie. Speier, a Democratic lawmaker and champion of the bill, said on MSNBC after the vote.
President Joe Biden supports the House bill and has called the Texas law “an unprecedented assault” on women’s reproductive rights in the United States. The Justice Department filed a lawsuit to block Texas law.
“We are going to stand united and fight for the constitutional rights of women to make decisions about their own bodies,” Vice President Kamala Harris, the first female vice president in US history, said on Friday at the meeting. ABC’s talk show The View.
The nine-member United States Supreme Court now has a 6-3 Conservative majority following former President Donald Trump’s appointment of three Conservative justices who are supposed to favor the overturning of Roe v Wade before the tribunal. The court rejected an emergency request to block the law. A Florida lawmaker introduced legislation similar to the Texas ban.
Opponents of abortion have hailed the law as a possible model for banning the procedure elsewhere.
Abortion providers in Texas on Thursday asked the Supreme Court to step in and review the law because a lower court schedule means an appeal will not be heard until December, “despite the great wrong that the ban cause, ”said organizations challenging the law.
In a separate major case that could overthrow Roe v Wade, the High Court has set oral arguments for Dec. 1 in a challenge to a Mississippi law that bans most abortions after the 15th week of pregnancy.
In the US Senate, moderate Republican Susan Collins, who supports abortion rights, said this week she was working with other senators to develop a bill that would codify Roe v Wade. She called the Texas law “harmful and extreme.”
The House bill goes “far beyond” guaranteeing women’s rights and would threaten doctors who refuse to perform abortions on religious or moral grounds, Collins told the Los Angeles Times earlier this week.
“I support Roe’s codification,” Collins said.
Senator Lisa Murkowski is the only other Republican in the U.S. Senate to publicly support a woman’s right to abortion.
Women and abortion rights advocates are rapidly rallying to take on not only Republicans in Congress, but also the big business backing them, squarely targeting those who have helped many Texas Republicans behind the law. abortion.
“They will meet with a fierce response from women and people across the country,” Sonja Spoo, director of reproductive rights campaigns at UltraViolet, a rights organization, told The Associated Press.