Friday the House passed H.R. 3755, the Women’s Health Protection Act, The Washington Post reported. And it passed. 218 to 211 in the tightly-held Democratic House.
“The measure states that health-care providers have a statutory right to provide, and patients have a right to receive, abortion services without any number of limitations that states and opponents of the procedure have sought to impose.
The measure would essentially codify Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision guaranteeing the right to abortion before viability, usually around 22 to 24 weeks.”
The issue here has been whether a woman will be controlled by men, whether we will live out of Margaret Atwood’s prescient novel, The Handmaid’s Tale. At best, it imposed another’s religious beliefs onto millions and millions of other women.
The issue has been about far more than the “right to life” for the majority of those who wanted to overturn Roe v. Wade, the half-century old stare decisis (established) law Supreme Court justices promised to uphold in their Senate nomination hearings. They lied.
A new Monmouth University Poll this week showed that 62 percent of Americans believe that abortions should be either always legal or legal with some limitations. That has remained static for two years. The abortion ban will not halt abortions. Those well-off enough to do so will go to another state for theirs, others will go to the dark and life-threatening back alleys.
This has been about whether a man can impose his will over one of a woman’s most intimate and terribly difficult decisions. President Joe Biden (D) respects a woman’s right to chose. Abortion has not been about “birth control.” No, it is about whether that child can be loved after it was conceived through rape, whether it might be born without a developed brain, or whether the woman will die unless she makes this terrible choice.
The law stated:
‘[H]ealth-care providers have a statutory right to provide, and patients have a right to receive, abortion services without any number of limitations that states and opponents of the procedure have sought to impose.’
In essence, it codified Roe v. Wade, which the Supreme Court decided to guarantee in 1973. It held the right to abortion until about 22 to 24 weeks, before viability. The six-week Texas law came into play before many women even knew they were pregnant.
Mississippi has asked the conservative Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade. It would ban most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.
Representative Jackie Speier (D-CA) spoke about her own painful decision to have a second-term abortion. She first mentioned it on the floor quite some time ago. She argued:
‘[The Republicans were] preaching birth, but not life.’
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) spoke in defense of the legislation during a news conference on Thursday. She said that those who have believed in Roe v. Wade have wanted to codify it, but until recently, there was not enough legislative power to accomplish that.
She called the Texas law “unAmerican” that deploys “vigilantes and bounty hunters:”
‘And now we do. Every woman everywhere has a constitutional right to basic reproductive health. Yet for years, that has been questioned by some.’
Monday, President Biden said his administration “strongly supports” this legislation:
‘We will not allow this country to go backwards on women’s equality. The constitutional rights of women are essential to the health, safety, and progress of our nation. Our daughters and granddaughters deserve the same rights that their mothers and grandmothers fought for and won — and that a clear majority of the American people support.’
Republican Susan Collins (R-ME) had a strange double-edged approach to the issue. She has been only one of the two senators to support abortion rights. But she told The Los Angeles Times that she thought it would “weaken conscience protections” for healthcare providers who do not want to do abortions:
‘This “carve out” would be unprecedented, and I do not believe it is necessary to codify Roe.’
Two key Democrats, Senators Robert Casey Jr. (D- PA) and Joe Manchin III (D-WV) have not said how they would vote.
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