House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Thursday she will introduce a bill to add federal protections for abortion procedures following a new Texas bill that went into effect Sept. 1 that bans abortions after the detection of a fetal heartbeat.
“The Supreme Court’s cowardly, dark-of-night decision to uphold a flagrantly unconstitutional assault on women’s rights and health is staggering. That this radically partisan Court chose to do so without a full briefing, oral arguments, or providing a full, signed opinion is shameful,” Pelosi said, according to the Washington Examiner.
The bill, dubbed the Women’s Health Protection Act, would keep states from adding restrictions to abortion rights. Some examples include requiring an ultrasound, as well as restricting abortion at any point prior to birth.
The Texas Way
The Texas law was signed in May by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott. The new law went into effect Sept. 1 after courts failed to hold a hearing that would potentially stop it.
“Our Creator endowed us with the right to life, and yet millions of children lose their right to life every year because of abortion. In Texas, we work to save those lives,” Republican Gov. Greg Abbott said when he signed the bill into law in May.
Under the law, abortions would only be permitted before a fetal heartbeat is detected, “which can occur as early as six weeks after a woman becomes pregnant,” The Hill reported.
“The law makes exception for medical emergencies,” it added.
The Supreme Court
The Supreme Court declined in a 5-4 decision not to intervene to stop the Texas law. The 6-3 conservative majority supported the Texas effort, with the three liberal justices plus Justice Kavanaugh opposing.
The only remaining option is for new federal legislation to be passed that would override the state’s law. Pelosi has vowed to move forward with the process.
The measure may pass the Democrat-controlled House, but would not make it through the filibuster in the Senate that would require 60 votes. Even if every Democrat supported the measure, 10 Republican Senators would be required to support the bill for it to pass.
As it stands, Pelosi’s bill will only serve as a symbolic gesture to oppose the new Texas law. Instead, legal cases will likely take place regarding certain specific exceptions in an effort to limit the law’s impact in the sate.
Texas now has the strongest pro-life law in America. Whether it will continue remains to be seen.