House of Representatives Passes Bills to Protect Access to Abortion After 'Roe v. Wade' Is Overturned

The House passed two pieces of legislation protecting nationwide access to reproductive healthcare, but the bills are unlikely to pass the Republican-led Senate

The House of Representatives passed two bills Friday that would protect nationwide access to reproductive healthcare, including abortion, in reponse to the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade last month.

One bill, the Ensuring Women's Right to Reproductive Freedom Act — which passed 223-205 — would protect a patient's right to travel across state lines for abortion services.

Another bill, the Women's Health Protection Act — which passed 219-210 — would allow healthcare workers the right to provide abortion services and patients the right to obtain them, regardless of several state bans.

Following Friday's vote, several Democrats celebrated the win for women's rights.

Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks during a press event on reproductive right in front of the U.S. Capitol
Alex Wong/Getty

"Neither the courts nor states nor politicians should have the say in women's ability to make their own decisions about their health, their well-being and their future that rests with their loved ones, their doctor and their God," said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. "If we claim to love freedom, to be a free and just society, we must ensure that this basic human right is finally enshrined into law."

"Liberty and justice and freedom are under assault right now because of a radical, right-wing, illegitimate Supreme Court majority and their extreme co-conspirators in the House of Representatives," said Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, Democrat of New York. "We will always defend these freedoms."

Though both pieces of legislation were passed by the Democrat-led House, the bills are unlikely to pass the Republican-led Senate.

Abortion-rights activists holding signs gather in front of the Supreme Court building following the announcement to the Dobbs v Jackson Women's Health Organization ruling in Washington D.C.
Probal Rashid/LightRocket via Getty Images

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The Democrats' win comes just one week after President Joe Biden signed an executive order vowing to "ensure the safety of patients, providers, and third parties" who have abortions or provide abortion services.

The order called on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to submit a report in 30 days detailing steps to take that can protect medication abortion, expand access to emergency contraceptives, and increase education about reproductive healthcare services.

Biden then urged the American people to assert their political power by voting for their abortion rights in the upcoming November elections. Despite the executive order, he stressed that political change is needed in order restore the rights lost by the overturn of Roe.

"I'm asking the Justice Department that, much like they did in the Civil Rights era, to do everything in their power to protect these women seeking to invoke their rights," Biden said.

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