House passes legislation protecting abortion rights

The bill, which passed 218-211, is principally a show of solidarity, given that the bill, the Women's Health Protection Act, will face steep opposition in the Senate.
House passes legislation protecting abortion rights

September 24, 2021 5:14pm

Updated: September 25, 2021 11:04am

The House approved a bill Friday that will protect a woman's right to an abortion. 

The Women's Health Protection Act, which passed 218-211, is mainly symbolic, given that the bill stands little chance of passage in the Senate due to Republican opposition.

According to The Associated Press, Democrats passed this bill in response to recent anti-abortion legislation being passed around the country, as well as the Mississippi abortion case pending before the Supreme Court.

Despite the long odds, Democrats and other pro-choice advocates are saying they are doing all they can to codify the Supreme Court's landmark Roe v. Wade decision into law. "Congress must assert its role to protect the constitutional right to abortion," said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who went on to say he will schedule a vote on the new abortion legislation in the "very near future."

If the bill were passed, it would cement in statutory law the federally guaranteed right for a woman to access abortion, as well as place guardrails on states seeking to limit or ban it outright.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said congressional action would make a "tremendous difference" in the effort to protect access to abortions.

The bill passed along party lines in the House, with no Republican support. However, in the Senate, the bill will gain at least three GOP allies, as Sens. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Susan Collins of Maine, and Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia have all voiced their support. 

Democrats are expected to make abortion rights a major cornerstone of their campaign platform heading into the 2022 midterm election cycle.