House passes abortion rights measures after SCOTUS overturns Roe v. Wade

Pro-choice Republican Sens. Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski both declined to support the WHCA last year

Published: July 15, 2022 4:35pm

Updated: July 15, 2022 5:02pm

The House passed two bills on Friday to codify the right to an abortion in federal law and to protect interstate travel to receive the procedure.

Democrats passed the Women's Health Protection Act, which would supersede state abortion bans and guarantee access to the procedure, in a 219-210 vote. No Republicans supported the measure and Texas Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar voted against it as well, The Hill reported. The House approved the same bill last year but the Senate blocked its advancement twice.

Also clearing the House in a 223-205 vote on Friday was the Ensuring Access to Abortion Act, which aims to protect women who travel to another state to receive an abortion. This measure earned unanimous support from Democrats present and the votes of GOP Reps. Adam Kinzinger, Ill., Brian Fitzpatrick, Pa., and Fred Upton, Mich.

It is unlikely to succeed in the upper chamber as legislation must overcome a prospective filibuster with 60 votes and Republicans largely oppose the bill.

Pro-choice Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska both declined to support the WHCA when it previous came up for a vote in the Senate, asserting that the bill goes beyond protecting the abortion rights guaranteed under the now-defunct Roe v. Wade precedent and eliminates conscience provisions.

Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin also opposed the WHCA on similar grounds and the bill failed in May in a 51-49 vote.

The Supreme Court ruled in the Dobbs v. Jackson case in late June that the U.S. Constitution does not guarantee a right to have an abortion, prompting a legislative flurry from pro-life and pro-choice states alike in an attempt to limit or protect the procedure respectively.

House Democrats have since urged their party's leadership to strip the Supreme Court of its jurisdiction over abortion cases and other social issues.

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