OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced on Thursday that the U.S. House of Representatives will vote later this month on an abortion bill.
Her announcement came after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected an emergency appeal to block a Texas law prohibiting most abortions after six weeks of pregnancy.
“Upon our return, the House will bring up Congresswoman Judy Chu’s Women’s Health Protection Act to enshrine into law reproductive health care for all women across America,” Pelosi said in a statement.
“The Supreme Court’s cowardly, dark-of-night decision to uphold a flagrantly unconstitutional assault on women’s rights and health is staggering,” Pelosi added.
“The Women’s Health Protection Act would guarantee a pregnant person’s right to access an abortion, along with providers being able to perform abortions. It would codify into law protections provided under the landmark Roe v. Wade decision, which legalized abortion across the country in 1973. Chu’s bill would do this by establishing a statutory right to perform or receive the procedure, free from restrictions that single out abortion care,” USA Today reported.
Assuming the bill passes in the House, it will likely fail in the U.S. Senate.
The bill would need at least 60 votes to overcome the Senate filibuster, which would require the support of at least 10 Republicans.
Beyond that, the Texas law could set a major precedent for other states.
In a 5-4 vote, the Court refused to step in to block a Texas law prohibiting most abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy.
The measure is arguably one of the most pro-life laws in the country.
Justices Brett Kavanaugh, Amy Coney Barrett, Neil Gorsuch, Clarence Thomas, and Samuel Alito voted in the majority to uphold the Texas abortion ban.
Chief Justice John Roberts, a supposed Republican, joined the court’s three liberal members in dissent.
The Supreme Court majority cited “complex and novel” procedural questions for its decision, emphasizing that it was not ruling on the constitutionality of the Texas law.
The ruling is 5-4.
Thomas, Alito, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh & Barrett vote not to block the law.
Chief Justice Roberts joins the three liberals (Breyer, Sotomayor & Kagan) in dissent.
— SCOTUSblog (@SCOTUSblog) September 2, 2021
Texas GOP Gov. Greg Abbott signed Senate Bill 8 back in May, which prohibits abortions following the detection of a fetal heartbeat, which can occur as early as six weeks into a pregnancy.
The measure also allows members of the public to file a lawsuit against doctors they claim violated the law, The Hill reported.
Nearly two dozen abortion providers were looking to block the law from going into effect.
The providers filed an emergency motion asking the appeals court to issue a temporary stay or send the matter back to a lower court.
The 5th Circuit Court, which is arguably one of the most conservative in the country, denied the request.
“Our creator endowed us with the right to life and yet millions of children lose their right to life every year because of abortion,” Abbott said when he signed Senate Bill 8 into law.
“In Texas, we work to save those lives, and that’s exactly what the Texas Legislature did this session,” he said at the time. “The life of every unborn child with a heartbeat will be saved from the ravages of abortion.”
Republican state Sen. Bryan Hughes said: “The Texas Heartbeat Act is the most powerful pro-life legislation in Texas history and will stand as a model for the country,” he said.
Texas GOP Rep. Shelby Slawson tweeted: “When a heartbeat is detected, that innocent unborn life is protected!!”