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Pelosi: House Will Vote to Codify Roe v. Wade in Response to Texas Heartbeat Law

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi takes part in an enrollment ceremony for the ‘VOCA Fix to Sustain the Crime Victims Fund Act of 2021’ on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., July 21, 2021. (Elizabeth Frantz/Reuters)

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) said Thursday that the House will vote to “enshrine into law reproductive health care for all women across America” following the Supreme Court’s refusal to block a Texas law that prohibits abortion after a heartbeat can be detected.

Pelosi’s comments come after the Supreme Court issued a 5-4 decision just before midnight on Wednesday evening rejecting a challenge to a Texas law that prohibits the abortion of an unborn baby once a heartbeat can be detected. Chief Justice John Roberts joined the Court’s three liberal justices in dissent. 

“This ban necessitates codifying Roe v. Wade,” Pelosi said, referring to the 1973 ruling that legalized abortion.

“SB8 unleashes one of the most disturbing, unprecedented and far-reaching assaults on health care providers – and on anyone who helps a woman, in any way, access an abortion – by creating a vigilante bounty system that will have a chilling effect on the provision of any reproductive health care services. This provision is a cynical, backdoor attempt by partisan lawmakers to evade the Constitution and the law to destroy not only a woman’s right to health care but potentially any right or protection that partisan lawmakers target,” Pelosi said.

“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,” the speaker added.   

However, the measure would face an uphill battle in the evenly divided Senate where Republicans would likely filibuster the bill. The Senate companion bill to Chu’s measure does not even have the support of all 50 Senate Democrats: Senators Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Bob Casey of Pennsylvania have not signed on as co-sponsors.

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