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House Passes Two Bills Looking for to Ensure Access to Abortion


WASHINGTON — The House on Friday passed two bills aiming at ensuring access to abortion within the post-Roe era, as Democrats seek to attract clear distinctions with Republicans on the problem heading into the midterm election campaign.

One measure, which passed mainly along party lines, 222 to 205, would protect the suitable to travel across state lines for abortion services, with three Republicans joining Democrats in support of the measure.

A second measure, a version of which passed the House last 12 months, would explicitly give health care providers the suitable to offer abortion services and their patients the suitable to acquire them, invalidating quite a lot of state restrictions that were enacted within the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s decision reversing Roe v. Wade and ending the constitutional right to abortion. That second measure, the Women’s Health Protection Act, passed 219 to 210, also mainly along party lines, with one Democrat, Representative Henry Cuellar of Texas, voting with Republicans.

Neither bill has the votes to advance within the Senate. But Democrats cheered because the bills passed, putting each side on record heading into the midterms on a difficulty that has only grown more divisive politically.

“Liberty and justice and freedom are under assault immediately due to a radical, right-wing, illegitimate Supreme Court majority and their extreme co-conspirators within the House of Representatives,” Representative Hakeem Jeffries, Democrat of Latest York, said on the House floor. “We’ll at all times defend these freedoms.”

Representative Anna Eshoo, Democrat of California, said the Supreme Court’s “devastating” decision to overturn Roe “has created a patchwork of states with differing laws and restrictions causing societal chaos and confusion.”

She added, “It’s a seek out of ladies.”

Representative Diana Harshbarger, Republican of Tennessee, dismissed the laws as a “deceptive ploy to avoid the authority of states to set their very own laws about abortion procedures.”

The motion pushes the controversy into the campaign, where each parties are hoping to motivate voters by framing the election around considered one of the country’s most long-running cultural divides.

Polling suggests that support for abortion has risen as states have enacted laws restricting abortion, and Democrats hope they’ll use that to motivate voters to elect officials who will enshrine abortion access into law.

“We want two more Democratic pro-choice senators so we are able to eliminate the filibuster and make this laws the law of the land,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Friday on the House floor.

“We provide hope to the American individuals who treasure our freedoms and who’re overwhelmingly with us in our mission to defend them,” Ms. Pelosi added. “What do Republicans have in store next? You’ll be able to’t travel to purchase a book? You’ll be able to’t travel to see a concert or a play?”

Democrats are also reacting to a groundswell of pressure from progressives of their ranks who were outraged by the Supreme Court ruling last month and by the slow response from their leaders to an opinion that had been expected for weeks.

Republicans hope to win a long-term struggle to vary public perceptions about abortion. They usually have been attempting to paint the Democratic measures as “radical” proposals that may allow late-term abortions on demand.

In point of fact, the Democratic bill allows abortions after viability only in circumstances when a physician determines that the continuation of the pregnancy would pose a risk to the patient’s life or health.

“Either side are guilty of dismissing each other,” said Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Republican of Washington, dismissing the Women’s Health Protection Act as an “abortion on demand” bill.

“Science has evolved. It’s my hope that we learn from this and we reject abortion; it’s unthinkable,” she said.

While Democrats have been pushing votes that may force Republicans to point out where they stand on abortion care and portray them as out of step with a majority of Americans, Republican lawmakers have embraced the controversy, even proposing laws that may federalize a few of the strictest anti-abortion laws passed in states like Texas.

On Wednesday, the Republican Study Committee, the largest caucus in Congress, endorsed the Heartbeat Protection Act, a bill that may ban abortions after a heartbeat is detected. That will be as early as six weeks, before many ladies even know they’re pregnant. The measure, opponents say, would amount to an outright ban on abortion.

Republican-led state legislatures have also pushed forward plans that may allow private residents to sue anyone who helped a resident of a state where abortion is banned from looking for an abortion in a state where it stays legal.

Representative Lizzie Fletcher, Democrat of Texas, said her bill prohibiting states from enacting or enforcing laws restricting travel to acquire an abortion was consistent with the constitutional right to interstate travel.

But Republicans blasted the bill as “a part of an extreme agenda” to permit abortions without restrictions.

“It will prevent health care professionals from reporting instances of kid abuse, sexual abuse and neglect because they may very well be seen as delaying or hindering access to abortion,” Ms. McMorris Rodgers said.

The Senate, nevertheless, stays the major blockade to any legislative efforts to codify Roe v. Wade into law, and even the narrower measure to guard the rights to travel to states where abortion remains to be legal.

All but two of the Senate’s Republicans oppose abortion rights, leaving little hope that any bill could move forward. With one Democrat, Senator Joe Manchin III of West Virginia, also opposed, there isn’t a realistic path for the laws to win the 60 votes crucial to clear the Senate.

Senate Democrats tried and failed in May to take up the Women’s Health Protection Act. But Republicans and Mr. Manchin opposed it, blocking a debate and leaving the measure in need of even a straightforward majority.

On Thursday, Senate Republicans blocked Democrats from taking on a Democratic bill to guard a girl’s right to travel across state lines to acquire abortion care.

“Does that child within the womb have the suitable to travel of their future?” Senator James Lankford, Republican of Oklahoma, said. “Do they get to live?” He added, “There’s a toddler on this conversation as well.”

Still, many Democratic lawmakers focused their anger on Friday on the Supreme Court quite than on their Republican colleagues. Representative Madeleine Dean, Democrat of Pennsylvania, said that Republicans had “fixed” the Supreme Court, “with a number of justices seated by an autocratic president.” She added, “They behave as theocrats.”

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