Nancy Pelosi announces new bill to codify Roe v. Wade

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Nancy Pelosi announces new bill to codify Roe v. Wade

Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced on Thursday the House will vote on legislation to codify Roe v. Wade in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to deny an emergency appeal filed by abortion providers to block the Texas heartbeat bill.

Pelosi blasted the 5-4 ruling made Wednesday evening to uphold Texas’ new policy to ban the procedure after six weeks and allow for individuals to file civil suits against abortion providers or those who help facilitate abortions.

“The Supreme Court’s cowardly, dark-of-night decision to uphold a flagrantly unconstitutional assault on women’s rights and health is staggering.  That this radically partisan Court chose to do so without a full briefing, oral arguments or providing a full, signed opinion is shameful,” she said in a statement. 

“SB8 delivers catastrophe to women in Texas, particularly women of color and women from low-income communities.  Every woman, everywhere has the constitutional right to basic health care.  SB8 is the most extreme, dangerous abortion ban in half a century, and its purpose is to destroy Roe v. Wade and even refuses to make exceptions for cases of rape and incest. This ban necessitates codifying Roe v. Wade.”

Pro-choice protesters perform outside the Texas State Capitol in response to SB8, effectively bans nearly all abortions.
Pro-choice protesters perform outside the Texas State Capitol in response to SB8, effectively bans nearly all abortions.
Sergio Flores For The Washington Post via Getty Images

The California Democrat said the lower chamber will take up The Women’s Health Protection Act — spearheaded by Rep. Judy Chu (D-Calif.) — which would bar restrictions to abortions including “mandatory waiting periods, biased counseling, two-trip requirements, and mandatory ultrasounds.” 

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi slammed the ruling saying that the middle of the night decision was an assault on the rights of women's bodies.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi slammed the ruling saying that the middle of the night decision was an assault on the rights of women’s bodies.
Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

“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 continued.  

“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.”  

Pelosi said the lower chamber will take up The Women’s Health Protection Act which would bar restrictions to abortions.
Pelosi said the lower chamber will take up The Women’s Health Protection Act which would bar restrictions to abortions.
Bonnie Jo Mount/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Democrats have alleged that the Texas bill is unconstitutional, vowing to do everything in their power to overturn the policy. 

“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. When the Supreme Court takes up its reproductive rights case this year, we urge it to uphold, as Justice Sotomayor wrote in her dissent, ‘its constitutional obligations to protect not only the rights of women, but also the sanctity of its precedents and of the rule of law,’” Pelosi said. 

The House is scheduled to come back into session on Sept. 20. 

Pelosi said that SB8 delivers catastrophe to women in Texas, particularly women of color and women from low-income communities.
Pelosi said that SB8 delivers catastrophe to women in Texas, particularly women of color and women from low-income communities.
Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

While the bill is likely to pass the lower chamber, it faces a narrow path in the Senate, which requires a 60 vote threshold for passage.

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