The Supreme Court has flouted 50 years of legal precedent and ruled to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark decision protecting abortion access for pregnant people at the federal level.
With the overturning of Roe v. Wade, states now have the authority to restrict abortion. Thirteen states already have “trigger laws” which take effect with the overturning of Roe v. Wade, making abortion illegal. Many other states have laws that restrict abortion, such as six week bans, which can now be freely implemented. Other states are expected to follow suit, with at least half of states expected to ban or severely restrict abortion access in the coming months.
Codifying abortion access through federal legislation is one of our last options to protect pregnant people. The House recently passed the Women’s Health Protection Act, H.R. 8296, which creates legal protections for both abortion providers and abortion care patients at the federal level. The bill safeguards access to abortion nationwide by preventing restrictions such as six-week bans, mandatory delay periods, biased anti-choice abortion counseling, and medically unnecessary ultrasounds.
It is now time for the Senate to act. The Senate does not have the 60 vote filibuster-proof threshold needed to pass H.R. 8296 under current Senate rules, but filibuster rules can easily be changed with a simple majority vote. The Democratic Senate majority must pass a filibuster exception to allow for a vote on abortion access. With this filibuster carve-out, H.R. 8296 can pass through the Senate and reach President Biden’s desk.
Nobody should face forced birth. The rights to privacy and bodily autonomy are fundamental in a free and fair society. Demand your Senators support and immediately pass H.R. 8296.