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The Texas Heartbeat Act bans most abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy and allows private citizens to sue abortion providers or anyone else who helps a woman obtain an abortion, causing a lot of controversies because it is the most restrive law regarding abortion services in the country. 

Although other states have attempted to pass abortions laws, they have all faced legal challenges, making the Texas law the first to be implemented

The Heartbeat Act bans abortions once cardiac activity has been detected in the embryo, which usually occurs during the sixth week of pregnancy. However, many women do not know they are pregnant by then. According to doctors, by the time a pregnant woman misses her period, she is four weeks pregnant, which means that under Texas law, a woman will only have about two weeks to decide her pregnancy.

As a result, on Sept. 24, the House of Representatives passed the Women’s Health Protection Act, which would protect a person’s access to getting an abortion and would allow health care providers to offer abortion services “prior to fetal viability” without restrictions imposed by individual states. This bill passed in the House of Representatives along party lines with 218 in favor and 211 against it.

Those in favor of the bill saw the importance of the Women’s Health Protection Act after the Supreme Court refused to block Texas’s law from taking effect.

“This bill is about freedom, more specifically freedom of women to have a choice about the size and timing of their families,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

In a press conference with House Democrats ahead of the vote, she also stated that it was not the business of people on the court or members of Congress because it is a woman’s choice to decide, not anyone else’s.

Biden also supports the House Bill and stated that the court’s ruling on Texas was an “unprecedented assault on a woman’s constitutional rights.” 

The Senate’s version of the bill is sponsored by Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat from Connecticut, and it has 47 co-sponsors. However, it is already evident that it will most likely not get the support of Bob Casey, a Democrat from Pennsylvania, and Joe Manchin because they have a record of wanting abortion restrictions

Many Democrats are concerned that other states will follow in Texas’s footsteps and pass laws just as restrictive as theirs. In fact, the Supreme Court is set to hear oral arguments for a Mississippi abortion case in early December, and the court is expected to consider the legality of Mississippis’s ban on most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. This case is one of the most important cases regarding abortion in decades because it is a case that threatens to overturn the abortion protections established under Roe v. Wade.

As a result, House Democrats hope that the Women’s Health Protection Act will be a step in the right direction, and they are met with fierce support from women and people across the country

Katherine (she/her) is a second-year student at American and is majoring in Political Science. Katherine loves to write about current events, relationships, and politics. She is currently living in Washington DC.
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