Vice President Kamala Harris Visiting Philadelphia Saturday For Roundtable Discussion On Reproductive Rights – CBS Philly
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Democratic-led house passed two bills Friday aimed at protecting access to abortion at the federal level. This comes three weeks after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and ahead of a high-profile member of the White House’s Saturday visit to Philadelphia.
Vice President Kamala Harris will be in Philadelphia on Saturday for a roundtable discussion about reproductive rights.
The first bill approved was the Women’s Health Protection Act. It’s aimed at preserving access to abortion nationwide at the federal level. The other was the ensuring access to Abortion Act. It’s intended to protect the right to travel to seek access to abortion.
House Democrats, all of them women, gathered on the steps of the U.S. Capitol moments before the House of Representatives approved the two bills aimed at protecting women’s rights to abortion as well as their access to them, regardless of what state they live in.
“Every person deserves dignity, safety and care in seeking an abortion,” Rep. Judy Chu (D-Calif) said.
The Women’s Health Protection Act also prevents states from imposing limits on abortions that would make them more difficult or costly to obtain. Republicans objected.
“The majority of Americans do not support abortions with no limits,” Rep. Brett Guthrie (R-Kent.) said.
When the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, it created a domino effect resulting in a number of states banning the procedure altogether, even in cases of rape and incest. But, another Republican focused on later-term abortions despite the fact that a 2019 study showed that 93% of all abortions occurred in the first trimester.
“Mid to late-term abortion is a barbaric procedure which can include dismemberment of the baby and crushing of the skull,” Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-Iowa) said.
Democrats meanwhile cited the recent case of a 10-year-old girl who was raped and had to travel from Ohio, where most abortions are illegal, to neighboring Indiana for the procedure.
“According to Republicans, even a little girl impregnated by a brutal rape should be denied an abortion and have to endure government-mandated birth,” Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-Texas) said.
Both measures will almost certainly fail in the Senate, where Democrats don’t have the 60 votes needed for either to pass nor do they have the 51 votes needed to bypass the filibuster, allowing the bills to pass by a simple majority.
“With two more Democratic senators, we will be able to eliminate the filibuster when it comes to a woman’s right to choose,” House Speak Nancy Pelosi said.
President Joe Biden says he supports bypassing the filibuster to enshrine abortion protections across the country.