âMy colleagues in the Senate must immediately pass the Women’s Health Protection Act to protect the basic right to access abortion, regardless of zip code or a person’s income. We must not go back. The time to act is now. “
-Representing. Carolyn B. Maloney
On September 1, Texas achieved what many thought was impossible: a near-total ban on abortion. Despite the law’s unpopularity and disregard for Supreme Court precedents, in the nearly seven weeks that it has been in force, no court or lawmaker has succeeded in blocking the law. But did not prevent members of Congress from using the platforms and legal maneuvers to which they have access, creating political pressure to ensure that the laws enacted reflect the will of the pro-choice bipartisan majority in the United States.
On September 30, Representative Carolyn Maloney (DN.Y.), chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, held a hearing to discuss the impact of the Texas ban and the future of abortion rights in the United States in the face of anti-state governments of choice and a Supreme Court hostile to reproductive rights. (A follow-up Senate hearing specifically on the role of the Supreme Court in blocking such laws took place the day before.)
In her opening statement, Maloney said she called on the hearing “to sound the alarm bells on the grave threat to abortion rights and access in the United States.”
Two years ago, the first @OversightDems my hearing as president focused on draconian attempts by states to restrict access to abortion care. The threat has only grown worse, as we have seen in Texas.
If we do nothing, the consequences will not end in Texas. https://t.co/IG9r9v7PDp
– Carolyn B. Maloney ð» ð¦ (@RepMaloney) September 30, 2021
During the House hearing, Reps Cori Bush (D-Mo.), Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) And Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) Shared their personal experiences with abortion and called increased access to abortion.
âWhether the choice to abort is easy or difficult, whether or not there are traumatic situations, none of this should be the problem. It is simply nobody’s business what choices we make as pregnant women regarding our own bodies, âJayapal said during her testimony.
âTo all black women and girls who have had or will have an abortion, know this: we have nothing to be ashamed of,â said Bush.
“Abortion care is health care, plain and simple,” said Maloney Mrs. during an interview after the hearing. âAccess shouldn’t depend on who’s in office, income, or a person’s zip code. And many of us have been in these fights for absolute decades. But it has never been more serious and crucial for Congress to act to protect abortion rights and expand access in the country.
“Our democratically elected institutions follow the will of the pro-choice American majority,” she added.
It’s not just female legislators like Maloney, Bush, Jayapal and Lee who speaks more and more on the issue of abortion: On September 24, the House of Representatives passed the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA), a federal law that would codify Roe vs. Wade in law and establish the legal right to abortion in all 50 states under federal law. The bill was first reintroduced on Tuesday, June 8 by Representatives Judy Chu (D-Calif.), Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), Veronica Escobar (D-Texas) and Lois Frankel (D-Fla .) and clocked the highest recorded number of original co-sponsors for a bill. In addition, 61% of American voters support the WHPA. The bill is awaiting a vote in the Senate, but will likely be blocked by filibuster.
Yet Maloney challenges his colleagues to defend abortion rights: âThe choice is clear, as far as I’m concerned. We have had five decades of progress; let’s not back down. We need to take this threat in Texas very, very seriously. And we have to attack it with all we have.
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