US House passes bills to ensure abortion access
Both the Ensuring Access to Abortion Act and the Women's Health Protection Act respectively passed the House on Friday.
The Ensuring Access to Abortion Act, which would effectively ban states from punishing people who travel to other states for reproductive health care, passed in a 223-205 vote. The Women's Health Protection Act, which looks to codify abortion rights protections into federal law, passed in a 219-210 vote.
The House passed an earlier version of the Women's Health Protection Act in September 2021, but Senate Republicans leaned on a 60-vote procedural hurdle that effectively blocked a Senate vote from taking place.
On Thursday, Senate Republicans blocked Senate Democrats' version of the travel bill, called the Freedom to Travel for Health Care Act.
Oklahoma Sen. James Lankford objected to the bill on behalf of Republicans, and asked proponents of the bill to question if "the child in the womb have the right to travel in their future."
Both of the Ensuring Access to Abortion Act and the Women's Health Protection act will now head to the evenly-divided Senate, where 10 Republicans would need to vote to move past the filibuster.
Last week, President Joe Biden signed a modest executive order aimed at protecting women's reproductive rights and also asked Congress to codify Roe as federal law.
Cover photo: Collage: Michael M. Santiago / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP