Pelosi says House will vote to codify Roe v. Wade to counter Texas’ heartbeat bill banning most abortions

Following the Supreme Court’s denial of an emergency appeal of the new Texas law regarding abortion, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi vowed to codify the Roe v. Wade decision into law.

Pelosi released a statement in which she called the Supreme Court’s decision cowardly and unconstitutional. In addition, President Joe Biden has called the decision an “unprecedented assault on a woman’s constitutional rights” (Axios). In a news conference, Pelosi announced, “When we go back to Washington, we will be putting Roe v. Wade codification on the floor of the House, to make sure that women everywhere have access to the reproductive health that they need” (Washington News Post).

It’s expected that such a bill would pass in the House, as there is a Democrat majority, but it is less likely in the Senate. The vote would require 60 in favor and the Senate is split 50-50 Democrat-Republican. At least two Senators are pro-choice, but it would require 10 Republicans and 0 Democrats to vote on the bill.

In May, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed a law banning abortions once a heartbeat can be detected, which is usually around 5-6 weeks. There was an emergency appeal, which went to the U.S. Supreme Court. The case, Whole Woman’s Health et al v. Austin Reeve Jackson, Judge, et al., was blocked in a 5-4 vote, with Justices Robers, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan dissenting (Supreme Court).

This allowed the law to go into effect on Wednesday, but does not close the book on whether or not the law will remain. The law allows for private citizens to be awarded up to $10,000 for turning in anyone who received an abortion, provides an abortion, and any other person who aids a woman in getting an abortion.

The Supreme Court decision has reopened the discussion of packing the court, which many Democrats would like. The last time there was a big push for packing the court was last fall, when Justice Amy Coney Barrett was appointed to the Court. Many were concerned about her pro-life views and that her addition to the Court would result in a reversal of Roe v. Wade. 



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