Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaks to reporters

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) holds her weekly press conference at the U.S. Capitol on August 25, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

Slamming 'Cowardly' Supreme Court, Pelosi Announces Vote on Abortion Rights Bill

"This ban necessitates codifying Roe v. Wade," the House Speaker said.

Jake Johnson

Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Thursday that the House will vote on a bill to guarantee abortion rights nationwide after the chamber returns from recess later this month, a legislative effort aimed at countering the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to greenlight Texas' unprecedented assault on reproductive freedoms.

"The Supreme Court's cowardly, dark-of-night decision to uphold a flagrantly unconstitutional assault on women's rights and health is staggering."
—House Speaker Nancy Pelosi

"Upon our return, the House will bring up Congresswoman Judy Chu's Women's Health Protection Act to enshrine into law reproductive healthcare for all women across America," Pelosi (D-Calif.) said in a statement, slamming the new Texas law barring abortions after six weeks of pregnancy as a "catastrophe."

“The Supreme Court's cowardly, dark-of-night decision to uphold a flagrantly unconstitutional assault on women's rights and health is staggering," Pelosi added. "This ban necessitates codifying Roe v. Wade."

The House is scheduled to return to session on September 20.

Unveiled by Chu (D-Calif.) and several other congressional Democrats in May, the Women's Health Protection Act would establish a federal statutory right to abortion care "free from medically unnecessary restrictions that single out abortion and impede access."

"Our legislation reaffirms what the Supreme Court established fifty years ago: access to abortion is a fundamental right," Chu said upon introducing the measure.

The bill currently has 189 co-sponsors in the House and 48 in the Senate. Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Bob Casey (D-Pa.) are the lone Democratic holdouts in the upper chamber.

In a tweet Thursday, Chu applauded Pelosi for vowing to bring the Women's Health Protection Act to the House floor for a vote in the wake of the high court's refusal to block Texas' near-total abortion ban.

"Unlike the Supreme Court, we were elected," Chu wrote. "And we were elected on the promise we would protect the rights of women no matter where they live. This is how we do that!"

The real obstacle for the bill is the Senate, which Democrats control by the slimmest of margins. Even if Senate Democratic leaders are able to get all 50 members of their caucus on board, they will still need to win the support of at least 10 Republicans as long as the 60-vote legislative filibuster remains in place.

Numerous Democratic lawmakers and reproductive rights groups emphasized that reality following the Supreme Court's decision, which analysts said effectively overturns Roe v. Wade and opens the door for other Republican-led states to replicate Texas' abortion ban.

"The choice before us today is do we keep the filibuster or do we protect abortion rights?" Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) tweeted Thursday. "Do we allow the stolen Republican SCOTUS majority to remain forever or do we protect abortion rights? Do we allow the far-right to have the last word on Roe v. Wade or do we fight back?"


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

Sunrise Movement Targets Kyrsten Sinema for Obstructing Build Back Better Act

"Who do you work for? Do you work for the young, BIPOC, and working people who put their lives on hold to elect you? Or do you work for ExxonMobil and fossil fuel corporations?"

Brett Wilkins ·


UN Chief Tells World Leaders To Their Faces That Vaccine Apartheid Is 'An Obscenity'

Persistent inequality represents "a moral indictment of the state of our world," U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres said.

Julia Conley ·


Global People's Summit on Food Systems Kicks Off to Challenge 'Corporate Agenda' of UN Meeting

"The people are hungry for real change, and are willing to do whatever it takes to fight for and reclaim their land, their rights, and the future of food systems."

Kenny Stancil ·


Top Ad and PR Firms Exposed for Helping Big Oil Greenwash Their Climate Destruction

"We need creatives and communications experts to bring their full energy towards ending this crisis, not extending it."

Jessica Corbett ·


Biden's Global Climate Finance Pledge Likened to 'Throwing Droplets at a Fire'

"The U.S. is the biggest carbon polluter in history. We must pay our fair share."

Jake Johnson ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo