The White House on Monday endorsed legislation that would guarantee abortion access in response to the restrictive Texas law that bans most abortions in the state.
The Women’s Health Protection Act would statutorily protect a person’s ability to seek an abortion and for health care providers to provide abortion services. The White House previously would not support the bill, saying it was looking into options to codify Roe v. Wade.
“In the wake of Texas’ unprecedented attack, it has never been more important to codify this constitutional right and to strengthen health care access for all women, regardless of where they live,” according to a statement of administration policy from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
The House Rules Committee is taking up the legislation from Rep. Judy ChuJudy May ChuFirst senator formally endorses Bass in LA mayoral bid Bass receives endorsement from EMILY's List Grassley commends Korean American judicial nominee for 'hard work ethic' of 'you and your people' MORE (D-Calif.) on Monday. It faces an uphill battle in the Senate, where Republicans would likely filibuster it.
The Senate companion to the House bill has the support of 48 Democrats, but two Democrats, Sens. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinHow 'Buy American', other pro-US policies can help advocates pass ambitious climate policies Photos of the Week: Manchin protestor, Paris Hilton and a mirror room Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by the American Petroleum Institute — Biden seeks to quell concerns over climate proposals MORE (W.Va.) and Bob CaseyRobert (Bob) Patrick CaseySenate Democrats call for diversity among new Federal Reserve Bank presidents Manchin, Sanders to seek deal on Biden agenda Democrats struggle to gain steam on Biden spending plan MORE (Pa.), have not signed on as co-sponsors.
The administration statement on Monday called the Texas law a blatant violation of the Supreme Court precedent under Roe v. Wade, saying it “impairs women’s access to critical reproductive health care, particularly affecting communities of color, individuals with low incomes, and those who live in rural or underserved communities.”
It also criticized the bill for turning private citizens “into bounty hunters.” The bill has a provision that allows private citizens to sue anyone who performs or aids an abortion in violation of the statute
“The constitutional rights of women are essential to the health, safety, and progress of our nation. Our daughters and granddaughters deserve the same rights that their mothers and grandmothers fought for and won—and that a clear majority of the American people support. We will not allow this country to go backwards on women’s equality,” the statement said.
White House press secretary Jen PsakiJen PsakiBiden injects new momentum into filibuster fight White House: Biden drove by border on 2008 campaign trip Red Cross says Afghan humanitarian crisis too big for aid groups to handle alone MORE was asked about the lack of an endorsement of the legislation earlier this month and didn't give an assessment on the White House's support for it. Abortion rights group NARAL has pushed the White House to voice strong support for the bill.
“We're still looking at whether that's a vehicle we're going to support, but we still support codifying Roe v. Wade,” Psaki told reporters at the time.