House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ripped the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision allowing a restrictive Texas abortion law to go into effect – as she vowed to bring to the floor legislation that would codify abortion protections into law.
‘The Supreme Court’s cowardly, dark-of-night decision to uphold a flagrantly unconstitutional assault on women’s rights and health is staggering,’ Pelosi wrote in a blistering statement.
‘That this radically partisan Court chose to do so without a full briefing, oral arguments or providing a full, signed opinion is shameful,’ she said – blasting the the decision issued shortly before midnight Wednesday by a majority that included three justices appointed by President Donald Trump.
She said the Texas law, called SB8, ‘delivers catastrophe to women in Texas, particularly women of color and women from low-income communities.’ She called it ‘the most extreme, dangerous abortion ban in half a century, and its purpose is to destroy Roe v. Wade, and even refuses to make exceptions for cases of rape and incest. This ban necessitates codifying Roe v. Wade.’
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi blasted the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision allowing a restrictive Texas abortion law to go into effect and announced plans to call up legislation to codify abortion protections
Pelosi’s options to reverse the order are limited. Though she can try to move legislation through the House, it would run into a certain filibuster in the Senate, where Democrats hold only a 50-50 majority. A two-thirds vote is needed to shut down a filibuster.
Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) released a statement calling the ruling ‘extreme and harmful,’ although she provided a critical vote for Justice Amy Coney Barrett, as well as for Justice Brett Kavanaugh, both of whom joined in the majority ruling.
She said when the House comes back, it will bring up Rep. Judy Chu’s (D-Calif.) Women’s Health Protection Act ‘to enshrine into law reproductive health care for all women across America.’
The Supreme Court on a 5-4 ruling kept the Texas abortion restrictions in place
In this Sept. 1, 2021 file photo, women protest against the six-week abortion ban at the Capitol in Austin, Texas. Even before a strict abortion ban took effect in Texas this week, clinics in neighboring states were fielding more and more calls from women desperate for options
A woman walks outside the Whole Women’s Health Clinic in Fort Worth, Texas, Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2021
Chief Justice John Roberts, Justice Stephen Breyer, Justice Sonia Sotomayor and Justice Elena Kagan dissented. The other justices – all appointed by Republican presidents – allowed the law to stand. From left: Justices Samuel Alito, Brett Kavanaugh, Clarence Thomas, Elena Kagan, John Roberts, Neil Gorsuch, Stephen Breyer, Amy Coney Barrett, and Sonia Sotomayor
Pelosi said the House would bring up legislation that would codify abortion rights protections
Pelosi blasted provisions of the bill allowing Texans to sue other people who facilitate a woman’s abortion. She said it creates ‘a vigilante bounty system that will have a chilling effect on the provision of any reproductive health care services.’
‘This provision is a cynical, backdoor attempt by partisan lawmakers to evade the Constitution and the law to destroy not only a woman’s right to health care but potentially any right or protection that partisan lawmakers target,’ she said.
The bill had 176 House supporters upon its introduction and 48 in the Senate.
It bans ‘burdensome’ restrictions on abortion such as waiting periods, required tests by doctors, and efforts to prevent doctors from prescribing medications.
Pelosi’s remarks came after President Joe Biden released his own forceful statement Thursday directing the executive branch to undermine the Supreme Court after it refused to take up the case.
‘The highest Court of our land will allow millions of women in Texas in need of critical reproductive care to suffer while courts sift through procedural complexities,’ Biden wrote.
He ordered the White House Counsel’s office to mount a response to the court’s decision, guided by the Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Justice.
The law, known as the ‘Texas Heartbeat Act’, bans abortion once a fetal heartbeat can be detected, which is normally after six weeks and before many women even know they are pregnant.
It makes no exceptions for rape or incest and allows Texans to report people, including Uber drivers, who help or take women to get abortions. The only exemption is if there is a danger to the woman’s health.
Biden vowed to directly challenge the Supreme Court, by ordering the agencies to apparently circumvent the ruling and ‘ensure that women in Texas have access to safe and legal abortions as protected by Roe.’
He asked the White House to look at ‘what legal tools we have to insulate women and providers from the impact of Texas’ bizarre scheme of outsourced enforcement to private parties.’