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House expected to pass bill to restore abortion rights previously protected by Roe v. Wade

Kamala Harris on protecting abortion rights
Vice President Kamala Harris on protecting abortion rights 03:43

The House this week is expected to pass a bill that would restore the right to an abortion previously protected by Roe, although the bill is bound to die in the Senate. 

The Women's Health Protection Act of 2022 is an updated version of a bill the House passed in September to codify the right to an abortion and prohibit states from imposing limits on abortions that could make them more difficult or costly to obtain. The Senate failed to pass a version of this bill in May. 

The House is also expected to take up and pass legislation this week that prohibits states from interfering with a woman's right to travel to obtain an abortion. This, too, is also likely to fail in the Senate. 

The 2021 version of the Women's Health Protection Act was defeated in a procedural vote in the Senate, 51 nays to 49 yeas, with Senator Joe Manchin voting with Republicans against the measure. 

Republican Senator Susan Collins, who opposed the overturning of Roe and worked on legislation to codify rights conferred under the landmark case, thinks the Women's Health Protection Act goes too far because it infringes on religious freedom protections. 

On Friday, President Biden signed an executive order aimed at protecting women who cross state lines to seek abortions, among other things. But he also made it clear there's only so much the executive branch can do without congressional action. He has been urging voters to put Democrats who support abortion access in office. 

"We need two additional pro-choice senators and a pro-choice House to codify Roe as federal law," the president said Friday. Your vote can make that a reality."

The president has said he'd support eliminating the filibuster to enact an abortion access law, but because Manchin and Senator Kyrsten Sinema oppose this, Democrats are currently short two votes.

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