The fight for reproductive rights is far from over in Texas after the state’s legislature banned abortions up to six weeks and established a bounty hunter-like system.
On the federal front, President Biden has been vocal on the subject, addressing the nation multiple times and declaring that he will do everything in his power to prevent a nationwide ban on abortion.
On another front, the United States House of Representatives passed a reproductive rights measure on Friday in an attempt to overturn Texas’ notorious near-total abortion prohibition. The bill now goes to the Senate, where it is unlikely to be passed.
Rep. Judy Chu of California presented the federal Women’s Health Protection Act of 2021, which guarantees safeguards for abortion seekers and providers. The measure would “allow healthcare professionals to offer abortion services without restrictions or regulations that specifically target abortion services.”
It was a purely partisan vote, receiving all but one of the Democrat’s votes, and none of the GOP votes. Not surprisingly, the lone crossover vote came from a Texas Democrat named Henry Cuellar. He has been recently involved in a lot of controversy regarding his declarations on the whipping of Haitian migrants on the border. In a 218-211 vote, U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, a Laredo Democrat, voted against the bill.
If the bill passes the senate, women in the lone star state would be able to get an abortion, even with the new bill Abbott recently passed. This would ensure reproductive rights for all people around Texas, but Cuellar didn’t believe this was important enough and voted against it, even with the importance of this matter for his state.
Jessica Cisneros, a Democratic primary challenger to Henry Cuellar, released a statement shortly after the vote, strongly criticizing the representative actions:
“Once again, Henry Cuellar has refused to stand up for South Texans’ reproductive freedom and the constitutional right to abortion care,” she said. “Even after our state’s Republican leaders just passed the country’s most extreme ban—ending almost all abortion access in Texas with no exceptions after 6 weeks—our Congressman refuses to defend us and our reproductive rights.”