The Women’s Health Protection Act, sponsored by Rep. Judy Chu (D-Calif.), which the House passed last year, would nationalize access to abortion. The Ensuring Access to Abortion Act, led by Rep. Lizzie Fletcher (D-Tex.), would ensure women can travel freely throughout the country for medical care. Neither piece of legislation will pass the Senate.
A group of Democratic senators tried. Led by Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), from a state where abortion is legal and who is also at risk of losing her reelection, they attempted to force a vote on a freedom-to-travel bill by unanimous consent, a dramatic tactic to send a message on legislation that doesn’t have the votes. It was blocked by Republicans.
Also, this week, 18 Senate Democrats and 81 House members sent a letter to the Biden administration asking that he declare a national public health emergency to provide more flexibility for patients to receive and medical professionals to provide medical care. But Biden administration officials have so far been reluctant to act because there is little money to devote to the effort and they fear court challenges by conservatives that would prevail in conservative courts.