Abortions after six weeks of the pregnancy are now illegal statewide
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Wednesday that it was time for Congress to act and codify abortion rights into law after the Supreme Court declined to take up a challenge to Texas’s new ban on abortions after six weeks of the pregnancy.
At a daily news briefing, Ms Psaki said that passing legislation at the federal defining a woman’s right to choose to have an abortion was the best way to guarantee such rights for women everywhere in the country.
“As the president committed on the campaign trail…codifying Roe v. Wade as the law of the land is something that Congress can do, [and] he will continue to push them to do,” she said.
“That is a specific course of action that can be taken to help protect from these types of [laws] in the future,” she added.
Her remarks come after the US Supreme Court allowed the Texas law to take effect at midnight despite an emergency request for the court to act against it; the new law is the most significant statewide curtailment of abortion rights in modern history to survive court challenges long enough to go into effect.
The decision of the court’s nine justices not to take up an emergency plea caused a firestorm on social media, with Democrats condemning the news and some including Reps Ayanna Pressley and Judy Chu vowing legislation to nullify the new restrictions. Such a bill would likely face a very steep path to becoming law through the 50-50 Senate.