WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), lead sponsors in the Senate of the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA), applauded passage of the legislation in the House of Representatives, which approved WHPA in a 218-211 vote. With 48 cosponsors in the Senate, the legislation would guarantee equal access to abortion everywhere—and the right of an abortion provider to deliver these abortion services—free from medically unnecessary restrictions that interfere with a patient’s individual choice or the provider-patient relationship.
“With passage of the Women's Health Protection Act in the House, we are sending a clear message that every woman in America, regardless of where she lives, deserves the freedom to make her own, personal decisions about her health care, her body and her family,” said Senator Baldwin. “When Roe v. Wade is under attack, as it is, millions of people are at risk of losing the freedom to make their own health care decisions, and women’s health is threatened. Our legislation creates a safeguard against the medically unnecessary bans and restrictions that are being placed on constitutionally-protected, reproductive health care. We must pass our legislation to protect the provider-patient relationship; protect the health care professionals that provide care, and protect the freedom, and right, of women to access this care without interference from politicians.”
“A Senate vote on the Women’s Health Protection Act will hold lawmakers accountable for whether they will preserve access to abortion as a fundamental right,” Senator Blumenthal said. “The need for the Women’s Health Protection Act is indisputable in the face of cascading state restrictions eliminating access to abortion care. It is clear and straightforward in allowing medical professionals to decide to provide abortion care free from medically unnecessary restrictions. I applaud my partners in the House, led by Congresswoman Chu, on today’s strong showing of support and look forward to a vote in the Senate.”
From Roe v. Wade in 1973 to Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt in 2016, the Supreme Court has repeatedly recognized abortion as a constitutional right. However, anti-abortion advocates have worked for years at the state-level to pass laws meant to undermine or eliminate access to abortion care. In the last decade, state lawmakers have pushed through nearly 500 restrictive laws that make abortion difficult and, sometimes, impossible to access. Just this year, four states have passed bans on abortion at six weeks of pregnancy, before many people even know they’re pregnant. Lawmakers in Arkansas and Oklahoma attempted to ban abortion completely, and the Supreme Court recently decided to allow a restrictive Texas anti-abortion law to take effect, effectively outlawing abortion access in the state. WHPA would stop these attacks and ensure that abortion access first guaranteed under Roe is a reality for everyone, everywhere.