Baldwin, Blumenthal Re-Introduce Legislation to Protect Access to Reproductive Care

Baldwin: “Every woman, regardless of where she lives, deserves the freedom to make her own, personal decisions about her healthcare, her family, and her body.”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, ahead of the 42nd anniversary of the landmark Roe v. Wade decision, U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) re-introduced the Women’s Health Protection Act of 2015. With 33 original cosponsors, this “historic pro-choice bill” would prohibit states from chipping away at women’s reproductive rights.

“In my home state of Wisconsin and in states across the country, politicians have been standing firmly between women and their doctors by enacting a record number of laws restricting their reproductive health choices in an attempt to appease the extreme wing of their party,” said Baldwin. “It is past time to stand up to these radical assaults on women’s rights, which is why I am proud to reintroduce the Women’s Health Protection Act. Every woman, regardless of where she lives, deserves the freedom to make her own, personal decisions about her healthcare, her family, and her body.”

“The protections in this measure are more necessary now than ever before in our history because an avalanche of restrictive, reprehensible state laws is drastically reducing fundamental health care rights,” said Blumenthal. “The Women’s Health Protection Act seeks to strip away the deceptive pretext of safeguarding women’s health when the goal of such state laws is actually to sabotage fundamental Constitutional rights, and increasingly they are achieving that goal.”

“Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin knows that women are more than capable of making their own personal, medical decisions without consulting their legislator,” said Nicole Safar, Public Policy Director, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin. “Regardless of our personal feelings about abortion, we all can agree that a woman deserves freedom to plan her own family, make her own health care decisions and access essential, affordable health care. We applaud Senator Baldwin’s leadership on this important bill and for her commitment to ensuring all women have access to the full range of safe, high quality reproductive health care.”

"Women deserve access to affordable, comprehensive health care and services when they need it,” said Sara Finger, Executive Director, Wisconsin Alliance for Women's Health. “It's time to trust women and allow them to make their personal health care decisions with their trusted health professional without political interference. The Wisconsin Alliance for Women's Health applauds the introduction of the Women's Health Protection Act and supports these and all efforts to ensure every woman has the access to the comprehensive health care she needs and deserves."

“Women in Wisconsin know first-hand the devastating impact of being subjected to a barrage of harmful and unnecessary legislative restrictions that make it progressively impossible to access essential reproductive health care services,” said Eve Galanter, Chair, Wisconsin Women's Network. “It is clear that we need federal protection from these unwarranted intrusions into our personal health care decisions.  We are grateful to Senator Baldwin for recognizing this unprecedented state-by-state legislative offensive and taking action to provide that needed protection through introduction of the Women’s Health Protection Act of 2015.” 

The Women’s Health Protection Act would protect a woman’s right and ability to determine whether and when to bear a child by limiting harmful restrictions on access to abortion services—such as those in place in states like Wisconsin and Texas. It would prohibit laws that impose burdensome requirements on access to reproductive health services like requiring doctors to perform tests and procedures that doctors themselves have deemed unnecessary, requiring women to make several separate – and what may be costly – trips to the clinic, or preventing doctors from prescribing and dispensing medication as is medically appropriate. These restrictions are unnecessary, extreme measures that do not significantly advance women’s health or the safety of abortion services. Instead, they aim to make abortion services more difficult to access.

The legislation has broad support, with Wisconsin endorsements including: Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin, Wisconsin Alliance for Women’s Health, Wisconsin Women's Network, Wisconsin Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association, Family Planning Health Services, Inc., and Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault.

U.S. Representatives Judy Chu (D-CA), Marcia Fudge (D-OH), and Lois Frankel (D-FL) are leading the companion legislation in the House of Representatives with 67 original cosponsors.

Learn more about the national, state, and local organizations who support the Women’s Health Protection Act here.