Washington—Senators Dianne Feinstein and Alex Padilla (both D-Calif.) today joined with Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.) and Representatives Judy Chu (D-Calif.), Lois Frankel (D-Fla.), Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) and Veronica Escobar (D-Texas) to introduce the Women’s Health Protection Act, a bill that would guarantee the right to access abortion services in the United States.
WHPA would guarantee the right of a patient to access an abortion – and the right of a health care provider to deliver abortion services – free from medically unnecessary restrictions that interfere with a patient’s choice or the provider-patient relationship.
“The rights of women to make decisions about their own health care and access the health care resources they need continue to come under attack as more states pass draconian laws to ban abortions,” Senator Feinstein said. “As the Supreme Court prepares to hear a case that could further undermine Roe v. Wade, it’s imperative that we pass the Women’s Health Protection Act and put a stop to these attempts to outlaw abortion.”
“Every person has a right to make their own decisions about their body,” Senator Padilla said. “Legislators across the country continue to attack reproductive rights by passing laws that have made Roe v. Wade a right in name only in many states. As the Supreme Court takes up the Mississippi abortion ban case, now, more than ever, we must pass the Women’s Health Protection Act. This critical bill will protect patients from dangerous abortion bans and ensure everyone has access to safe abortion care, regardless of where they live.”
The bill’s introduction follows a decision by the Supreme Court to hear arguments in a case that directly threatens 50 years of precedent protecting access to abortion, and as states like Texas continue to pass laws that restrict access to abortion.
From Roe v. Wade in 1973 to Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt in 2016, the Supreme Court has repeatedly recognized that there is a constitutional right to decide to have an abortion. However, anti-choice 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 occurring beyond the sixth week of pregnancy, before many people even know they’re pregnant. Lawmakers in Arkansas and Oklahoma attempted to ban abortion completely. WHPA would stop these attacks and ensure that abortion access remains a right in the United States.
The bill has 48 cosponsors in the Senate and 176 cosponsors in the House of Representatives.