STATEMENT: Women’s Health Protection Act Would Reverse Extreme State Abortion Bans and Better Ensure Women’s Access to Abortion
Washington, D.C. — Today, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA), joined by an additional 43 U.S. senators and 177 U.S. House members, reintroduced the Women’s Health Protection Act of 2019 (WHPA). The bill would stop politicians from interfering with women’s ability to obtain abortion care and health care providers’ ability to provide such care. In response, Jamila Taylor, senior fellow and director of Women’s Health and Rights at the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement:
We applaud today’s reintroduction of the Women’s Health Protection Act in the House and Senate. When women’s constitutionally protected rights to access abortion care are so severely restricted that obtaining care is virtually impossible, it is imperative that Congress step in to affirmatively support and protect reproductive rights. This bill would help ensure that health care providers can provide abortion services and that patients can access such services—without the obstruction caused by recent extreme abortion bans that intend to eviscerate women’s ability to make their own health decisions.
The reintroduction of WHPA is vital, because, in the first three months of 2019 alone, state lawmakers have introduced more than 300 abortion restrictions—almost 30 of which passed or were enacted. From medically unnecessary waiting periods and ultrasounds to targeted regulation of abortion providers and previability statutes, these bans have created a patchwork system around abortion access across the country. Furthermore, for many women—particularly women of color and low-income women—Roe v. Wade is not yet a reality because these bans put abortion care out of reach.
All women should be free to make decisions about when, how, and if to start a family—and the public overwhelmingly agrees. The threat to women’s bodily autonomy is more clear than ever, which is why Congress should move swiftly to pass this bill and protect abortion rights.
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