Washington, D.C. — On Friday, the Missouri Legislature sent an extreme, eight-week abortion ban to Gov. Mike Parson’s (R) desk. This proposed legislation is the latest of a wave of states advancing radical bills to upend women’s constitutional rights that have been crucial to their reproductive freedom. In light of these unprecedented attacks, the Center for American Progress is calling on Congress to affirmatively protect critical, landmark privacy rights that preserve women’s access to abortion. In addition to requiring insurance plans to include coverage of abortion care, reforms such as abolishing state Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) and gestational limit laws are necessary to guarantee that women can access the health care they need. It is urgent that Congress take action to ensure women’s reproductive freedom in light of these extreme bans.
The Missouri ban comes days before the planned National Day of Actions to Stop the Bans on Tuesday, May 21. CAP is proud to partner with NARAL Pro-Choice America, Planned Parenthood, the National Women’s Law Center, and dozens of other national and state groups in this effort.
Jamila Taylor, senior fellow and director of Women’s Health and Rights at CAP, issued the following statement:
Anti-choice lawmakers are advancing unprecedented and extreme abortion bans in a direct challenge to the 46-year-old precedent established by the U.S. Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade, which protects the constitutional right to privacy that encompasses women’s access to abortion. These bills threaten women’s health and drive politicians into patients’ intimate and trusted relationships with their providers, with some going as far as threatening to sentence abortion providers to 99 years in prison for performing the procedure.
While overturning Roe poses a substantial threat to abortion, it could also lead to the erosion of constitutional privacy rights in other areas, such as access to contraception, LGBTQ rights, and the ability to marry a person from a different race.
The United States has one of the highest rates of maternal mortality in the industrialized world. For too many women—particularly women of color and low-income women—the promise of Roe has not been realized. Anti-choice state and federal statutes such as TRAP laws, the Hyde Amendment, and impaired access to health coverage—combined with systemic racism—drive these disparities in access to and quality of care.
It is time for Congress to affirmatively protect women’s ability to access abortion by establishing clear federal protections that prohibit interference with women’s health care decisions. It is also essential that as our leaders talk about making health care a right, they make clear that this right includes the ability to access the full range of health care services—including abortion—that women need.
For more information on this topic or to speak with an expert, please contact Colin Seeberger at gro.ssergorpnacirema@regrebeesc or 202.741.6292.