WASHINGTON – Following the recent passage of restrictive anti-choice state laws in Alabama, Georgia and Missouri, U.S. Senators Tom Carper and Chris Coons (both D-DE) joined Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), U.S. Representatives Judy Chu (CA-27), Marcia Fudge (OH-11), and Lois Frankel (FL-21), and leading women’s health advocates to announce the introduction of the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA), bicameral federal legislation to guarantee equal access to abortion, everywhere. WHPA has 42 co-sponsors in the Senate and 171 co-sponsors in the House of Representatives.
WHPA guarantees a pregnant person’s right to access an abortion—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.
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. Just in this legislative session, 34 laws that restrict and impede access to abortion have already passed in 15 states and another 350 restrictive laws have been introduced. WHPA would stop these attacks and ensure that abortion access first guaranteed under Roe is a reality for everyone, everywhere.
A recent Politico-Morning Consult national tracking survey found that a majority of registered voters oppose the restrictive laws passed in Georgia and Alabama, including 59 percent of women and 55 percent of independents. The same survey also found that 52 percent oppose overturning Roe v. Wade—including 48 percent of Republican voters.
“Across the country, we are seeing extreme, political attacks on a woman’s constitutional right to make her own health care decisions,” said Senator Carper. “These attacks are not only shortsighted and irresponsible, but they also stand in stark contrast to what an overwhelming majority of Americans believe about access to vital health care services. It’s why I’ve teamed up with Senator Coons and my Democratic colleagues to introduce the Women’s Health Protection Act, which safeguards the constitutional right of every woman in America — regardless of where she lives — to make her own decisions about her health care.”
“Since 1973, the Supreme Court has recognized the right to choose as deeply rooted in the Constitution,” said Senator Coons. “This bill affirms that right, and guarantees that every person in America, no matter their background, income level, or state of residence, has access to safe, affordable, and legal reproductive care. Today and every day, I’m proud to join Senator Carper and a number of our colleagues in fighting back against repeated attacks on women’s rights.”
The bill is co-sponsored in the Senate by U.S. Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Patty Murray (D-WA), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Edward J. Markey (D-MA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Jon Tester (D-MT), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Angus King (I-ME), Tina Smith (D-MN), Gary Peters (D-MI), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Mark Warner (D-VA), Tom Udall (D-NM), Tim Kaine (D-VA), and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ).
The bill is co-sponsored in the House by U.S. Representatives Alma Adams, Pete Aguilar, Colin Allred, Nanette Barragan, Karen Bass, Joyce Beatty, Ami Bera, Don Beyer, Earl Blumenauer, Lisa Blunt Rochester, Suzanne Bonamici, Brendan Boyle, Anthony Brown, Julia Brownley, Cheri Bustos, G.K. Butterfield, Salud Carbajal, Tony Cardenas, Andre Carson, Ed Case, Sean Casten, Kathy Castor, David Cicilline, Gil Cisneros, Katherine Clark, William Lacy Clay, Steve Cohen, Gerry Connolly, Jim Cooper, TJ Cox, Charlie Crist, Jason Crow, Elijah Cummings, Susan Davis, Danny K. Davis, Madeleine Dean, Peter DeFazio, Dianna DeGette, Rosa DeLauro, Suzan DelBene, Antonio Delgado, Val Demmings, Mark DeSaulnier, Ted Deutch, Debbie Dingell, Lloyd Doggett, Eliot Engel, Veronica Escobar, Adriano Espaillat, Dwight Evans, Lizzie Fletcher, Bill Foster, Lois Frankel, Marcia Fudge, Ruben Gallego, John Garamendi, Jesus Garcia, Sylvia Garcia, Jimmy Gomez, Al Green, Raul Grijalva, Deb Haaland, Alcee Hastings, Jahana Hayes, Denny Heck, Brian Higgins, Katie Hill, Jim Himes, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Steven Horsford, Chrissy Houlahan, Jared Huffman, Sheila Jackson Lee, Pramila Jayapal, Hank Johnson, Eddie Bernice Johnson, Marci Kaptur, Robin Kelly, Joe Kennedy, Ro Khanna, Derek Kilmer, Ron Kind, Ann Kirkpatrick, Raja Krishnamoorthi, Ann M. Kuster, Rick Larsen, Brenda Lawrence, Al Lawson Jr., Barbara Lee, Susie Lee, Andy Levin, John Lewis, Ted Lieu, David Loebsack, Zoe Lofgren, Alan S. Lowenthal, Nita Lowey, Ben Ray Lujan, Carolyn B. Maloney, Sean Patrick Maloney, Doris Matsui, Lucy McBath, Betty McCollum, A. Donald McEachin, James P. McGovern, Gregory W. Meeks, Grace Meng, Joseph D. Morelle, Gwen Moore, Seth Moulton, Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, Jerrold Nadler, Grace F. Napolitano, Joseph Neguse, Tom O’Halleran, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Jimmy Panetta, Cris Pappas, Donald M. Payne, Ed Perlmutter, Scott H. Peters, Chellie Pingree, Mark Pocan, Katie Porter, Ayanna Pressley, David Price, Mike Quigley, Jamie Raskin, Kathleen Rice, Cedric Richmond, Harley Rouda, C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, Linda T. Sanchez, John P. Sarbanes, Mary Gay Scanlon, Janice D. Schakowsky, Adam Schiff, Bradley Scott Schneider, Kurt Schrader, Kim Schrier, Bobby Scott, David Scott, Jose E. Serrano, Terri A. Sewell, Donna Shalala, Brad Sherman, Mikie Sherrill, Albio Sires, Adam Smith, Darren Soto, Jackie Speier, Thomas R. Suozzi, Eric Swalwell, Mark Takano, Mike Thompson, Bennie Thompson, Dina Titus, Rashida Tlaib, Paul Tonko, Norma J. Torres, Lori Trahan, David Trone, Filemon Vela, Nydia M. Velasquez, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Bonnie Watson Coleman, Peter Welch, Jennifer Wexton, Susan Wild, Frederica Wilson, and John Yarmuth.
WHPA is also endorsed by leading women’s health and civil rights organizations, including the Center for Reproductive Rights, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, NARAL Pro-Choice America, and the ACLU.