For Immediate Release: Thursday, September 2, 2021
With the Supreme Court’s hostility to Roe on full display, passing the Women’s Health Protection Act is more urgent than ever
Washington, DC — Today, U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that the U.S. House of Representatives will vote on the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA) later this month. WHPA protects the right to access abortion care free from bans and medically unnecessary restrictions, safeguarding the federal right to abortion.
NARAL Pro-Choice America Acting President Adrienne Kimmell released the following statement:
“We are grateful for Speaker Pelosi and Representative Chu’s leadership in taking swift action to bring the Women’s Health Protection Act to a vote later this month. Because the Supreme Court refused to block Texas’ SB 8—the most draconian and extreme ban on abortion in the country—Roe has been effectively overturned for tens of millions of people in Texas. Congress has the power to safeguard the legal right to abortion in Texas and throughout the country and there is no time to waste.
The threat to reproductive freedom is looming larger than ever before and it is abundantly clear that the fundamental freedom to make our own decisions about our lives, futures, and families is at stake. It is critical that both the House and Senate pass the Women’s Health Protection Act before states around the country follow Texas’ lead and the Supreme Court has the chance to further gut the legal right to abortion.”
The Women’s Health Protection Act safeguards the federal right to abortion should Roe v. Wade fall, creating a right for healthcare providers to provide abortion care and a corresponding right for people to receive that care, free from bans and medically unnecessary restrictions that single out abortion and block access to care.
Last night, the U.S. Supreme Court failed to block Texas’ blatantly unconstitutional SB 8, a law banning abortion at approximately 6 weeks, before many people even know they are pregnant, and granting almost any person the power to sue someone for “aiding and abetting” a pregnant person seeking abortion care and being awarded $10,000 or more for their vigilantism. The ban went into effect on Wednesday, September 1. Although Roe exists in name, for now, the reality is that its promises have long gone unfulfilled for many, and as of yesterday, Roe has been effectively overturned for 29 million Americans living in Texas.
Texas’ SB 8 is part of a broader onslaught of attacks on abortion access in Texas and across the country. This draconian ban on abortion joins over 90 other restrictions on abortion access that have been enacted at the state level in 2021, making it the worst year for abortion rights since Roe was decided.
In the midst of these attacks, the anti-choice, anti-freedom supermajority on the Supreme Court solidified by the confirmations of Trump’s justices agreed to take up Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a challenge to Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban that directly threatens the future of Roe v. Wade. This case underscores the urgent need for Congress to pass WHPA and protect the right to abortion throughout the United States. Every day without congressional action means that more and more people are being denied their constitutional right to abortion—and this disproportionately affects women, Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, members of the LGBTQ+ community, and those with lower incomes.
For over 50 years, NARAL Pro-Choice America has fought to protect and advance reproductive freedom at the federal and state levels—including access to abortion care, birth control, paid family leave, and protections from pregnancy discrimination—for every body. NARAL is powered by its more than 2.5 million members from every state and congressional district in the country, representing the 8 in 10 Americans who support safe, legal abortion.