For Immediate Release: Friday, September 24, 2021
With reproductive freedom under attack like never before, passing the Women’s Health Protection Act is a critical step toward safeguarding the legal right to abortion
Washington, DC — Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA) by a vote of 218-211. It now moves to the U.S. Senate. WHPA protects the right to access abortion care free from bans and medically unnecessary restrictions, safeguarding the federal right to abortion throughout the United States. On Monday, the White House issued a Statement of Administration Policy in support of WHPA.
NARAL Pro-Choice America Acting President Adrienne Kimmell released the following statement:
“We applaud the representatives who voted to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act and thank Speaker Pelosi and Representative Chu for their leadership in this critical moment. The Supreme Court’s refusal to block Texas’ vigilante abortion ban earlier this month underscores the urgent need for the Women’s Health Protection Act. The threat to our fundamental rights looms larger than ever and the freedom to make our own decisions about our lives, futures, and families is at stake.
NARAL Pro-Choice America and our 2.5 million members call on the U.S. Senate to swiftly pass the Women’s Health Protection Act and President Biden to sign it into law. Time is of the essence; lawmakers must act before other states follow Texas’ lead and the Supreme Court has the opportunity to use the Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case as a vehicle to overturn Roe v. Wade.
This is a moment of crisis for reproductive freedom and all options must be on the table to ensure the right to safe, legal abortion. We cannot allow the filibuster, or anything else, to stand in the way of safeguarding our fundamental freedoms.”
The Women’s Health Protection Act protects 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.
Earlier this month, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to block Texas’ blatantly unconstitutional SB 8, a law banning abortion at approximately six weeks, before many people even know they are pregnant. This law also grants almost any person the power to sue someone for “aiding and abetting” a pregnant person seeking abortion care and be awarded $10,000 or more for their vigilantism. The Supreme Court’s refusal to take action to prevent SB 8 from going into effect has rendered Roe meaningless for tens of millions of Texans.
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. The case is a challenge to Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban that directly threatens the future of Roe v. Wade. The Court will hear oral arguments in that case on December 1, 2021.
This case underscores the urgent need for the U.S. Senate to pass WHPA and protect the right to abortion throughout the United States. Every day without action means that more and more people are being denied their constitutional right to abortion—and this disproportionately affects women, Black, Indigenous, 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.