For Immediate Release: Wednesday, May 11, 2022
Washington, DC — Today, once again, Republicans in the U.S. Senate blocked the advancement of the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA). This critical bill would safeguard the legal right to abortion throughout the United States, which is more important than ever after a leaked draft majority opinion revealed that the U.S. Supreme Court is poised to soon overturn Roe v. Wade. Every Republican in the Senate voted against advancing WHPA and protecting our fundamental rights.
NARAL Pro-Choice America President Mini Timmaraju released the following statement in response:
“Today, Republicans in the Senate once again failed the American people. The recently leaked draft decision made clear that the Supreme Court is poised to overturn Roe v. Wade and underscored how urgent our fight to protect reproductive freedom is—but these out-of-touch lawmakers simply do not care. Instead of safeguarding our fundamental rights, Republican senators have once again abdicated their responsibility.
We are grateful to Leader Schumer and Democratic leadership for bringing this vote to the floor and to every senator who voted in support of this critical bill. Thank you for recognizing the importance of this moment and for stepping up to protect our freedom to make our own decisions about our lives, families, and futures. We know that these cruel bans and restrictions on abortion most harm those who already face barriers to accessing the care they need—including women; Black, Indigenous, and people of color; those working to make ends meet; LGBTQ+ people; immigrants; young people; those living in rural communities; and people with disabilities. We must take action to fight back.
We have a message for the lawmakers who blocked this bill and refused to fight for our freedoms and our families: Voters will remember who showed up for them at this moment of crisis and who chose to walk away. We’ll see you at the ballot box.”
The Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA) would safeguard the federal right to abortion across the country, even if Roe v. Wade falls. This legislation would create 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. In September, the U.S. House of Representatives passed WHPA in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s refusal to block Texas’ vigilante-enforced abortion ban (SB 8). Shortly before the House vote, the White House issued a Statement of Administration Policy in support of this critical legislation. Republicans in the U.S. Senate first blocked the advancement of the Women’s Health Protection Act in February.
The fate of Roe v. Wade is in the hands of the anti-choice supermajority on the Supreme Court—and the recently leaked draft Court opinion confirmed that the Court is poised to overturn the landmark abortion rights case when it rules in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization in the coming weeks. The case concerns Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban and directly challenges Roe. If the Court upholds Mississippi’s ban, it will end the constitutional right to abortion recognized by Roe, and states will take swift action to ban abortion. Should Roe fall, 28 states would likely take action to prohibit abortion outright. Of those, 13 states already have “trigger bans” in place, which would ban abortion automatically if Roe is overturned.
As abortion rights and access face threats from state legislatures to the Supreme Court, NARAL Pro-Choice America is ramping up its work to elect candidates across the country during a critical moment in the fight for reproductive freedom. Recently, NARAL Pro-Choice America, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, and EMILY’s List, announced a plan to collectively spend a historic $150 million on the 2022 midterms to ensure the election of reproductive freedom champions up and down the ballot. While each will run its own electoral programs with their own advocacy and political organizations, the announcement represents a united effort to aggressively respond to the unprecedented attacks on reproductive freedom across the country and raise voters’ awareness of the lawmakers who are to blame.
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, pregnancy and post-partum care, and paid family leave—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 legal abortion.