Carper, Coons, Blunt Rochester introduce legislation to guarantee equal abortion access
Sens. Tom Carper and Chris Coons and Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester, all D-Delaware, joined colleagues in the House and Senate in introducing the Women’s Health Protection Act, bicameral legislation guaranteeing equal access to abortion throughout the U.S.
The bill’s introduction follows the Supreme Court’s decision to hear arguments in a case that directly threatens 50 years of precedent protecting access to abortion, and comes as states like Texas continue to pass anti-choice laws.
Introduced with historic support, WHPA has 48 total co-sponsors in the Senate and 176 co-sponsors in the House of Representatives.
WHPA would create a federal statutory right for health care providers to provide abortion care, free from medically unnecessary restrictions that single out abortion and impede access.
According to its sponsors, “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. In the last decade, state lawmakers have pushed through nearly 500 restrictive laws that make abortion difficult and, sometimes, impossible to access. Just this year, four states have passed bans on abortion at six weeks of pregnancy, before many women even know they’re pregnant. Lawmakers in Arkansas and Oklahoma attempted to ban abortion completely.”
“WHPA would stop these attacks and ensure that abortion access first guaranteed under Roe is a reality for everyone, everywhere.”
“In courts and state capitol buildings, the Constitutional rights of women are under attack like never before,” said Carper. “This critical bill would ensure women can make their own health care decisions — no matter their zip code. I’m proud to support this legislation, and thank Sen. (Richard) Blumenthal and Rep. (Judy) Chu for their leadership.”
“Since 1973, the Supreme Court has recognized the right to choose as deeply rooted in the Constitution,” said Coons. “With new attacks on Roe v. Wade across the country, this bill affirms that right, and guarantees that every person in America, no matter their background, income level or zip code, has access to safe, affordable, and legal reproductive care. I’m proud to join Sen. Carper, Congresswoman Blunt Rochester, and a number of our colleagues in fighting back against repeated attacks on women’s rights.”
“At a time when the Constitutional rights, personal health care choices of women, and abortion rights are under attack like never before, I’m proud to be a cosponsor of the Women’s Health Protection Act,” said Blunt Rochester. “Roe v. Wade is the law of the land, has long been settled precedent, and should be protected. This critical piece of legislation will ensure that women, in consultation with their doctors can make the health choices that are best for them and will protect abortion rights for women across the country.”
The text of the Senate bill, including the full list of cosponsors, is available at bit.ly/3v2CSDG. The text of the House bill, including the full list of cosponsors, is available at bit.ly/3g61jLW.