Blumenthal, Baldwin, Chu, Fudge, Frankel Introduce Legislation to Protect Access to Reproductive Care

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – Exactly one year after the Supreme Court heard oral arguments for the most significant reproductive rights case since Roe v. WadeWhole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt – U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) was joined by U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), and U.S. Representatives Judy Chu (D-CA-27), Marcia Fudge (D-OH-11), and Lois Frankel (D-FL-22) in introducing the Women’s Health Protection Act today. In the year since Whole Woman’s Health was argued – and even in the months since the Court issued its decision, a resounding, historic triumph for women across America and their families – politically motivated attacks against women’s health care have nevertheless increased across the country.

The Women’s Health Protection Act would protect a woman’s right to safe and legal abortion by stopping restrictive regulations and laws – such as those in place in states including Texas and Wisconsin – intended to curtail reproductive health services for women.

“Reproductive rights are under attack in ways we have not seen since Roe v. Wade – in states across the country and in the halls of Congress. That is why we need federal protections to stop anti-choice legislators from obstructing and blocking women from essential health care and reproductive rights,” Blumenthal said. “Requirements and procedures – ranging from ultrasounds and admitting privileges to physical clinic layouts – are not only unwarranted but unconscionable. I am determined to stand with American women and families against state laws that are abhorrent and antithetical to well-established rights.”

“In Wisconsin and across the country, politicians are standing between women and their doctors by enacting laws restricting their reproductive health choices,” said Baldwin. “It is past time to stand up to these radical assaults on women’s rights, which is why I’m championing the Women’s Health Protection Act. Every woman, regardless of where she lives, deserves the freedom to make her own, personal decisions about her health care, her family, and her body.”

 

“From the very beginning of this year, Republicans in the federal government and on the state level have made it clear that attacking a woman’s right to choose is a priority of theirs. Despite Supreme Court rulings defending that right - including last year’s decision in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt – Republicans continue their lie that they are acting in the interest of women’s health, when we know that restricting access to this care puts them at risk,” said Chu. “In fact, after Texas tried to implement restrictions on access to safe abortions, the number of dangerous back alley abortions escalated. This is an unconscionable attack on women and I am proud to once again introduce this bill to make clear that our rights do not depend on our zip codes.”

“The law is clear - women have the constitutional right to make their own reproductive health decisions. Yet, freedom of choice and access to care all too often depends on where a woman lives and Statehouse politics,” said Fudge. “It is time we remove the burdensome and unconstitutional restrictions that decrease access to a safe and legal choice.  We must do all we can to protect women and their right to make these deeply personal decisions.”

“For women and girls to fulfill their dreams and aspirations they must be in charge of their own reproductive choices. This legislation says no to state legislatures that would deny this right and take us back to the days of coat hanger medicine,” said Frankel.

The Women’s Health Protection Act has 40 cosponsors in the Senate and 102 cosponsors in the House.

This legislation would prohibit laws that impose burdensome requirements on access to reproductive health services such as requiring doctors to perform tests and procedures that doctors have deemed unnecessary or preventing doctors from prescribing and dispensing medication as is medically appropriate. Other examples of laws that make it more difficult for a woman to access an abortion include: restrictions on medical training for future abortion providers, requirements concerning the physical layout of clinics where abortions are performed, and forced waiting periods for patients.