Bi-Cameral Bill to Protect Abortion Access Gets First House Hearing in Decades
Washington, DC — For the first time in over 20 years, the House Energy and Commerce Committee today held a hearing on proactive legislation to defend access to abortion. The hearing was centered on H.R. 2975, the Women’s Health Protection Act, legislation introduced by U.S. Representative Judy Chu (CA-27) and U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), along with Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Representatives Marcia Fudge (OH-11), Lois Frankel (FL-21), to guarantee equal access to abortion, everywhere. WHPA guarantees a pregnant person’s right to access an abortion—and the right of an abortion provider to deliver these abortion services—free from medically unnecessary restrictions that interfere with a patient’s individual choice or the provider-patient relationship. The WHPA sponsors and co-leads, and leaders from the Pro-Choice Caucus issued the following statements:
“The Supreme Court has repeatedly recognized abortion as a constitutional right, but for years, states like Alabama, Georgia, Missouri, and Ohio have been chipping away at that right by passing more and restrictive laws that directly undermine access to abortion services. These laws are medically unnecessary and serve to block, dissuade, or deter women from seeking abortions, putting women’s health at risk. This impact is particularly felt by the most vulnerable among us, those who will have the hardest time taking off work and driving long distances to access abortion care. That is why we are fighting back with the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA),” said Rep. Chu. “This bill will finally end these state-based attacks by codifying the protections of Roe v. Wade into law and ensuring our rights do not depend on our zipcode. I am so thrilled that the Energy and Commerce Committee held this hearing today. It was an incredible opportunity for the American people to understand the war on women’s rights and the tools available to fight back.”
“Today’s hearing in the House of Representatives marks a significant step forward for the Women’s Health Protection Act and efforts to safeguard reproductive rights,” said Sen. Blumenthal. “State legislatures are pursuing and passing politically-overreaching anti-choice laws that directly hurt women and their families as they make deeply private and often difficult medical decisions. A woman’s right to choose is constitutionally-protected and overwhelmingly supported by the majority of Americans. The Women’s Health Protection Act will defend this essential human right for all women and ensure they have access to a safe and legal abortion, no matter their ZIP code.”
"Today the House is showing leadership on the need to protect women’s access to reproductive health care. When Roe v. Wade is under attack, women’s health is under attack and we will not stand for it,” said Sen. Baldwin. “I introduced the Women’s Health Protection Act with Senator Blumenthal because we must protect every woman’s constitutionally-protected reproductive rights. Every woman should have the freedom to make her own, personal health care decisions about her body and her family, without interference from politicians.”
“This bill will guarantee that all women, not their governor or state legislators, will be fully in charge of their own bodies,” said Rep. Frankel.
“As states across the country continue their attacks on reproductive rights, now is a critical time to ensure every woman can make her own health care decisions.” said Rep. Fudge. “Access to comprehensive reproductive health care is a constitutional right that has been repeatedly upheld by the Supreme Court. Today’s hearing is an important next step towards protecting a woman’s right to choose.”
"There’s an ongoing, concerted effort to overturn Roe v. Wade and we’re not going to sit back and wait for it to play out,” said Pro-Choice Caucus Co-Chair Diana DeGette (CO-01) That’s why we're taking action now to pass the Women's Health Protection Act and put the protections guaranteed by Roe v. Wade into law."
“Today’s historic hearing is an important step forward to enshrine Roe v. Wade into law through the Women’s Health Protection Act.,” said Pro-Choice Caucus Co-Chair Rep. Barbara Lee (CA-13) This bill would protect health care providers’ ability to deliver abortion services free from medically unnecessary and onerous restrictions that are designed to push abortion care out of reach for so many people – especially patients of color. We know that people of color and low-income people are disproportionately affected by restrictions on abortion coverage, and that those who have been denied abortion access are more likely to live in poverty. As the co-chair of the Pro-Choice Caucus, I will continue to fight against ANY effort to undermine and chip away at our constitutionally protected right to comprehensive, reproductive health care.”
“Decisions regarding our individual health are deeply personal and must never be used as bait for partisanship or to advance a political agenda,” said Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), Pro-Choice Caucus Abortion Task Force Chair. “As Chair of the Abortion Rights and Access Task Force, I cannot and will not idly sit by as the health and wellbeing of people of color, young people, trans people, immigrant people, native people, and low-income people are marginalized and weaponized. I am proud to support the Women's Health Protection Act which will both affirm the full promise of Roe v. Wade and reproductive justice for all.”