For the past three years, we've seen an onslaught of attempts to chip away at women's access to health care—as recently as this week, with Senator Lindsey Graham's nationwide 20 week abortion ban. But we've had enough. It's time to go on offense. Today, Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), and Representative Judy Chu (D-CA) are introducing the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA).
The Women’s Health Protection Act works to preserve women’s health and rights by prohibiting laws and regulations that impose restrictions on abortion that don’t apply to other medical procedures and don’t advance the health and safety of women. It will go a long way to protecting a woman’s right to make her own personal medical decisions.
In the last few years, more than 160 restrictions on access to abortion have passed in 30 states — with more than 40 of these new restrictions have passing in 2013 alone. The result is 55% of women — more than half of the female population residing in the U.S. — live in states that are hostile to their health and rights.
Access to abortion is not only legal and constitutionally protected, but the vast majority of Americans oppose efforts to overturn Roe v. Wade. Nevertheless, despite the public support, anti-women’s health policymakers have made it increasingly hard for women to access a right to a safe and legal abortion whether through ballot measures, legislative restrictions, or even intimidation.
South Dakota not only passed an unprecedented 72-hour mandatory waiting period in 2011, this year they exempted weekends and holidays from the calculation. Meanwhile, Wisconsin and Alabama enacted targeted restrictions designed specifically to shut down a significant portion of the state’s providers of safe and legal abortion. To make matters worse, these types of restrictions are passing in states where there already is very little access to health care and family planning for women. Something has to change.
Senators Blumenthal, Baldwin, and Representative Chu know that a woman’s right shouldn’t depend on her zip code. That’s why instead of continuously trying to fight off these laws designed to chip away at access, their bill proactively protects a woman’s right to her personal medical decisions. The Women's Health Protection Act is a groundbreaking step towards ensuring that all women can access the health care they need, without the interference of extreme politicians. Women's rights shouldn't depend on their zip code.
Show your support for this bill and contact your members of Congress telling them to support the Women’s Health Protection Act now.