WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the U.S. Senate took a historic vote on the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA) in an effort to protect abortion access from the onslaught of attacks we are seeing across the country. WHPA, led by Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), establishes a statutory right to provide and receive abortion, free from harmful bans and unnecessary restrictions that single out abortion and impede access to care. The legislation would have provided a tool against the abortion bans advancing in legislative chambers across the country.
The historic action comes after the U.S. House of Representatives passed the legislation in 2021. Despite the fact that 8 in 10 Americans want abortion to be legal, the bill did not pass the threshold required to proceed. But today’s vote is an unmistakable sign of momentum for the movement to protect reproductive freedom at the national level. Reproductive health, rights, and justice organizations and their allies in Congress will not stop fighting to protect everyone’s access to abortion.
Planned Parenthood organizations are running a nationwide, multi-six-figure advocacy campaign to support passage of WHPA.
Statement from Alexis McGill Johnson, president, Planned Parenthood Action Fund:
“Today’s vote on the Women’s Health Protection Act was historic. We celebrate this vote and thank our reproductive rights champions Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Tammy Baldwin for introducing the bill and Leader Schumer for standing up for the will of the people. This fight continues — in Congress and in the states. People deserve access to abortion no matter their zip code or income. It’s unconscionable that so many U.S. Senators voted against their own constituents’ health and rights. As state legislative chambers escalate their aggressive assaults on reproductive freedoms, we need lawmakers at all levels of government to step up in this moment of crisis. Planned Parenthood Action Fund will never stop fighting for access to safe, legal abortion — no matter what. The work continues.”
This month, legislative chambers in Arizona, Florida, Idaho, South Carolina, Oklahoma, and West Virginia advanced abortion bans. More than 265 abortion restrictions have already been introduced across 41 states in 2022.
Additionally, for nearly six months, after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to block it, Texas’s six-week abortion ban has been in effect, denying Texans their constitutional right to abortion. In December, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a Mississippi case that could overturn Roe v. Wade. If that happens, 26 states are poised to ban abortion. WHPA could have made these efforts easier to fight in court.
Planned Parenthood Action Fund is an independent, nonpartisan, not-for-profit membership organization formed as the advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. The Action Fund engages in educational, advocacy, and limited electoral activity, including grassroots organizing, legislative advocacy, and voter education.