Advocates for Youth welcomes the reintroduction of the Women’s Health Protection Act

Advocates for Youth welcomes the reintroduction of the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA) in the 117th Congress. The Women’s Health Protection Act was introduced with historic support in both chambers, with 45 co-sponsors in the Senate and 177 co-sponsors in the House.

WHPA is an important step from Congress that would prohibit states from imposing onerous restrictions on abortion, much like the bills we’re seeing passed all across the country creating a patchwork of restricted access. Abortion restrictions are part of the intertwined systems of oppression that deny Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) and LGBTQ individuals, especially young folks in these communities, access to constitutional rights. The elimination of abortion restrictions is essential to the pursuit of reproductive, economic, and racial justice because those restrictions are rooted in anti-Black racism, white supremacy, and other forms of discrimination. Equal access to abortion care—everywhere—is essential to social and economic participation, reproductive autonomy, and the right to determine our own lives. 

The bill is led by Senators Baldwin (D-WI) Blumenthal (D-CT) in the Senate and Representatives Chu (D-CA), Frankel (D-CA), Pressley (D-MA), and Escobar (D-TX) in the House. 

WHPA would prevent states from: 

  • banning abortion prior to viability in direct violation of constitutional rights confirmed by Roe v. Wade;
  • creating regulations that grossly exceed what is necessary to ensure high standards of patient safety and quality of care, and are meant to close clinics;
  • restricting people’s ability to safely access medication abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy;
  • imposing state-mandated medical procedures and protocols, such as forcing people seeking abortion to undergo ultrasounds and endure waiting periods for no medical reason, as a way to shame us for our personal decisions.

We cannot rely solely on the courts to defend abortion rights and access from constant attacks. On May 17th, the Supreme Court announced that it will take up a case that presents a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade. The case about a 15-week ban on abortion in Mississippi is the first pre-viability abortion ban the Court will rule on since Roe. Even as Roe stands, the evisceration of abortion access is well underway. Roe isn’t and has never been enough. We need a legislative solution.

The Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA) works toward a future where all of us are free to make the personal decisions that shape our lives, our futures, and our families, without political interference. Congress must act immediately to ensure that all people, including young people have access to abortion, free from political interference