Statement on the Introduction of WHPA
Advocates for Youth welcomes the introduction of the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA) in the 118th Congress. WHPA is an important step that would prohibit states from imposing onerous restrictions on abortion, much like the bills we’re seeing passed all across the country that create a patchwork of restricted access in a post-Dobbs era.
Abortion restrictions are part of the intertwined systems of oppression that deny access to Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), LGBTQ individuals, and young people, particularly from these communities. The elimination of abortion restrictions is essential to the pursuit of reproductive, economic, and racial justice because these restrictions are rooted in anti-Black racism, white supremacy, and other forms of discrimination. Advocates applauds the House of Representatives for including such strong and robust language in its findings section of WHPA that illustrates and centers reproductive justice and explicitly names the communities that are most impacted by abortion restrictions.
We are not in the same moment we were a year ago. Abortion has been banned in nearly half of the country, white nationalism is on the rise, and violence against trans and gender expansive people is increasing. We must engage in a full throated defense of the communities most harmed and against the forces of sexism and racism. We continue to applaud members of the House of Representatives, and other congressional champions, that are taking bold action.
Young people, women, LGBTQ, and BIPOC communities are on the front lines of the reproductive justice movement and they continue to demand their elected officials represent their voices and experiences as they make legislative decisions. WHPA is only one step in the right direction and we urge Congress to continue listening to the stories of people across the country, including young people, and take every action in their power to expand access to abortion.
Now more than ever, access to abortion care is essential to social and economic participation, reproductive autonomy, and the right to determine our own lives.