Statement on the Passage of WHPA
Advocates applauds Members of Congress for the historic vote on the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA) in the House of Representatives. Today, 218 Representatives voted in favor of crucial legislation that ensures equity and accessibility to abortion care across the United States, a bill led by 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).
WHPA is an important step from Congress that would prohibit states from imposing onerous restrictions, much like the bills we’re seeing passed all across the nation, including the recently-enacted SB8 in Texas, the most restrictive abortion law in the country.
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.
We’ve seen recently that 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 WHPA as a legislative solution and step in the right direction.
Advocates hopes to see Senators do the right thing, as the House of Representatives has, and pass WHPA in the Senate soon. The Senate must act immediately to ensure that all people, including young people have access to abortion, free from political interference.