(Washington, D.C.) – Today, the U.S. Senate failed to advance the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA), a bill that would protect the right to abortion nationally, and block medically unnecessary restrictions and bans on abortion care. WHPA, which passed the U.S. House of Representatives in September 2021, failed to secure the 60 votes necessary to end debate and proceed to a Senate vote on the substance of the bill.
“At a time when states continue to enact burdensome restrictions on reproductive rights and with the Supreme Court poised to overturn Roe v. Wade, it is imperative that Congress steps up to pass this vital legislation for women’s health and their autonomy,” said Damon Hewitt, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. “Restrictions on access to abortion particularly harm Black women and other women of color, as well as low-income women, whose health may be endangered by not having access to care in their home state. The Women’s Health Protection Act would remove those barriers, and ensure that women across the country have control over their own bodies and lives.”
“Communities of color have long been denied equal access to abortion care, despite the legal rights enshrined in Roe,” said Natasha Chabria, associate counsel with the Economic Justice Project at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. “This is about ensuring everyone has the ability to exercise bodily autonomy and make decisions for themselves, their families, and their communities with dignity and respect. The Senate must take up this bill again and pass the WHPA this year.”
Read more about WHPA here.