Press Releases

WHPA House Leads' Statement on Senate’s Historic Vote to Protect Abortion Access, Blocked by Republicans

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Washington, March 1, 2022 | comments

Washington, D.C. – For the first time ever, the Senate today voted to make access to abortion care a federally protected right. The Women’s Health Protection Act, introduced by Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA), Lois Frankel (D-FL), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), and Veronica Escobar (D-TX) in the House and Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) in the Senate would guarantee equal access to abortion everywhere and would prevent extreme anti-choice laws like the recent bans passed in Texas and Mississippi. While this vote was a historic step forward, WHPA was blocked from advancing as it did not reach the 60-vote threshold needed for further consideration in the Senate. The House leads of this legislation released the following statements:

“For decades, Roe v. Wade has guaranteed everyone the right to access safe abortion care, regardless of background. And for decades, anti-abortion extremists have been devising new ways to put that right out of reach.” said Rep. Chu, lead sponsor of WHPA. “This has left many – mainly low-income people of color – to fear that every new anti-choice law could be the one that finally puts abortion access out of reach for them, or their daughters. That is why I am so proud of the work the Senate did today by bringing this bill to the floor for a vote. It is important that we put each Senator on record, so the American people can know if they stand for reproductive rights and freedom, or if they will bow to anti-choice extremists. While I am disappointed with today’s result, I would like to thank my tireless Senate co-leads, Senators Blumenthal and Baldwin, for their efforts to push WHPA one step closer to becoming law. I’d also like to thank Leader Schumer and Chair Murray for their dedication to reproductive rights, and their determination to ensure that WHPA received a vote on the Senate. The decision of whether to continue a pregnancy is a choice that must be left to us and our doctors, not right-wing politicians. I will continue the fight so that everyone, regardless of if they live in California or in Texas, has access to the full range of reproductive healthcare.

“The decision about whether and when to bring a child into this world should be made by that person, not politicians. The failure of the Senate to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act today is disappointing, but will not stop the fight for reproductive freedom,” said Rep. Frankel

“Today, Senate obstructionists blocked an effort to safeguard women’s reproductive freedom in Texas and across the country,” said Rep. Escobar. “By failing to advance this critical legislation that would codify the protections of Roe v. Wade into law, they are denying millions of women of their constitutional right to abortion and harming those in communities like El Paso who already face discriminatory obstacles to accessing health care.”

“In the midst of unprecedented attacks on our reproductive rights and freedoms, the Senate had the opportunity to fight back against these draconian laws and codify the right to abortion care for everyone who calls America home. Once again, Senate obstructionists chose to stand on the wrong side of history,” said Rep. Pressley. “While the Senate’s failure to pass our Women’s Health Protection Act is disappointing, I’m glad that each Senator—Republican and Democrat—was put on the record so their constituents can see whether they support their reproductive rights and bodily autonomy—or the racist and discriminatory abortion bans enacted by anti-choice legislatures across the country. Abortion care is a fundamental human right and the fight to affirm it as such is far from finished.”

 

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