WASHINGTON, D.C. – Following the recent passage of restrictive anti-choice state laws in states like Alabama, Georgia, Missouri and Ohio, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) joined his colleagues last week in introducing the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA). This bicameral legislation would protect women’s freedom to make their own health care decisions. The WHPA has 42 co-sponsors in the Senate and 171 co-sponsors in the House of Representatives. The bill introduction was led by Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), and Reps. Judy Chu (CA-27), Marcia Fudge (OH-11), and Lois Frankel (FL-21)
Last week, Brown joined 43 of his Senate Democratic colleagues in standing up for women’s reproductive rights, including the right to safe, legal abortion, by introducing a resolution supporting women’s reproductive rights. Brown also took to the Senate Floor last week to speak out against recent efforts in Ohio and around the country to restrict a woman’s right to choose.
“Healthcare decisions should be made between women and their doctors, not politicians. Period,” said Brown.
From Roe v. Wade in 1973 to Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt in 2016, the Supreme Court has repeatedly recognized abortion as a constitutional right. However, anti-abortion advocates have worked for years at the state-level to pass laws meant to undermine or eliminate access to abortion care. Just in this legislative session, 34 laws that restrict and impede access to abortion have already passed in 15 states this legislative session and another 350 restrictive laws have been introduced. WHPA would stop these attacks and guarantee a pregnant person’s right to access an abortion—and the right of an abortion provider to deliver these abortion services—free from medically unnecessary restrictions that interfere with a patient’s individual choice or the provider-patient relationship.
A recent Politico-Morning Consult national tracking survey found that a majority of registered voters oppose the restrictive laws passed Georgia and Alabama, including 59 percent of women and 55 percent of independents. The same survey also found that 52 percent oppose overturning Roe v. Wade—including 48 percent of Republican voters.
The bill is also co-sponsored in the Senate by U.S. Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Patty Murray (D-WA), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Edward J. Markey (D-MA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Jon Tester (D-MT), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Chris Coons (D-DE), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Angus King (I-ME), Tina Smith (D-MN), Gary Peters (D-MI), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Tom Carper (D-DE), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Mark Warner (D-VA), Tom Udall (D-NM), Tim Kaine (D-VA), and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ).
WHPA is endorsed by leading women’s health and civil rights organizations, including the Center for Reproductive Rights, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, NARAL Pro-Choice America, and the ACLU.
The full text of the Senate bill is available here.