In full transparency, the following is a press release from Assistant Speaker Katherine Clark’s office, submitted to SOURCE media.
WASHINGTON DC – Today, September 24, Assistant Speaker Katherine Clark (MA-5) voted to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA), federal legislation to guarantee equal access to abortion care, nationwide. WHPA ensures a pregnant person’s right to 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.
“Abortion is health care — and a constitutional right, no matter your zip code or income. Yet, from Texas to Missouri, state legislatures are inserting themselves in doctor’s offices, asserting their regressive and controlling personal ideologies onto women’s private decisions. The stakes couldn’t be higher. We must defend every woman’s right to access safe, legal abortion by immediately passing the Women’s Health Protection Act through Congress and signing it into law.”
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. In the last decade, state lawmakers have pushed through nearly 500 restrictive laws that make abortion difficult and sometimes impossible to access.
On September 1, a Texas law went into effect that outlawed abortion after six weeks of pregnancy and tasked private citizens with enforcing the law by bringing private litigation against clinics and anyone else who assists a woman in obtaining an abortion after six weeks.
Introduced in June by Congresswomen Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), Judy Chu (D-CA), Lois Frankel (D-FL), and Veronica Escobar (D-TX), WHPA passed on a vote of 218 to 211.