February 28, 2022


WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Congresswoman Barbara Lee issued the following statement after Senate Republicans blocked passage of the House-passed Women’s Health Protection Act:

“I am extremely disappointed by the Senate’s failure to advance the Women’s Health Protection Act tonight. With abortion rights and access facing unprecedented attacks by the right, Congressional action has never been more critical. It has been over five months since the House passed this legislation, yet once again the filibuster has blocked a critical bill despite overwhelming popular support and a majority of Senators voting for passage.

“For almost six months, patients in Texas have been denied access to their constitutional right to abortion. While people with the means and ability to do so are forced to travel long distances for care, for too many Texans this ban has quite simply put abortion services out of reach. Like any abortion ban, the Texas law affects everyone—but its impacts are disproportionately felt by those who already face discriminatory barriers to accessing care: Black, Indigenous, and other people of color, those working to make ends meet, and young people.

“With the Supreme Court poised to rule on abortion rights this year, the immense harm this law is causing in Texas is just a preview of the future we face if Roe v. Wade is overturned. If Roe falls, half the states in the country will ban abortion entirely, leaving even more people across large swaths of the South and Midwest without access to care.

“We must act to ensure that everyone—regardless of where they live or how much money they make—has access to the care that they need. Everyone deserves the right to make their own decisions about their health, their bodies, and their futures, and abortion access is essential. This outcome is disappointing, but I remain committed to advancing federal protections for abortion access.  

“Furthermore, tonight’s vote is yet another example of how the antiquated filibuster continues to be abused by Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans to undermine democracy and the will of the people. As long as it stands, overwhelmingly popular legislation will continue to fail at the hands of a small, obstructive minority. We cannot govern effectively—let alone protect abortion rights—until it is abolished.”


Congresswoman Lee is a member of the House Appropriations Committee and Chair of the Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations. She serves as Co-Chair of the Steering & Policy Committee, former Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, Chair Emeritus of the Progressive Caucus, Co-Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus Health Task Force, and Co-Chair of the Pro-Choice Caucus. She also serves as Chair of the Majority Leader’s Task Force on Poverty and Opportunity. As a member of the House Democratic Leadership, she is the highest ranking Black woman in the U.S. Congress.