September 24, 2021

PCC Co-Chairs Applaud Passage of Women’s Health Protection Act

Representatives Barbara Lee (CA-13) and Diana DeGette (CO-01), Co-Chairs of the Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus, today applauded the passage of the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA) – legislation that protects the right to access abortion nationwide. This legislation safeguards abortion rights against the barrage of these state-based attacks and provides a bulwark against any Supreme Court action to strike down or erode the protections established in Roe v. Wade. The bill passed on a vote of 218-211.

“There has never been a more important time for Congress to step up and protect the right to an abortion,” said U.S. Rep. Lee, Co-Chair of the House Pro-Choice Caucus. “While it is a monumental achievement to see this bill pass the House, we must remain focused. Every day, we are reminded that abortion access for millions hangs in the balance. Anti-Choice state legislatures will stop at nothing to strip abortion care from the most vulnerable. There is no denying that people of color and low-income people of low incomes are disproportionately affected by restrictions on abortion coverage, and that those who have been denied abortion access are more likely to live in poverty. It’s critical that we protect the rights of the most vulnerable and ensure safe, healthy, and equitable access to reproductive care. As the Co-Chair of the Pro-Choice Caucus, I remain fiercely committed to fighting ANY effort to undermine and chip away at our constitutionally protected right to comprehensive reproductive health care. Thanks to the leadership of Congresswoman Judy Chu and Speaker Pelosi, we are one step closer. It’s time for the Senate to step up and protect the right to choose for all.”

“For people in Texas, the fifty years of legal precedent set by Roe v. Wade is effectively meaningless,” said U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette, Co-Chair of the House Pro-Choice Caucus. “For people in Mississippi, the constitutional right to access abortion care may soon no longer exist. This legislation will ensure that all Americans – regardless of where they live – have a federally-protected right to access abortion care. It will negate the Texas and Mississippi laws, and it will guarantee all women in this country – once again – have the freedom to decide what’s best for them.”

Recent efforts by Republican state legislatures to strip abortion rights has the potential to influence several other states, threatening abortion access for millions. This month, the Supreme Court denied an emergency request to block Texas S.B. 8, a radical six-week abortion ban. With that 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court has greenlit the most restrictive ban on abortion we've ever seen – banning abortions before many people even know they’re pregnant. In December, the Supreme Court will consider a case from Mississippi, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, that takes aim at stripping the protections in Roe V. Wade. A strong majority of voters support a national law that would protect the constitutional right to access abortion by creating a nationwide safeguard against bans and medically unnecessary restrictions on abortion.