Since 2010, state lawmakers have passed over 400 restrictions constraining access to safe and legal abortion. These laws implement mandatory waiting periods, force providers to deliver medically inaccurate in-person counselling and perform unnecessary tests, and even regulate the physical facility where the procedure takes place. What’s more, nearly 30 abortion bans have been introduced, passed, or signed into law in 2019 alone, pushing basic health care out of reach for those living in poverty and in rural areas, people of color, LGBTQ people, and young people across the nation.
The Women’s Health Protection Act, reintroduced on May 23 by Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA) and Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), would create a new tool for safeguarding access to high-quality care and securing constitutional rights by protecting patients and providers from this dangerous political interference. Specifically, the bill would guarantee providers an affirmative statutory right to deliver care free from limitations that are more burdensome than those imposed on medically comparable procedures, do not significantly advance patient health or the safety of abortion, or make abortion more difficult to access. Importantly, this critical legislation also establishes a new test for courts to apply when considering whether a requirement impedes access to abortion services in violation of WHPA. Urge your lawmakers to ensure that every single person — regardless of how much they earn, where they live, or any other factors — can make their own moral and faith-informed decisions about their reproductive health care by supporting WHPA.