WASHINGTON, DC—Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) today voted with her Democratic U.S. House colleagues to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA), which would protect abortion access nationwide and finally codify the protections established by the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey decisions.
Passage of the WHPA comes just weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court denied an emergency request to block S.B. 8, Texas’s draconian new law that ends almost all abortion access in the state. S.B. 8 denies abortion care at six weeks, which is before many women even know they are pregnant; it provides no exemptions for cases of rape or incest; and it allows private citizens to bring civil suits against anyone assisting a pregnant woman seeking an abortion – from medical professionals to an Uber or Lyft driver who transports her to a procedure.
“In failing to stand up for its own legal precedent, the U.S. Supreme Court has opened the floodgates for a total rollback of Roe v. Wade. Make no mistake: Texas’s law drags us back to a time when women weren’t trusted to decide their own future. And already, with a green light from the Supreme Court, governors and legislators in other red states are vowing to enact laws modeled after Texas’s, “ said Pingree. “The denial of abortion rights anywhere in America is a threat to the health of women everywhere. That’s why I proudly cosponsored and voted for the Women’s Health Protection Act today. We cannot and will not go back.”
The WHPA would establish the federal right for health care providers to carry out an abortion, and for patients to receive abortion care, free from medically unnecessary and burdensome restrictions that single out abortion services as compared with other medical procedures with similar risk
This week, Pingree authored a guest column in the Portland Press Herald outlining the urgent need for Congress to save Roe v. Wade with passage of the WHPA. Click here to read her column.