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Pingree, House Democrats Again Vote to Establish Federal Right to Abortion

Congresswoman Pingree and her Democratic House colleagues initially passed the Women’s Health Protection Act in September 2021, but the bill was blocked by Senate Republicans and unable to move forward due to the filibuster

Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) and House Democrats today once again passed the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA) to codify the right to an abortion protect abortion access nationwide in wake of the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade. 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. Pingree and the House passed another version of the WHPA in September, which was twice blocked in the Senate. 

“Last September, House Democrats acted urgently to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act because we knew abortion rights were under threat. Shamefully, every single House Republican voted against this bill, allowing abortion bans to take effect nationwide as soon as Roe was struck down. Meanwhile Senate Republicans blocked the bill not once, but twice, despite a Supreme Court stacked with anti-choice Justices and the draft Dobbs opinion making clear this partisan court would end reproductive freedom in America after 50 years,” said Pingree. “Shortly after the Senate failed to act, the High Court issued its barbaric opinion in the Dobbs case, ending our bodily autonomy and letting the government control our fates.”

“Democratic governors and members of Congress are fighting to protect abortion access in their states and safeguard women from Republican-controlled states who could face jail time if they travel over state lines for reproductive health care. Our bill will ensure your reproductive rights aren't determined by your income or zip code,” Pingree continued. “Without the Women’s Health Protection Act, women living in Republican-controlled states will continue to be treated as second class citizens who cannot be trusted to make their own decisions. If the Senate can waive the filibuster to raise the debt ceiling, they can waive it to protect abortion access.”

Last week, Pingree applauded President Biden’s actions to protect reproductive health care services, including abortion and contraception. 

In the fiscal year 2023 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill, which was approved by the full House Appropriations Committee, Pingree and other Democratic members voted to support access to medication abortion, boost funding for Title X family planning, and end the Hyde Amendment, a long-standing discriminatory policy that denies low-income women their legal right to an abortion.

Pingree is a cosponsor of the Healthcare Providers Safety Act, which would protect patients and abortion care providers who have faced heightened harassment and violence by anti-abortion extremists emboldened by the Supreme Court’s pending challenge to Roe v. Wade.

Click here to learn more about how Pingree is fighting to protect abortion access.




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