In Post-Roe America, Pingree Renews Push to Establish Federal Right to Abortion
House Democrats twice passed the Women’s Health Protection Act in the 117th?Congress
Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) today and more than 200 of her Democratic colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives reintroduced the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA) to codify the right to an abortion and protect abortion access nationwide. The legislation, which passed the House twice in the 117th Congress but was blocked by Senate Republicans, 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.
“Let me be clear: Republicans’ end goal has always been to criminalize a woman’s control over her own body. By packing the courts for generations and finally repealing Roe, they are well on their way to succeeding. We can’t let them,” said Pingree. “As more and more Republican-led states institute draconian abortion bans and propose bills to throw women and doctors in jail, we need federal, codified protections for reproductive health care. Equal access to abortion care—everywhere—is essential for social and economic equality, reproductive autonomy, and the right to make our own decisions with dignity and self-determination. The Women’s Health Protection Act is a critical line of defense against Republicans’ war on women, and we must get it passed and finally to the president’s desk.”
Last summer, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, decimating the constitutional right to abortion in the United States. Afterwards, anti-abortion state lawmakers rushed to ban abortion, leaving people without access to essential health care in large swaths of the U.S. Since Roe was overturned, 12 states have already banned abortion outright and eight more are likely to follow their lead. Republicans across the country are pushing new laws to arrest doctors, punish women and those who help them, and criminalize interstate travel to obtain abortions.
Pingree is a longtime champion of reproductive freedom and has cosponsored and helped pass several bills in the House to protect those freedoms. This week, Pingree joined more than 90 of her colleagues in the Democratic Women’s Caucus (DWC), led by Chair Lois Frankel (D-Fla.), in pushing the Biden Administration to do more to ensure that insurers follow the law and comply with the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) contraception coverage requirements that guarantee women can get FDA-approved birth control products without out-of-pocket costs and any over-the-counter birth control product without a prescription.
In January, she joined her Pro-Choice Caucus colleagues in introducing a House resolution to combat Republican attacks on women’s reproductive freedoms.