ACLU Statement on the U.S. Senate Vote on the Women’s Health Protection Act
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate voted today on the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA), legislation to provide a nationwide safeguard against attacks on abortion access, which the House passed in September. The procedural vote fell short of the 60 votes needed to advance in the chamber, despite support from a majority of the public to protect abortion rights.
This landmark vote comes at a critical moment when the Supreme Court appears poised to overturn or gut Roe v. Wade and has allowed Texas to enforce its draconian abortion ban for half a year, and as other states are advancing a wave of abortion bans and restrictions around the country. WHPA would create robust federal protections by establishing a statutory right for health care providers to provide, and for patients to receive, abortion care free from medically unnecessary restrictions and bans that single out abortion and impede access to care.
Statement from Georgeanne Usova, senior legislative counsel, ACLU:
“With the Supreme Court seemingly poised to overturn or gut Roe v. Wade and an extreme abortion ban already causing devastation across Texas, it has never been more urgent to protect abortion access nationwide. We need our elected officials to address this crisis — and those who supported this critical bill today voted to defend every person’s right to make decisions about their lives and futures. Unfortunately, those who blocked its passage are allowing that fundamental right to be dismantled. The consequences of failing to advance this legislation will fall hardest on people who already face the greatest structural barriers to health care, including people of color, people with low incomes, immigrants, people with disabilities, and LGBTQ+ people. No one should be forced to carry a pregnancy against their will, and we won’t stop working until every person can get the essential abortion care they need.”
The ACLU is scoring the vote on passage of WHPA in the organization’s congressional scorecard, available online here.
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The ACLU works to ensure that every person can make the best decision for themselves and their family about whether and when to have a child without undue political interference.