(Washington, DC) – Yesterday, U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) joined a group of Senators to reintroduce the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA). The legislation would guarantee a pregnant woman’s right to access an abortion—and the right of an abortion provider to deliver these abortion services—free from medically unnecessary restrictions that interfere with a patient’s individual choice or the provider-patient relationship.
Reintroduction of the Women’s Health Protection Act follows the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, eliminating fifty years of precedent protecting access to abortion.
“No one – not a lawmaker or unelected jurist should be able to control a woman’s decision on when or if to start a family. It should belong to her and her alone without government interference. Republican lawmakers across the country – including those in Concord -- have jumped on the reversal of Roe v. Wade and are attacking women’s access reproductive health care. We need the Women’s Health Protection Act to help ensure that a woman’s ability to access the care she needs is not restricted based on her zip code,” said Senator Shaheen. “I’ll keep fighting to protect women’s fundamental rights in New Hampshire and across the nation.”
“As we continue to see attacks on a woman’s fundamental freedom, it is critical that we enshrine Roe v. Wade into law by passing the Women’s Health Protection Act. Women are capable of making their own health care choices and of knowing what is best for their personal health and safety. This bill will protect the fundamental right of a woman to decide how and when she wants to start a family – a decision that should be hers alone. I urge my colleagues to join me in standing up for the rights of women,” said Senator Hassan.
Shaheen and Hassan both delivered remarks on the Senate floor this afternoon in support of the Women’s Health Protection Act, which can be viewed here and here.
The bill is led by U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT). Additional cosponsors include Senators Murray (D-WA), Cortez Masto (D-NM), Stabenow (D-MI), Schumer (D-NY), Wyden (D-OR) and Whitehouse (D-RI).
Full text of the legislation is available here.
Senator Shaheen is an unrelenting advocate for women’s reproductive rights. As it became clear last fall that the Supreme Court would likely overturn Roe, Shaheen held a press conference with the New Hampshire delegation and Planned Parenthood of Northern New England to discuss women’s freedoms and the implications for reproductive health with the overturning of Roe v. Wade. She later spoke on the Senate floor to urge lawmakers to vote in favor of legislation that would codify Roe. For years, Shaheen has fought to expand coverage of women’s preventative care, including through her legislation to reduce the cost of contraception for servicewomen and dependents in military families. She also penned an op-ed for the Union Leader underscoring the threats to women’s freedoms and rights in a post-Roe America. It can be read in full here.
Senator Hassan, a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, has been a leader in standing up for women’s reproductive freedoms and an outspoken advocate on the dangerous consequences of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe. Last month, Senator Hassan led a push joined by Senator Shaheen urging Danco Laboratories, a manufacturer of mifepristone – which is safely and legally used to manage miscarriages –to submit an application to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to add miscarriage management to the medication’s label. The label currently only includes medication abortion. Senator Hassan has also been a leader in the fight to protect Title X family planning centers.