(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) joined U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) in introducing the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA). The legislation would guarantee a pregnant person’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.
Introduction of the Women’s Health Protection Act follows the Supreme Court’s decision to hear arguments in a case that directly threatens fifty years of precedent protecting access to abortion.
“Roe v. Wade established the fundamental principle that women’s health decisions belong to them and them alone. But since then, lawmakers at every level of government across the country have unleashed an onslaught of legislation to undermine and eliminate women’s constitutionally-protected right to an abortion. To make matters worse, the Supreme Court is now set to hear a direct challenge to Roe, putting women’s right to safe and legal abortions in grave risk,” said Senator Shaheen. “The Women’s Health Protection Act is urgently-needed legislation that would protect fifty years of precedent and ensure all American women can continue to make their own health care choices free from unnecessary restrictions. I always will defend a woman’s right to choose against these outrageous attempts to strip women of their constitutional rights.”
“Across the country, a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions is under constant attack. And now, with the precedent set by Roe v. Wade in serious jeopardy, Congress must act to ensure that the government cannot interfere in a woman's most personal, difficult, and complicated health care decisions,” Senator Hassan said. “This legislation would protect a woman’s freedom to decide how and when she wants to start a family, without fear that this constitutional right would be undermined in the courts or by state lawmakers. I urge my colleagues to join us in standing up for women’s ability to make their own health care decisions and control their own destiny.”
The text of the legislation is available here.
Senator Shaheen is an unrelenting advocate for women’s reproductive rights. Senator Shaheen has fought for years to increase coverage of women’s preventative care, including through her legislation to reduce the cost of contraception for servicewomen and dependents in military families. Shaheen has also advocated for repealing the Global Gag Rule, which bans federal funds for foreign non-governmental organizations that use non-U.S. funds to provide abortion services or provide information about abortion as part of comprehensive family planning services. Heeding Shaheen’s calls, the Biden administration issued an executive order reversing the rule. She has also supported efforts in Congress in opposition to the domestic Gag Rule, a Trump administration policy that restricted women’s access to reproductive health services at centers funded by the Title X program, which the Biden administration moved to reverse in April.
Senator Hassan is focused on expanding access to reproductive health care services and fighting against any efforts to chip away at the rights afforded under Roe v. Wade. Senator Hassan has led efforts in the Senate to protect Title X family planning centers, such as Planned Parenthood, which provide family planning services for low-income patients and serve nearly 18,000 Granite Staters annually. Earlier this year, Senator Hassan joined in leading more than 150 of her colleagues in urging the Department of Health and Human Services to rescind the former administration’s harmful Title X policies.