Announcement Follows Florida House Passing 15-Week Abortion Ban Last Night
Planned Parenthood Has Been Running a Multi-Six-figure Campaign to Support Passage and Protect Abortion Rights Nationwide
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Tonight, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) filed cloture on the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA), setting up a Senate vote when the chamber returns the week of February 28. WHPA, led by reproductive health champions Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), establishes a statutory right to provide and receive abortion care, free from harmful bans and unnecessary restrictions that single out abortion and impede access to care. This announcement follows the House passage of WHPA in September, and comes as we approach the six month anniversary of Texas’s S.B. 8 abortion ban. So far in 2022, emboldened by Mississippi’s direct challenge to Roe v. Wade currently before the Supreme Court, more than 230 anti-abortion bills have been filed in at least 39 states.
The Women’s Health Protection Act would help safeguard the right to access abortion, and provide a tool against the 15-week bans that legislative chambers in Arizona, Florida, and West Virginia advanced just this week alone. Late last night, members of the Florida House of Representatives approved a 15-week ban after Florida Capitol police forced activists opposed to the bill — including local Planned Parenthood staff and volunteers — out of the gallery.
Alexis McGill Johnson, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, celebrated the news of an upcoming WHPA vote in the Senate and called on the Senate to pass this critical legislation.
Statement from Alexis McGill Johnson, president and CEO, Planned Parenthood Federation of America:
“With the Supreme Court set to rule on a case that could overturn Roe this summer, we need Congress to step up and help protect abortion rights now more than ever. As we’ve seen in Florida, West Virginia, and Arizona over the past few days, state lawmakers have been emboldened to introduce and pass an onslaught of abortion restrictions that violate our right to safe, legal abortion. Your zip code or how much money you make should not impact your ability to access essential health care in your own community. It’s paramount that the Senate pass the Women’s Health Protection Act to protect every person’s freedom to make their own reproductive health decisions. We thank Leader Schumer for bringing this House-passed legislation to the floor and strongly urge every senator to listen to their constituents and pass this vital legislation.”
Last month, more than 225 organizations dedicated to protecting and advancing civil rights, health, economic security, LGBTQ+ rights, and gender justice sent an open letter calling on senators to pass WHPA.
Last year, more than 100 abortion restrictions were signed into law – the most in any single year since Roe v. Wade established the constitutional right to abortion, nearly 50 years ago. This includes Texas’s unconstitutional six-week abortion ban that created a bounty-hunter scheme and has been in effect for nearly six months. In December, the Supreme Court again failed to block Texas’s abortion ban, and heard oral arguments in a Mississippi case that could overturn Roe v. Wade. If that happens, there are 26 states that are poised to ban abortion, through mechanisms such as abortion ban trigger laws and/or pre-Roe abortion bans. WHPA would make these efforts easier to fight in court.
Eight in ten Americans think abortion should be legal — a right protected under Roe v. Wade. Nearly one in four women will have an abortion in their lifetime. WHPA is an essential step in the march toward obtaining reproductive freedom and helping to grant all people equitable access to abortion and other essential health care overnight, it is an essential step.
Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable sexual and reproductive health care for all people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With more than 600 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect, and without judgment, striving to create equitable access to health care. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable education and information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives. Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that supports the independently incorporated Planned Parenthood affiliates operating health centers across the U.S.