The Women’s Health Protection Act: Federal Legislation to Protect the Right to Access Abortion Care


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In many places, accessing abortion care is extremely difficult, and for many people nearly impossible, because of state-level laws that restrict and ban access to abortion. The Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA) is federal legislation that would protect the right to access abortion care throughout the United States by creating a safeguard against bans and medically unnecessary restrictions.

What does the Women’s Health Protection Act do?

WHPA establishes a statutory right for health care professionals to provide abortion care and the right for their patients to receive care, free from medically unnecessary restrictions that single out abortion care.

Why is WHPA needed now?

Politicians have passed more than 450 state laws restricting abortion access over the past decade.

These restrictions have eliminated access to abortion care in large swaths of the United States. Nearly 90 percent of U.S. counties are without a single abortion provider and six states are down to their last clinic. Restrictions to abortion care especially harm communities of color, young people, rural communities, and people with low incomes.

Does WHPA have support in Congress?

Yes, the Women’s Health Protection Act has strong support in Congress, with more than 200 co-sponsors in the House and 42 in the Senate. (See the full lists of WHPA’s Senate supporters here and House supporters here.) The bill was introduced in the House by Congresswomen Judy Chu (D-CA), Lois Frankel (D-FL), and Marcia Fudge (D-OH), and in the Senate by Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI).

The Center for Reproductive Rights has actively supported WHPA since it was introduced in May 2019. In February 2020, Center president and CEO Nancy Northup testified before Congress in support of the bill, stating: “Recently, people across the nation have been calling on Congress to stand up for women and codify Roe. The Women’s Health Protection Act is the answer to that call. The moment is now to draw the line on the decades of assaults on women’s rights.”

Take action to help pass WHPA.

The Center for Reproductive Rights is proud to spearhead Act for Women, a national campaign to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act. Visit the Act for Women website to learn more and find out how you can join in the effort to make WHPA the law of the land.