On the eve of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s historic hearing on the Women’s Health Protection Act, The New York Times has published an opinion piece that endorses the bill’s goals and incisively contextualizes its importance.
The Times calls the act, which was introduced by Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA) in November 2013, “a vital measure that would safeguard the reproductive rights of women all across the nation, regardless of where they live.” In addition to sponsoring the bill, Judiciary Committee member Senator Blumenthal will also preside over the hearing.
Pointing to the duplicitous campaign of restrictions that anti-choice state legislators have enacted to limit abortion access—from absurd clinic building regulations to requiring that providers have hospital admitting privileges—the editorial offers a straightforward assessment of the goals of the Women’s Health Protection Act: “Its purpose is to stop states from implementing laws billed as protecting women’s health and safety but actually meant to undermine their constitutionally protected right to choose.”
To underscore the need for such legislation, the NYT editors directly cite the Center for Reproductive Rights’ president and CEO:
“Nancy Northup . . . who is scheduled to testify at Tuesday’s hearing in support of the bill, accurately terms these disingenuous restrictions ‘wolves in sheep’s clothing’ devised and promoted by politicians, not the medical profession.”
The New York Times affirms the urgency of the Women’s Health Protection Act and perceives its advancement through the legislative process as a significant shift in the momentum of the reproductive rights movement.