Washington Post Op-ed: Center CEO Urges Congress to Protect Abortion Access

07.06.2020

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Following the Center’s recent U.S. Supreme Court victory in June Medical Services v. Russo, Center for Reproductive Rights president and CEO Nancy Northup, in an opinion piece for The Washington Post, called on Congress to act to protect access to abortion care throughout the country. 

In the June 30 op-ed, titled “It’s time for Congress to stop the states from playing whack-a-mole with abortion,” Northup explains that while the Supreme Court rightly struck down a Louisiana law designed to shut down clinics, the ruling will not end the relentless state-by-state attacks on abortion access.  

The Women's Health Protection Act (WHPA), which has been introduced in both the House and the Senate, is a federal bill that would safeguard the right to abortion free from burdensome, medically unnecessary restrictions on reproductive health services. WHPA would solidify the fundamental rights long guaranteed by Roe v. Wade, creating a "clear federal standard for preserving the constitutional right to abortion and treating abortion for what it is: health care," according to Northup. 

Northup underscores the harm caused by the hundreds of state laws that have been passed since 2011 restricting abortion access: “This insidious campaign against abortion access hurts communities of color, young people, rural communities and people living in poverty the most. These restrictions mean that because there are fewer clinics and patients may have to travel considerable distances to reach them, a person’s ability to access abortion care often depends on where they happen to live, how much money they have and whether they can take time off work. This is just wrong. A right is not a right if you can’t exercise it. 

It’s time to end this grinding, wasteful state of uncertainty,” says Northup. The Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA) is the answer. 

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