ATTENTION ALL WOMEN: YOU CAN SUPPORT REPRODUCTIVE JUSTICE BY SUPPORTING THE WOMEN’S HEALTH PROTECTION ACT-
READ BELOW AND SIGN ON!!
The Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA) has been introduced in the Senate (as Bill S.1975) and the House (as Bill H.R. 3755). The WHPA’s purpose is to promote access to abortion and to permit health care professionals to provide abortion services without restrictions that single out abortion as compared to other medical procedures that are similar in terms of risk and complexity. Specifically, the WHPA protects the right to an abortion before fetal viability for any reason, and the right to an abortion after fetal viability if continuing the pregnancy would pose a risk to the patient’s life or health (as judged by the treating health care provider). The WHPA also prohibits a number of requirements and limitations that interfere with the provision of abortion services, such as:
- a requirement to perform medically unnecessary tests or procedures, or provide medically inaccurate information
- a limitation on prescribing or dispensing drugs (other than limitations generally applicable to the medical profession)
- a requirement about the infrastructure, equipment, or staffing of a facility providing abortion services that is not imposed on facilities providing medically comparable services
- a requirement for medically unnecessary in-person visits before the abortion
- a requirement that the patient disclose why she is seeking the abortion
- other requirements that single out abortion services – or the health care professionals who provide them – and impede access to those services.
The Findings and Purpose section of the WHPA explains how access to reproductive health care “has always been deficient in the United States for Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color,” and also how “abortion-specific restrictions are a tool of gender oppression.”
In 2021 we have seen states introduce huge numbers of anti-choice bills, many containing exactly the type of restrictions listed above. With this surge of anti-choice state legislation, as well as the upcoming Supreme Court case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, it is more important than ever to have the right to abortion protected in a federal statute
Supporting the WHPA is consistent with this portion of the Democrats Abroad 2020 Platform: “Democrats Abroad is committed to protecting and advancing sexual and reproductive-health rights and justice in the United States. We believe unequivocally that every human being living in the United States should have access to quality, affordable sexual and reproductive healthcare services, including…safe and legal abortions…”
Bill status (as of June 20, 2021):
Senate: The bill has 47 cosponsors and is currently in committee (Committee on the Judiciary)
House: The bill has 182 cosponsors and is currently in committee (Committee on Energy and Commerce)
HERE IS HOW YOU CAN HELP
Contact your senators and representative:
I am writing to urge you to support [if to Senator: Bill S. 1975] [if to Representative: Bill H.R. 3755], the Women’s Health Protection Act. Our right to abortion services, and the ability of health care professionals to provide these vital services, is under attack from all angles. The Act would ensure that states cannot ban pre-viability abortions or impose medically unnecessary restrictions on abortion services.
I believe that every person should have access to reproductive health care services, including safe and legal abortion. I agree wholeheartedly with the Act’s remark that access to abortion, which is essential health care, is “central to people’s ability to participate equally in the economic and social life of the United States.” It is crucial that we have a federal law protecting this right against anti-choice efforts at the state level.
Thank you for your attention to this important health care issue.