Women's Health Protection Act would stop state anti-choice laws – NJ TODAY

Lisa McCormick applauded federal lawmakers who introduced legislation that would stop political extremists who want to impose unreasonable restrictions on women’s health care to create unconstitutional barriers to safe, legal abortion.

Following the recent passage of restrictive anti-choice state laws in Alabama, Georgia, and Missouri, U.S. Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) joined members of both the House of Representatives to introduce the Women’s Health Protection Act, federal legislation to guarantee equal access to abortion everywhere.

Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH) and Rep. Lois Frankel (D-FL) are lead cosponsors in the House of Representatives.

McCormick said the legislation had 170 other members of the House co-sponsoring its introduction, including Reps. Donald Payne, Albio Sires, Bonnie Watson Coleman and Mikie Sherrill; as well as 42 additional senators, Cory Booker and Robert Menéndez among them.

“Simply put, women cannot be in control of their own bodies when extreme politicians like those in Alabama, or Missouri, or the White House are making decisions that limit women’s options, restrict their choices, and criminalize the providers they trust,” said Murray.“This legislation will help ensure that every woman across the country is able to exercise her constitutional right to control her body, her future, and her security.”

Sen. Maria Cantwell, Sen, Patty Murray, Lisa McCormick and others are calling for federal protection of the right to choose an abortion to stop efforts to impose unreasonable restrictions.

“These outrageous abortion bans roll back years of progress on access to women’s health care,” said Cantwell. “A woman’s right to make decisions about their own body is protected by the Constitution, and Washington state has codified that right into law. This legislation will protect a woman’s right to reproductive health care, no matter where they reside.”

The Women’s Health Protection Act guarantees a woman’s right to choose — and the right of a provider to deliver these services — nationwide, free from medically-unnecessary restrictions that interfere with a patient’s individual choice or the provider-patient relationship, explained McCormick.

“From Roe v. Wade in 1973 to Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt in 2016, the Supreme Court has repeatedly recognized a pregnant person’s right to access an abortion,” said McCormick.

However, anti-choice advocates have worked for years at the state level to pass laws meant to undermine or eliminate access to women’s reproductive care.

Just in this legislative session alone, 34 laws that restrict and impede access to women’s health care have already passed in 15 states, and another 350 restrictive laws have already been introduced.

“The Women’s Health Protection Act would protect the right to abortion by creating a safeguard against restrictions that apply to no similar medical care,” said McCormick, a New Jersey Democrat who has been a champion for women’s rights. “The restrictions enacted by Republicans in states around the nation, interfere with patients’ personal decision-making and block access to safe, legal abortion care.”

WHPA would stop these attacks and ensure that the health care access first guaranteed under Roe is a reality for everyone, everywhere.

Polls have found that 71 percent of American voters oppose overturning Roe v. Wade, including 76 percent of independents and a majority of Republicans. Among women, 72 percent do not want to see this landmark constitutional decision overturned.

WHPA was introduced with the support of 42 co-sponsors in the Senate, including Murray and Cantwell. Companion legislation was introduced by U.S. Representative Judy Chu (CA-27) and 171 co-sponsors in the U.S. House of Representatives.

WHPA has been endorsed by leading women’s health and civil rights organizations, including the Center for Reproductive Rights, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, NARAL Pro-Choice America, and the ACLU.

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