Cantwell Joins Colleagues to Introduce the Women’s Health Protection Act, Federal Safeguard Against Anti-Abortion Laws

WASHINGTON D.C. – U.S. Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA) joined her colleagues in introducing the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA), bicameral federal legislation to guarantee equal access to abortion across the United States. The bill’s introduction follows the Supreme Court’s decision to hear arguments in a case that directly threatens fifty years of precedent protecting access to abortion, and comes as states like Texas continue to pass anti-choice laws. The WHPA has 48 co-sponsors in the Senate and 176 co-sponsors in the House of Representatives.

“Anti-choice state laws threaten to roll back years of progress on a woman’s right to make decisions about her own body. Washington state made that right law, but a woman’s right to reproductive health care shouldn’t depend on which state she lives in,” said Senator Cantwell.

WHPA guarantees a pregnant person’s right to access an abortion—and the right of an abortion provider to deliver these abortion services—free from medically unnecessary restrictions that interfere with a patient’s individual choice or the provider-patient relationship.

From Roe v. Wade in 1973 to Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt in 2016, the Supreme Court has repeatedly recognized abortion as a constitutional right. However, anti-abortion advocates have worked for years at the state-level to pass laws meant to undermine or eliminate access to abortion care. In the last decade, state lawmakers have pushed through nearly 500 restrictive laws that make abortion difficult and, sometimes, impossible to access. Just this year, four states have passed bans on abortion at six weeks of pregnancy, before many people even know they’re pregnant. Lawmakers in Arkansas and Oklahoma attempted to ban abortion completely. WHPA would stop these attacks and ensure that abortion access first guaranteed under Roe is a reality for everyone, everywhere.

The text of the Senate bill is available here. The text of the House bill is available here.