by Kateland McKenna
Roe v. Wade is historic. That will not change. It has helped more women, and men, then we will probably ever know. It has served its purpose for nearly fifty years but it has always been under attack and in danger of being overturned.
While we have every right to try to save Roe v. Wade, we must also consider what alternatives exist that protect women’s freedoms in this country. The answer can be found in the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA). The Bitter Woman supports the passing of the WHPA into law.
The Women’s Health Protection Act is a bill that was introduced last year. Sponsored by Congressional representatives Judy Chu (D-CA), Lois Frankel (D-FL), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), and Veronica Escobar (D-TX) and Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), the Women’s Health Protection Act was passed in the House but did not receive the needed amount of votes in the Senate (with only 46 of the needed 60 votes).
Co-Sponsors of the bill in the Senate are listed by state here.
Co-Sponsors of the bill in the House are listed by state here.
The bill would provide a federal level of support for abortion access that would be missing with the overturning of Roe v. Wade. The goal of the bill is, “To protect a person’s ability to determine whether to continue or end a pregnancy, and to protect a health care provider’s ability to provide abortion services.”
The language used in the bill is direct and specific. There are no gray areas. The bill is inclusive of any individual who can get pregnant. There is no room for argument about what it means to be a "woman". Reproductive service providers are also protected in the proposed bill, not just the individual. There are no medically unnecessary restrictions, forced waiting periods, or pre-viability bans in the bill. Any individual can seek and receive an abortion for any reason they so wish. These are important details as conservative law makers and anti-abortion extremists are attacking any and all points in the abortion process.
You can read the full text of the bill here.
Summary of the Bill
If you do not have time to read the bill in full, I have detailed some of the most important points below:
This Act is intended to protect all people with the capacity for pregnancy—cisgender women, transgender men, non-binary individuals, those who identify with a different gender, and others—who are unjustly harmed by restrictions on abortion services.
International human rights law recognizes that access to abortion is intrinsically linked to the rights to life, health, equality and non-discrimination, privacy, and freedom from ill-treatment.
Congressional action is necessary to put an end to harmful restrictions, to federally protect access to abortion services for everyone regardless of where they live, and to protect the ability of health care providers to provide these services in a safe and accessible manner.
This Act shall take effect immediately upon the date of enactment of this Act. This Act shall apply to all restrictions on the provision of, or access to, abortion services whether the restrictions are enacted or imposed prior to or after the date of enactment of this Act, except as otherwise provided in this Act.
Reproductive justice seeks to address restrictions on reproductive health that perpetuate systems of oppression, lack of bodily autonomy, white supremacy, and anti-Black racism. Access to equitable reproductive health care, including abortion services, has always been deficient in the United States for Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color (BIPOC) and their families.
Polling has found that 61% of voters nationally support the passage of a national law that would protect the constitutional right to access abortion.
We are reliant on the individuals who are elected to represent us in government to protect our reproductive rights. It is because of bills such as the WHPA that voting is of utmost importance. We need to have lawmakers in power that serve to protect us, not control us.
Tell your state lawmakers to support WHPA through the links below:
You can find additional resources for supporting reproductive rights at: