Why We Need the Women's Health Protection Act (WHPA) Right Now
The Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA) is a proposed legislation that would provide federal protection for abortions rights and protection for healthcare professionals to administer abortion care for their patients, free from any restrictions or legal consequences. Initially introduced by Representative Judy Chu of California, the WHPA would recognize reproductive justice as a fundamental human right that cannot be limited in any way.
To support its legislation, the WHPA argues that laws restricting access to abortion care are rooted in misogyny and a paternalistic, patronizing view that attempts to control women’s bodily autonomy without any benefits as to the health and well-being of the pregnant woman. The WHPA also recognizes that BIPOC, women of color, and women living in medically underserved communities are especially impacted when there are more restrictions on abortion care. Likewise, the WHPA includes an acknowledgement that not only women, but transgender and non-binary men require abortion care, since they are capable of being pregnant, as well.
Overall, any laws restricting abortion care negatively impact the economic and social lives of women and other individuals in need of abortion care. To abate and to help, we must have federal legislation, like the WHPA, aimed at protecting women’s bodily autonomy and to combat against any infringement on these reproductive rights, as achieved by the Supreme Court in June. This is why we must help to get the WHPA passed in Congress. Thus, we can initiate the journey to achieving reproductive justice in the United States.
Sadly, the WHPA passed the House of Representatives in September of 2021, but failed to pass the Senate in February of 2022. This failure to pass the WHPA marks a major regressive step in protecting the basic rights of a woman. Following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, it is especially crucial now that the Senate take on the WHPA again and vote to pass it. We must take this battle to the voting booths this mid-term and make sure that we vote in representatives that care about the reproductive rights of a woman.
Augustin, Stanley. “Senate Fails to Advance Women's Health Protection Act (WHPA).” Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, 28 Feb. 2022, https://www.lawyerscommittee.org/senate-fails-to-advance-womens-health-protection-act-whpa/.
El-bawab, Nadine. “Women's Health Protection Act Explained as Roe v. Wade Comes under Likely Threat.” ABC News, ABC News Network, 7 May 2022, https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/womens-health-protection-act-explained-roe-wade-threat/story?id=84491568.
Goldberg, Justin. “Women's Health Protection Act (WHPA).” Center for Reproductive Rights, 11 Mar. 2022, https://reproductiverights.org/the-womens-health-protection-act-federal-legislation-to-protect-the-right-to-access-abortion-care/.
H.R.3755 - 117th Congress (2021-2022): Women's Health Protection Act of ... https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/house-bill/3755.
Shivaram, Deepa. “A Bill to Codify Abortion Protections Fails in the Senate.” NPR, NPR, 11 May 2022, https://www.npr.org/2022/05/11/1097980529/senate-to-vote-on-a-bill-that-codifies-abortion-protections-but-it-will-likely-f.