WASHINGTON – U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) joined Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and 45 Senate colleagues in introducing the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA), federal legislation to guarantee access to abortion care across the country. The bill’s introduction comes as states continue to pass dangerous anti-choice laws in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overturned fifty years of precedent and access to abortion care established by Roe v. Wade.
The Women’s Health Protection Act guarantees the right to access an abortion—and the right of an abortion provider to deliver these services—free from medically unnecessary restrictions that interfere with a patient’s individual choice or the provider-patient relationship.
“After nearly fifty years of established protections, women’s reproductive health care is under attack. In states across the country, including Virginia, laws stripping back the right to choose are being introduced and taking effect,” said Sen. Warner. “There has never been a more urgent time to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act and ensure that women reclaim the right to make their own decisions about their health care.”
“We need to codify the protections that Roe v. Wade gave to American women more than 50 years ago so that the freedom to make personal decisions about reproductive health isn’t completely dependent on your zip code,” said Sen. Kaine. “The Women’s Health Protection Act would protect that freedom, and I am glad to cosponsor.”
Following the Dobbs decision, Sens. Warner and Kaine have strongly advocated for legislation to protect Americans’ access to reproductive health care. Last year, the senators cosponsored legislation to protect the right of women to travel across state lines for abortion services and help protect medical providers from being punished for providing patients with this care. Sen. Warner has also taken steps to ensure that those seeking abortion care are receiving accurate information, resulting in a policy change from Google to clearly label facilities that provide abortions so that users seeking abortions are not misled by anti-abortion fake clinics or crisis pregnancy centers. In addition, Sen. Kaine has cosponsored legislation to expand access to affordable over-the-counter birth control and legislation to protect access to medication abortions.