May 23, 2019

Cortez Masto, Colleagues Introduce Bicameral Federal Legislation to Guarantee Equal Access to Abortion, Everywhere

Washington, D.C. – Following the recent passage of restrictive anti-choice state laws in Alabama, Georgia and Missouri, U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) joined Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), and U.S. Representatives Judy Chu (D-Calif.-27), Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio-11), and Lois Frankel (D-Fla.-21) to introduce the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA). This bicameral federal legislation guarantees equal access to abortion, everywhere. This legislation has 42 co-sponsors in the Senate and 171 co-sponsors in the House of Representatives.

“All Americans are guaranteed equal rights under the law and yet, in states across the nation, restrictive abortion laws are threating women’s hard-fought equality. State legislatures, especially those dominated by male politicians, shouldn’t be working to overturn what the Supreme Court has ruled is the constitutional right for a woman to make her own choices about her body. These extreme abortion bans aren’t rooted in any scientific or medical fact, and they threaten to undermine the agency, independence and health of women and families. I’ll continue to support policies that protect women’s reproductive health care options, because fighting for equal rights means fighting for women’s rights.”

In addition to Senators Blumenthal, Baldwin and Cortez Masto, Senators Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Chris Coons (D-Dele.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Angus King (I-Maine), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) are also cosponsors of this bill.

WHPA is also 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.


A recent Politico-Morning Consult national tracking survey found that a majority of registered voters oppose the restrictive laws passed in Georgia and Alabama, including 59 percent of women and 55 percent of independents. The same survey also found that 52 percent oppose overturning Roe v. Wade—including 48 percent of Republican voters.

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. Just in this legislative session, 34 laws that restrict and impede access to abortion have already passed in 15 states this legislative session and another 350 restrictive laws have been introduced. WHPA would stop these attacks and ensure that abortion access first guaranteed under Roe is a reality for everyone, everywhere.

The Women’s Health Protection Act (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.