On July 15, 2014, the Senate Judiciary Committee convened a hearing on the Women’s Health Protection Act, “S.1696, The Women’s Health Protection Act: Removing Barriers to Constitutionally Protected Reproductive Rights.” Senator Richard Blumenthal, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, chaired the hearing, and Senator Tammy Baldwin and Congresswoman Judy Chu provided testimony.
The witness panel in support of the legislation featured Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, Dr. Willie Parker, an abortion provider in Mississippi, and Wisconsin State Representative Chris Taylor. Twenty-three organizations submitted written testimony in support of the bill.
The hearing drew a packed crowd, with supporters of the bill lining up several hours before it began to secure seats, and prompted media coverage across the country. Hearings on proactive abortion rights legislation are rare, and this event provided an opportunity for legislators, experts, and state and national organizations to discuss the importance of protecting access to abortion for all women, regardless of where they live.