The Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA) is a federal bill that would prohibit states from imposing restrictions on abortion that apply to no similar medical care. These laws are meant to interfere with patients’ personal decision-making and block access to safe, legal abortion care.
The Act would prohibit state and federal politicians from passing laws that:
- create regulations that grossly exceed what is necessary to ensure high standards of patient safety and quality of care, and are meant to close clinics;
- restrict women’s ability to safely access medication abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy;
- impose state-mandated medical procedures and protocols, such as forcing women to undergo ultrasounds and endure waiting periods for no medical reason, as a way to shame women for their personal decisions;
- ban abortion prior to viability in direct violation of constitutional rights confirmed by Roe v. Wade.
The Women’s Health Protection Act was first introduced by champions Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA) in November 2013; it has since been reintroduced in each session of Congress. In the 115th Legislative Session in 2015, Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) is a lead cosponsor in the Senate, and Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH) and Rep. Lois Frankel (D-FL) were lead cosponsors in the House of Representatives.