Pressley, Chu, Blumenthal, Baldwin, Frankel, and Escobar Statement on Supreme Court Decision Refusing to Block Restrictive, Dangerous Texas Abortion Law

September 2, 2021
Press Release
Lead sponsors of the Women’s Health Protection Act call for passage of legislation to codify protections for reproductive rights

WASHINGTON, D.C.– Today Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, Chair of the Pro-Choice Caucus’s Abortion Rights, Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA), Rep. Lois Frankel (D-FL), and Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-TX), and U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) issued a statement in reaction to the Supreme Court’s decision to allow a restrictive Texas anti-abortion law to take effect. The members are the lead sponsors of the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA), bicameral federal legislation to guarantee equal access to abortion, everywhere.

“In the middle of the night, in an unsigned, one-paragraph order, a conservative majority on the Supreme Court effectively overruled Roe v. Wade by refusing to block Texas’ extreme, restrictive anti-abortion law. This dangerous decision outlaws a woman’s right to choose after six weeks with no exceptions for rape or incest—denying millions access to constitutionally protected health care before many of them even know they are pregnant, and disproportionately harming low-income Texans and people of color.” 

“This decision defies precedent, turns the clock back by decades, and offers cash bounties to anyone who wants to police the bodies and choices of their neighbors. Without action, abortion access in Texas will be functionally non-existent. Make no mistake about it—this extreme law and the Supreme Court’s decision is a cruel, calculated attack on health care and reproductive rights.”

“We must stop these egregious attacks and clarify that our rights do not depend on zip code. Last night’s decision underscores the urgency of our legislation to guarantee a 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.”

“Congress must act now and pass the Women’s Health Protection Act before other states follow the lead of Texas and institute restrictions that eviscerate reproductive health care and choice. We applaud Speaker Pelosi for her announcement that the Women's Health Protection Act will be brought to the floor for a vote when the House returns, and President Biden for his intent to use a whole-of-government effort to respond to the Supreme Court’s assault on reproductive rights.” 

Introduced with historic support by Pressley and Chu, WHPA has 48 total co-sponsors in the Senate and 192 total co-sponsors in the House of Representatives.

The text of the Senate bill is available here and the text of the House bill is available here.

As Chair of the Pro-Choice Caucus’s Abortion Rights and Access Task Force, Congresswoman Pressley has fought tirelessly to protect comprehensive reproductive health care for all, including abortion care.

  • Over the course of her first term serving in Congress, Congresswoman Pressley has filed amendments every year to repeal the Hyde Amendment from annual Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies appropriations bills and in July of 2020 published a Medium post on the importance of doing so.
  • In May, she commended President Biden for eliminating Hyde in his FY22 presidential budget proposal and last month, she applauded the House for advancing funding bills that eliminated Hyde for the first time in over four decades.
  • In April, Rep. Pressley, along with Congresswomen Barbara Lee (CA-13), Diana DeGette (CO-01) and Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), led a group of 131 Democratic members in reintroducing the Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance Act or the EACH Act, which would repeal the Hyde Amendment and ensure that all people, regardless of income, insurance or zip code, can make personal reproductive health care decisions without interference from politicians.
  • In May 2020, she led more than 155 Members of Congress in calling on House Democratic leadership to ensure that any COVID-19 relief packages rejected Republican efforts to use the public health crisis to diminish abortion access.

In September 2016, as a member of the Boston City Council, Pressley championed a resolution calling on Congress and President Obama to repeal the Hyde Amendment and reinstate insurance coverage for abortion services.

 

###