Larson Votes to Defend Reproductive Health Rights
Washington, D.C. – Today, Rep. John B. Larson (CT-01) voted for the Women’s Health Protection Act. This bill would enshrine Roe v. Wade into law and protect the right to access reproductive health care and abortions for women across America.
“The Women’s Health Protection Act is direly needed as states across the country impose heinous laws to deter and prevent women from seeking an abortion in direct violation of Roe v. Wade and assault women’s basic health freedoms,” said Larson. “Extreme laws like Texas’s SB8 cannot go unchecked. I’m proud to vote for this legislation, to reject these unconstitutional attacks on reproductive freedom, enshrine Roe v. Wade into law, and reinforce our commitment to ensuring women across the country can access the care they need.”
2021 is on track to be the worst legislative year for women’s health rights ever, with 90 measures restricting reproductive rights enacted since July – more than in any year since the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973. On May 19th, Texas enacted SB 8, which is now the most extreme abortion law in effect in the United States. This catastrophic legislation outlaws nearly all abortions after six weeks, with no exceptions for rape and incest, while also creating a chilling bounty system that deputizes private citizens to sue health care providers or anyone else they believe has helped a woman get an abortion after six weeks of pregnancy.
The Supreme Court voted to permit this law to go into effect, despite its flagrant violation of the Constitution, by effectively denying Texas women the ability to exercise their constitutional rights guaranteed by Roe. The Supreme Court could take further action to gut Roe’s essential protections when it considers Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization on December 1st.
The Women’s Health Protections Act codifies the constitutional right to abortion care as found in Roe and reaffirmed in many subsequent decisions for nearly half a century. It establishes the federal statutory right for health care providers to offer abortion care and the federal right for patients to receive that care, free from state restrictions. Enshrining these essential rights is also an issue of racial and economic justice, as restrictions on reproductive care disproportionately harm women of color and women from low-income communities and perpetuate long-standing inequities.