WASHINGTON – Today, Congresswoman Jahana Hayes (CT-05) voted to defend women’s constitutional right to reproductive health care with H.R. 3755, the Women’s Health Protection Act. Amid a dangerous assault on women’s basic health freedoms – from state houses across the country to the U.S. Supreme Court – this landmark legislation enshrines into law the vital protections of Roe v. Wade and secures the right to reproductive care for all women across America.
“Today, the House took a historic step to codify Roe v. Wade after the Supreme Court failed to protect its own precedent. I voted for the Women’s Health Protection Act because we need to defend the basic freedom of every woman in every community to make their own health care decisions. I believe that abortion and reproductive health are a woman’s constitutional right and I stand against efforts in Texas and across the country that attempt to undermine this freedom and put lives at risk,” said Congresswoman Hayes. “Let us not forget that many of these attacks are aimed at our most vulnerable communities – low-income women, and women of color. Access to safe, affordable reproductive care is critical for all.”
For years, state legislatures have waged an all-out assault on women’s reproductive rights. 2021 is on track to be the worst legislative year for women’s health rights, 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, 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.
Shamefully, 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.
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Congresswoman Jahana Hayes sits on the Committees on Education & Labor and Agriculture and proudly represents Connecticut’s 5th District. She was a public school teacher in Connecticut for more than 15 years and was recognized in 2016 as the National Teacher of the Year.