Planned Parenthood and the Women's Health Protection Act
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One of the most dangerous bills in the Congress this year is the Women’s Health Protection Act (H.R. 3755). The WHPA would write the right to an abortion into federal law and give the federal government control over which laws concerning abortion can be passed in each state. You can be sure that, if passed and signed into law, the WHPA would wipe out every restriction on abortion in every state.

The bill passed the House of Representatives on September 24 by a vote of 218-211. Only one Democrat, Congressman Henry Cuellar of Texas, voted against the bill. Every Republican voted against the bill.

This week, Planned Parenthood Federation of America president, Alexis McGill Johnson, did an interview on Democracy Now! on a number of subjects. Below is the unedited transcript of the question and answer specifically about the Women’s Health Protection Act:

AMY GOODMAN: I wanted to ask you about WHPA, about the Women’s Health Protection Act, that Congress — the House passed overwhelmingly. And I want to go now to the Senate, because that’s where it would have to be voted on next. Now, the Democrats are in charge — by a hair, but they are in charge. But still, it looks like it cannot pass. And looking at recent Los Angeles Times coverage of one senator, Susan Collins of Maine, she said, “I support codifying Roe. Unfortunately, the bill … goes way beyond that. It would severely weaken the conscious exceptions that are in the current law.” She said she found parts of the bill’s language “extreme.” Collins said she’s talking with other senators on a potential bill that truly would codify Roe. She’s going to vote against WHPA. Can you explain what it is, its significance? And what is your strategy for dealing with the Senate?

ALEXIS McGILL JOHNSON: Yes. So, WHPA is the Women’s Health Protection Act. It is a law that would stop these horrific bans, like S.B. 8 in Texas, and would prevent further erosion by states on our federally, constitutionally protected right to access abortion.

The idea that Susan Collins, you know, who claims a pro-choice mantle — you know, also is someone who has put Brett Kavanaugh into a lifelong appointment — has decided to go in this direction against the Women’s Health Protection Act is quite alarming. You know, we are trying to ensure that our — you know, we are obviously on calls with all of our senators, trying to make sure that they will support this incredibly important legislation. But we’re also activating folks in the streets to have those same conversations, to make sure that people know that the majority of Americans support safe and legal abortion. It is a majority position.

And reproductive freedom has always been under constant attack. So, it’s really incredibly important for us to continue to push our lawmakers, our senators, to get them on record, knowing that this, in the middle of this year, when the Supreme Court is taking up Jackson v. Woman’s Health, is going to be a conversation that we’re going to have for the next 12 months.

This exchange clearly shows the importance that Planned Parenthood is placing on the ultimate passage of the Women’s Health Protection Act. It is really a call to all those who oppose abortion to get serious about stopping this act in the Senate. Please do whatever you can, peacefully and prayerfully, to stop the WHPA in the Senate!