Warner, Kaine announce bill to improve women’s healthcare access
On International Women’s Day, U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine announced that they are original co-sponsors of the Women’s Health Protection Act, a bill that would guard a woman’s right to safe and legal abortion. The act would prevent restrictive regulations and laws – such as those in place in states like Virginia – that curtail reproductive health services for women. Unfortunately, in the year since Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt was argued and in the months since the Supreme Court declared the decisive victory for women and their families, politically motivated attacks against women’s health care have increased across the country.
“Women should have the right to make their own reproductive health decisions based on their own values and using the best medical judgment available, not on the basis of where they live or the views of politicians there,” Warner said.
“This bill seeks to stop laws aimed at restricting a basic Constitutional right afforded to women decades ago. Every woman has the right to make her own health care decisions. We must protect the access women have to basic health care freedoms from restrictive regulations and deceptive laws. This is not just a women’s issue, but a family and an economic issue,”Kaine said.
Warner and Kaine joined Senators Richard Blumenthal and Tammy Baldwin in introducing the Women’s Health Protection Act. The bill has 40 co-sponsors in the Senate and 102 cosponsors in the House.
This legislation would prohibit laws that impose burdensome requirements on access to reproductive health services such as requiring doctors to perform tests and procedures that doctors have deemed medically unnecessary or preventing doctors from prescribing and dispensing medication as is medically appropriate. Other examples of laws that make it more difficult for a woman to access an abortion include restrictions on medical training for future abortion providers, requirements concerning the physical layout of clinics where abortions are performed, and forced waiting periods for patients.