Rep. Axne Votes to Reaffirm a Woman’s Right to Choose, Protect the Health of Millions of American Women
Today, Rep. Cindy Axne (IA-03) voted with a majority of the U.S. House of Representatives to pass legislation that would make explicit in federal law the right for a woman to make her own reproductive health care choices.
The Women’s Health Protection Act, which Rep. Axne co-sponsored in both of her terms in Congress, would guarantee a nationwide right to reproductive health choices for women at any point in time prior to fetal viability – a right supported by more than 50 years of U.S. Supreme Court precedent, but that has been recently undermined by restrictive state laws.
“For nearly half a century, a woman’s right to make her own decisions about her body and her reproductive health has been supported by the ruling of our nation’s highest court. Those decisions have been recognized as the law of our land, but recently we have seen a dangerous erosion of that precedent which threatens the health of millions of women,” said Rep. Axne. “When precedents are no longer enough to protect women’s rights, it’s time for Congress to act. It’s my job as a member of Congress to ensure that these protections are explicit and undeniable by making them clear in federal law.”
In 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court recognized that the constitutional right to privacy extends to a women’s reproductive choice to terminate a pregnancy in Roe v. Wade.
And in 1992, the Court decided in Planned Parenthood v. Casey to protect “the right of the woman to choose to have an abortion before viability and to obtain it without undue interference from the state.”
But earlier this month, the Supreme Court declined to uphold those precedents by allowing a new Texas law banning reproductive choices after 6 weeks of pregnancy to go into effect.
The Women’s Health Protection Act would prohibit states from banning abortions at any point prior to fetal viability, outlawing specific kinds of medicine or medical procedures, or blocking post-viability decisions that would threaten the health or life of the mother.