FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 24, 2021
Alyson Malinger, West End Strategy Team
History Making Vote in House to Protect and Advance Abortion Access
WASHINGTON — Today, the House of Representatives took a crucial step to protect abortion access across the United States by passing the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA). National Council of Jewish Women CEO Sheila Katz issued the following statement in response:
“Passing the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA) is an important step toward becoming a country where every person — regardless of who they are or where they live — is free to make the best health care decisions for themselves and their families. As Jews, we recognize abortion as essential health care, that is not only permitted, but in some cases, required by our tradition. We celebrate the House of Representatives’ passage of WHPA which moves us closer to ensuring that all people have access to the full range of reproductive options, including abortion, in line with their values and faith tradition.
“House passage comes at a time when abortion access is being threatened across the United States. Since 2011, anti-abortion lawmakers have passed more than 500 restrictive abortion laws through state legislatures and already 2021 is the worst legislative year ever for abortion rights. The people most impacted are Black, Indigenous and People of Color, women, members of the LGBTQI+ community, and those working to make ends meet who already face obstacles to health care.
“During the Supreme Court term beginning next month, the Court will hear Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a challenge to Mississippi’s 15 week abortion ban that could determine the future of Roe v. Wade — possibly overturning this decades-old precedent — even as many people already cannot access this essential health care. Equal access to abortion care is essential for social and economic equity, reproductive autonomy, and to our futures.
“WHPA would protect access to abortion without the intervention of the Supreme Court. Fully enacted this law would also guarantee providers the right to provide abortion care — and all people the right to receive that care — without limitations that single out abortion or impede access. Importantly, the bill would also establish clear guidance for courts considering whether a requirement impedes access to abortion care, in violation of this law.
“Every day, across the country, National Council of Jewish Women advocates work to ensure we can all make our own moral and faith-informed decisions about our bodies, health, and future. This effort will continue with pressure on the Senate to now pass WHPA without delay to guarantee equitable access to abortion in every corner of the United States.”
National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) is a grassroots organization of 200,000 volunteers and advocates who turn progressive ideals into action. Inspired by Jewish values, NCJW strives for social justice by improving the quality of life for women, children, and families and by safeguarding individual rights and freedoms. Through a program of education, community service, and advocacy, our advocates across the country create lasting social change on our key issues of the federal courts; reproductive health, rights and justice; and voter engagement. More information on Facebook and on Twitter at @NCJW.