LWVUS sent a letter to members of the US Senate asking them to vote yes on S4132, legislation that would codify a woman's right to reproductive choice, including access to abortion services.
May 10, 2022
Members of the US Senate
Washington, DC 20510
Sent via electronic mail
Following the leak of the US Supreme Court’s draft majority opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the League of Women Voters of the United States writes to urge the US Senate to pass S.4132, the Women’s Health Protection Act of 2022, codifying the rights of women of reproductive age, and other people who may become pregnant, to make reproductive health decisions for themselves, including the right and access to an abortion.
If published, the Supreme Court’s draft decision would have devastating impacts on women and people who may become pregnant. This precedent would pose a threat to the future protection of the civil liberties of all Americans. In its 1973 decision, Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court ruled that an individual’s right to make their own reproductive choices without government interference is protected under the Fourteenth Amendment of the US Constitution. If Roe is overturned, 26 states are poised to strip more than 36 million women of reproductive age of the right to make decisions about their own bodies, leaving millions entirely without access to safe and legal abortions.
Fundamentally, healthcare should not be a controversial topic. As a basic premise, healthcare is the organized delivery of medical care to individuals or a community. The purpose of healthcare is not political and are those efforts made to maintain or restore physical, mental, or emotional well-being especially by trained and licensed professionals. The League believes that all US residents should have access to basic quality health care at an affordable cost. The League also maintains that public policy must affirm the constitutional right of privacy of the individual to make reproductive choices.
We know that the right to privacy in the healthcare industry is a bipartisan value, which is evidenced by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPPA), in which legislators came together to set standards to protect sensitive patient health information from being disclosed without the patient's knowledge or consent. Access to reproductive healthcare is no exception. For nearly five decades, legislators and advocates have worked with reproductive justice organizations to support legislative initiatives that restore, maintain, and expand access to reproductive choice. Additionally, in its most recent survey, Pew Research Center found that 61% of U.S. adults think abortion should be legal in all or most cases. We hope that at this critical time, legislators can come together again to fortify the commitment to reproductive choice, and uphold the will of the American people.
Furthermore, individual rights protected by the Constitution should not be weakened or abridged. It is the responsibility of Congress to make laws that protect the American people. The Women’s Health Protection Act will put into federal law the right of individuals to make their own reproductive choice decisions. The League commends the US House of Representatives for passing this bill in 2021 and urges the Senate to come together to find common ground towards a comprehensive bill to pass that will protect the rights of more than 36 million women of reproductive age and people who may become pregnant, and safeguard the very law that individuals have relied on for nearly 50 years. We cannot go backward. The erosion of abortion rights threatens the degradation of a host of civil liberties, a peril we cannot overstate.
As an organization that believes in the power of women to create a more perfect democracy, the League of Women Voters of the United States will work to preserve the right of every woman and pregnant person to make their own reproductive choices. As the future of the nation’s rights to healthcare, reproductive choice, privacy, and civil liberties hang in the balance, we urge you to do everything in your power to codify the protection of safe and accessible abortion care. Democracy, equity, and justice depend on it. If you would like to discuss additional measures related to this issue, please reach out to Jessica Jones Capparell at [email protected]. Thank you for your consideration.
Virginia Kase Solomón
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