Washington, D.C. — Today, Rep. Lucy McBath (D-Marietta) voted to defend women’s right to reproductive health care with H.R. 3755, the Women’s Health Protection Act. Amid attempts to strip away basic health freedoms for millions of Americans, this landmark legislation protects against assaults on reproductive care and enshrines into law the vital protections of Roe v. Wade. Her remarks from the House floor can be found here.

“Generations of women fought for the freedom to make our own decisions about our bodies, and we cannot allow their work to be undone,” said McBath. “For decades, women have fought for a seat in the university classroom, a seat in the boardroom, and a seat in our government. Now, in the face of extraordinary assaults on a woman’s right to reproductive health care and bodily autonomy, I am proud to fight for legislation that secures basic health freedoms for women across America.”

For years, state legislatures have waged an all-out assault on women’s reproductive rights. 2021 is on track to be the worst legislative year for women’s health rights ever, with 90 measures restricting reproductive rights enacted since July – more than in any year since the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973. On May 19th, Texas enacted SB 8, which is now the most extreme abortion law in effect in the United States. This legislation outlaws nearly all abortions after six weeks, with no exceptions for rape and incest, while also creating a bounty system that deputizes private citizens to sue health care providers or anyone else they believe has helped a woman get an abortion after six weeks of pregnancy.

The Supreme Court has voted to permit this law to go into effect, despite its flagrant violation of the Constitution, by effectively denying Texas women the ability to exercise their constitutional rights guaranteed by Roe. The Supreme Court could take further action to gut Roe’s essential protections when it considers Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization on December 1st.

The Women’s Health Protection Act codifies the constitutional right to abortion care as found in Roe and reaffirmed in many subsequent decisions for nearly half a century. It establishes the federal statutory right for health care providers to offer abortion care and the federal right for patients to receive that care, free from state restrictions. Enshrining these essential rights is also an issue of racial and economic justice, as restrictions on reproductive care disproportionately harm women of color and women from low-income communities and perpetuate long-standing inequities.