WASHINGTON — Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, issued the following statement after the Senate failed to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act, legislation that would codify the right to abortion in federal law and ban state laws attacking abortion access:
“One week after a leaked draft opinion made it clear that the Supreme Court will, in a matter of weeks, overturn 50 years of precedent and outlaw legal abortion in some form, Senate Republicans remain firmly entrenched against their constituents’ human rights. It is beyond shameful that even though 70 percent of the American public support Roe, there are not 50 votes in the Senate to defend it.
“The right to abortion is a matter of dignity, freedom, and bodily autonomy — the right to make our most personal medical decisions without government interference. The end of Roe will be disastrous for the health of millions of people, but the impact will be hardest on Black and Brown people, young people, people in abusive relationships, people who live in rural areas, and those with lower incomes who won’t be able to cross state lines for care. As one of the one in four women in this country who has had an abortion, I will not stop fighting for Congress to stand up for this right — and I urge my colleagues to join me.
“Ultimately, our ongoing fight for access to abortion must include reforming the filibuster. Make no mistake: if Republicans take the chamber, they threaten to overturn the filibuster to enshrine minority rule on this issue and ban abortion nationwide — in the past week, Senate Republicans have suggested as much. Democrats must stop putting a Jim Crow-era procedure above their duty to protect Americans’ constitutional rights. But it is also clear that we urgently need not just a Democratic majority in the Senate, but a true pro-reproductive rights majority, as we have in the House."