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BACK TO FEDERAL ISSUES

Federal Issue: Abortion

FFRF Action Fund recognizes that the right to control one’s body, fertility and autonomy is essential to freedom for women and other persons capable of pregnancy. FFRF Action Fund recognizes that the only major organized opposition to abortion rights is religious in nature, and that this opposition is based on conjectural doctrinal and sectarian dogma related to beliefs about “God’s will,” women’s subordination and ensoulment, not on science and best medical practices. FFRF Action Fund recognizes that abortion care is critical to health care.

 

Women’s Healthcare Protection Act, introduced by Senator Tammy Baldwin (Wis.). This bill will:

Protect health care providers in states where abortion is legal from being subject to laws that try to prevent them from providing reproductive health care services or make them liable for providing those services to patients from any other state. These protections could be enforced by a federal lawsuit from the Department of Justice, a patient, or a provider, ensuring a future Department of Justice could not turn a blind eye to state laws that violate these protections;

Prohibit any federal funds from being used to pursue legal cases against individuals who access legal reproductive health care services or against health care providers in states where abortion is legal;

Create a new grant program at the Department of Justice to fund legal assistance or legal education for reproductive health care service providers;

Create a new grant program at the Department of Health and Human Services to support reproductive health care service providers in obtaining physical, cyber, or data privacy security upgrades necessary to protect their practice and patients; and

Protect reproductive health care providers from being denied professional liability insurance coverage solely because of legal health services offered to patients.

FFRF Action Fund supports:

Women’s Healthcare Protection Act 

This bill, which passed the House in the 2021-22 session but failed in the Senate, prohibits governmental restrictions on the provision of and access to abortion care. It would essentially codify the former protections in Roe v. Wade and also overthrow numerous TRAP (targeted restrictions on abortion providers) laws at the state level. We expect the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA) to be reintroduced in the near future.

Specifically, WHPA prohibits governments from limiting a provider’s ability to prescribe certain drugs, offer abortion services via telemedicine, or immediately provide abortion services when the provider determines a delay risks the patient’s health.

Nor may governments require a provider to perform unnecessary medical procedures, provide medically inaccurate information, comply with credentialing or other conditions that do not apply to providers whose services are medically comparable to abortions, or carry out all services connected to an abortion.

In addition, governments may not (1) require patients to make medically unnecessary in-person visits before receiving abortion services or disclose their reasons for obtaining such services, or (2) prohibit abortion services before fetal viability or after fetal viability when a provider determines the pregnancy risks the patient’s life or health.

The bill prohibits other governmental restrictions that otherwise single out and impede access to abortion services, unless a government demonstrates that the measure significantly advances the safety of abortion services or health of patients and cannot be achieved through less restrictive means.

The Department of Justice, individuals, or providers may bring a lawsuit to enforce this bill, and states are not immune from suits for violations.