The Women’s Health Protection Act, which is supported by a majority of voters, would protect abortion access throughout the United States. It would also guarantee equal access to abortion care and undo unscientific abortion restrictions that target women’s reproductive care. The numbers fell short yesterday (Feb. 28) of that needed to break the dreaded filibuster; the fight for abortion rights is far from over, however.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation has long been a supporter of the Women’s Health Protection Act and was one of the 100-plus organizations to initially sign onto the campaign. Last June, FFRF submitted formal testimony in support of the bill. In our letter, FFRF highlighted the “religiously motivated attacks on abortion rights” that have made abortion care inaccessible through most of the country. Thanks to the hard work of abortion rights activists, advocates and experts, including FFRF members, history was made when the Women’s Health Protection Act passed the House in September.
And while the act did not clear the Senate, there is still much to applaud. FFRF thanks the hard work of the more than 100 organizations who worked tirelessly on the campaign, as well as Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and the 46 senators who voted for the Women’s Health Protection Act. Last, but certainly not least, we appreciate the activism of FFRF members who participate in action alerts, share our reproductive health news stories and stand up for secular values. The unsuccessful attempt yesterday to thwart the filibuster doesn’t change any of that.
“We need a national reckoning over the role the Senate filibuster — which was infamously used by old-time Southern senators to stymie civil rights legislation — is playing in blocking needed legislation to address voting rights, inequality, climate change and reproductive liberty,” says Annie Laurie Gaylor, FFRF co-president.
As it appears probable that the ultraconservative Supreme Court will overturn Roe v. Wade this year, reproductive health activism and advocacy is especially crucial. FFRF has joined hundreds of organizations to ask President Biden to end abortion stigma and stand up for abortion rights tonight during his State of the Union address. (And, by the way, FFRF will be making our mark tonight when the ad recorded for us by Ron Reagan plays in post-address commentary on national CBS and then on the live edition of “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.”)
We encourage you to read about why reproductive health is a state/church issue and review our guide for more ideas in fighting for abortion rights. We will continue to serve as a watchdog for the infringement on abortion rights by organized religious lobbies and their lackies in Congress and statehouses. We are grateful to have you with us in the fight.