Congressman Cleaver Votes to Protect Reproductive Health Freedom, Enshrine Roe v. Wade into Law

Press Release

Date: Sept. 24, 2021
Location: Washington, DC

Today, U.S. Representative Emanuel Cleaver, II (D-MO) voted in favor of H.R. 3755, the Women's Health Protection Act (WHPA), to defend women's constitutional right to reproductive health care. With state legislatures around the country and the U.S. Supreme Court continuing a dangerous assault on women's basic reproductive health freedoms, the WHPA would codify the protections of Roe v. Wade into law and secure the right to reproductive care for all women across the United States, regardless of where they live.

"Today, I was proud to stand with my colleagues to unequivocally announce that the House of Representatives supports a woman's right to choose," said Congressman Cleaver. "We must not allow radical lawmakers in various states across the country, including Missouri, to turn back the clock nearly fifty years on reproductive rights by installing draconian laws that defy the will of the American people and decades of Supreme Court precedent. A woman's constitutional right to reproductive freedom should not depend on their ZIP code, and with the Women's Health Protection Act, it won't."

Since July, 90 measures restricting reproductive rights have been enacted in various states across the country, marking the worst year for women's health rights since the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973. Earlier this year, the state of Texas enacted SB 8, which is now the most extreme abortion law in effect in the United States, outlawing nearly all abortions after six weeks, with no exceptions for rape and incest, while also creating a frightening vigilante system that enables private citizens to sue health care providers or anyone else they believe has helped a woman get an abortion after six weeks of pregnancy. Despite this law flagrantly violating the constitutional protections afforded under the Roe v. Wade decision, the Supreme Court shamefully allowed the law to go into effect.

The WHPA would codify the constitutional right to abortion care that has already been the law of the land for nearly half a century. It would establish the federal statutory right for health care providers to offer abortion care and the federal right for patients to obtain that care, free from state restrictions.

"When it comes to reproductive health care, decision-making should always remain private between a patient and their doctor--not deputized citizens," said Congressman Cleaver. "Passing the Women's Health Protection Act is a critical step toward creating a nation where every American is free to make the best health care decision for themselves and their families, and that's why I was proud to support this legislation."