A federal abortion bill was reintroduced by a California representative. It would protect the right to access abortion care, bypassing state restrictions.
- Rep Chu is backing a federal abortion bill that bypasses state restrictions. The legislation is called the Women's Health Protection Act.
- Chu reintroduced it today. And our community reporter Sophie Flay tells us more about the measure and who's against it.
SOPHIE FLAY: In a virtual press conference today the Women's Health Protection Act was reintroduced by Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal and California Representative Judy Chu. It's federal legislation that would protect the right to access abortions without restrictions that are often set by state law. This means if "Roe versus Wade" falls abortion access would still be protected.
SEN RICHARD BLUMENTHAL: We face a point of potentially heightened scary crisis next year or later this year when the United States Supreme Court decides "Dobbs versus Jackson Women's Health."
SOPHIE FLAY: The "Dobbs versus Jackson Women's Health" case focuses on a Mississippi law which bans abortion at 15 weeks of pregnancy. The Supreme Court is expected to hear that case in the fall.
REP. JUDY CHU: This is part of a deliberate strategy by anti-abortion extremists to use state laws in the courts to slowly chip away AN abortion access.
SOPHIE FLAY: According to the Center for Reproductive Rights, nearly 90% of American counties are without a single abortion provider. Chu says that this bill would increase access to abortion services for minorities and low-income patients.
REP. JUDY CHU: We need WIPA to ensure that no matter where you live, what your background is, or what your zip code you have the same rights to make decisions about your own body as anyone else.
SOPHIE FLAY: But a representative from the local pro-life organization called the Right to Life League says this law isn't protecting the health of women. Also saying it will destroy 20 years of pro-life legislation.
SUSAN SWIFT ARNALL: They're attempting to override the rights of millions of Americans who have expressed time and again their vote, one state at a time saying we don't like abortion on demand. We want restrictions to make sure that women are protected and safe.
SOPHIE FLAY: In Silver Lake, Sophie Flay, ABC 7 Eyewitness News.