your rights shouldn't depend on your zip code

A federal pro-choice bill that would stem the anti-choice tide in the states

your rights shouldn't depend on your zip code

The Senate Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing today on the Women’s Health Protection Act. Sounds like the name of an anti-choice bill deceptively cloaking itself in friendly “pro-woman” language like so many of them do, right? But no–for once, it’s the real deal: an pro-choice law that–to quote the opposition–“would wipe out almost every single pro-life law on abortion.” 

I don’t know that it would quite do that, but the bill does straightforwardly affirm that “access to safe, legal abortion services is essential to women’s health and central to women’s ability to participate equally in the economic and social life of the United States.” It prevents states from passing restrictions on abortion that would not be placed on “medically comparable procedures“–taking direct aim at “bad medicine” laws, like unnecessary ultrasounds and biased counseling, that interfere with the patient/doctor relationship, as well as TRAP laws that are shutting down clinics under the guise lie of patient safety.

Introduced by Senator Richard Blumenthal Senator Tammy Baldwin, the bill obviously has zero chance of passing the House. But, as an NYT editorial notes, the hearing can still “serve a valuable purpose if it alerts legislators and the public to a pernicious charade by removing the ‘patina of respectability’ from what are essentially phony restrictions of no medical value.”

The Center for Reproductive Rights will be live streaming the hearing here.

Maya DusenberyMaya Dusenbery is an Executive Director of Feministing.

St. Paul, MN

Maya Dusenbery is executive director in charge of editorial at Feministing. She is the author of the forthcoming book Doing Harm: The Truth About How Bad Medicine and Lazy Science Leave Women Dismissed, Misdiagnosed, and Sick (HarperOne, March 2018). She has been a fellow at Mother Jones magazine and a columnist at Pacific Standard magazine. Her work has appeared in publications like,, Bitch Magazine, as well as the anthology The Feminist Utopia Project. Before become a full-time journalist, she worked at the National Institute for Reproductive Health. A Minnesota native, she received her B.A. from Carleton College in 2008. After living in Brooklyn, Oakland, and Atlanta, she is currently based in the Twin Cities.

Maya Dusenbery is an executive director of Feministing and author of the forthcoming book Doing Harm on sexism in medicine.

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