Are Your Reproductive Rights at Risk?


During National Women’s Health Week, find out what’s being done to ensure women have the freedom to make decisions about our own bodies.

The American people benefit from protections in our Constitution each and every day. Our freedom of speech ensures that all voices — not just the well-connected or politically convenient — can be heard.

Our freedoms to assemble and worship as we see fit allow us to live without government intrusion. And our basic right to privacy ensures that every woman can make decisions about her own body — including the deeply personal decision to continue or end a pregnancy.

For more than 40 years, Supreme Court precedent set in Roe v. Wade has protected this right as women consider the best course for themselves and their families. However, in my home state of Wisconsin and across the country, a record number of laws have been passed over the last several years that all but eliminate women’s access to quality reproductive care. Incredibly, in the last four years, states enacted over 230 restrictions that attack the constitutional rights guaranteed to women under Roe v Wade.

The threat in Wisconsin and in states across the country is clear. Politicians are doing this because they think they know better than women and their doctors. The fact is, they don’t.

We know that the American people deserve better. This is why I was proud to introduce the Women’s Health Protection Act with my colleague Senator Richard Blumenthal to put a stop to these relentless attacks on women’s health. The Women’s Health Protection Act makes it clear that states can no longer enact laws that unduly limit abortion services and that target providers with bogus restrictions that shut down clinics and do nothing to improve women’s health or safety.

It’s time for a federal law that protects our families’ access to quality care, no matter where they live. It is time for us to stand up and protect our constitutional freedoms by passing the Women’s Health Protection Act. And it is time we stop politicians from turning back the clock on women’s health and reproductive rights.

Constitutional rights should never be subject to the personal whims or beliefs of political leaders. Nor should the safety of our mothers, daughters, sisters, and wives be jeopardized in the process. Personal medical decisions belong solely to the people they impact and the medical professionals they trust. The Women’s Health Protection Act will ensure that it stays that way.

It is not the job of politicians to play doctor and to dictate how professionals practice medicine. Nor is it their job to intrude into the private lives and important health decisions of American families. Every American woman deserves the freedom to exercise her constitutional rights by making health decisions for herself and her family with a trusted doctor, and without political interference.

This post first appeared in Women’s Health Magazine as part of a series for National Women’s Health Week. All week, prominent figures in the media and the government are blogging for WomensHealthMag.com about the importance of making healthy decisions.

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