Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Deborah Ross (NC-02) voted to pass two critical pieces of legislation that will protect women’s access to vital reproductive health services in North Carolina and across the country. For the second time, the House passed the Women’s Health Protection Act, which will make the protections of Roe v. Wade the law of the land. The House also passed the Ensuring Women’s Right to Reproductive Freedom Act, which will stop states from criminalizing, fining, or suing women who exercise their constitutional right to travel across state lines to obtain an abortion.

“Abortion is still legal in North Carolina, and we must do everything in our power to keep it that way,” said Congresswoman Ross. “Thanks to Governor Cooper and his allies in the General Assembly, we have succeeded in blocking attempts to impose a restrictive abortion ban. However, Republican leaders in our state have made it abundantly clear that they will take any opportunity to strip away our fundamental freedoms. That’s why this legislation is so critical. We must ensure women in every single state can access the health care they need, and we must protect women traveling to states like North Carolina to receive this care. As Republicans across the country remain dead set on turning the clock back 50 years, I’m proud to fight for women, and I urge the Senate to do the same.”

The House first passed the Women’s Health Protection Act with Congresswoman Ross’ support in September 2021. The legislation has been updated to address the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization and still establishes the federal statutory right to abortion.

After the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, abortion bans in many states immediately went into effect. Republican state leaders have proposed legislation that would block women traveling across state lines to receive abortion care and criminalize those who help. The Ensuring Women’s Right to Reproductive Freedom Act ensures that no person acting under state law can prevent, restrict, impede, or otherwise retaliate against a person traveling across state lines to obtain a lawful abortion. This also includes vigilantes who could be empowered by states to seek out a person for obtaining an abortion.