Eric Swalwell

Alameda County — With the Women’s Health Protection Act of 2021 (WHPA) introduced in the House, Rep. Eric Swalwell (CA-15) recently visited an Alameda County Planned Parenthood facility to show support for women’s reproductive rights and advocate for the legislation.

WHPA would protect the right to access abortion care throughout the U.S. by creating a safeguard against bans. The June introduction of this federal legislation follows the nation’s strictest abortion law going into effect in Texas. The Texan law restricts abortions after six weeks into a pregnancy, with no exception for victims of rape or incest.

“Women’s health care rights are under attack nationwide,” said Swalwell, who represents Livermore, Dublin, Pleasanton, Sunol and 11 Contra Costa County communities. “So, I just wanted to first thank the health care professionals for what they’re doing and to assure them that I will do all I can to make sure women can make their own health care decisions ... They are preparing for what could be an influx of patients coming from Texas and other states that would follow what Texas is doing.”

Earlier this month, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott defended the legislation he approved, saying that it didn’t force victims of rape to carry their attacker’s child.

“It provides at least six weeks for a person to be able to get an abortion,” he said. “That said, however, let’s make something very clear. Rape is a crime, and Texas will work tirelessly to make sure that we eliminate all rapists from the streets of Texas by aggressively going out and arresting them and prosecuting them and getting them off the streets.”

Tri-Valley Republicans President Jackie Cota said her organization, an independent conservative Republican club in Alameda County, believes that abortion is not essential to women's health care, noting "there is already law that protects a health care provider's ability to provide emergency at-risk services."

"Republicans unabashedly and unapologetically advocate for the respect and sanctity of every innocent life," Cota continued. "People make a choice to behave like adults, knowing the possible outcomes of their choices. Section 5 of H.R. 3755 is full of falsehoods for example stating that 'Access to equitable reproductive health care, including abortion services, has always been deficient in the United States for Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color (BIPOC) and their families.' Most right-minded people look at children as gifts from God. Not Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood. Sanger was a life-long, unapologetic eugenicist. In reading her papers, it is clear she believed that society could, and should, create a superior race of people free from those whom she deemed the 'unfit,' and she was active with the Democrat Party. This is one of the reasons you find most of their clinics in black neighborhoods to control that population. She reached out to many people who saw Blacks as less than equal, this includes the KKK and the Eugenics movement, so it is not surprising that the Democrat Party is still pushing this agenda under the guise of 'reproductive justice' and 'equity.' Abortion is neither health care nor reproductive service; it is medical procedure whose goal is the termination of life." 

Following Swalwell’s visit, Planned Parenthood CEO Gilda Gonzales said support from elected officials is essential for continued accessible reproductive health care services. She further stated that her organization is closely monitoring WHPA.

“There is a good possibility it can get passed by the House,” Gonzales continued. “Americans will need to raise their voices loud to impact the tough fight for the Senate to affirm this legislation.”

While the organization is often associated with abortion procedures, Gonzales noted that Planned Parenthood also provides cancer screenings, birth control, sex education, and sexually transmitted disease testing and treatment, infertility services and more.

“Planned Parenthood Northern California serves all people, regardless of immigration status, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, disability, or ability to pay,” Gonzales said. “We have a robust ‘Safe Haven’ fundraising effort underway now. These new funds will assist us in strengthening our capacity. Planned Parenthood Northern California is more resolved than ever to ensure we are a strong and sustainable organization for any patient seeking care from us now and well into the future. Anti-Planned Parenthood groups and efforts will never deter us.”

Swalwell continued to say that a woman’s right to make her own health care decision — and the privacy that should come along with that — is of paramount importance.

“And I will keep fighting for it,” he concluded.