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Gov. Cooper joining 16 other governors calling on Congress to 'protect access to women's health care'

The letter urges the Senate to pass the Women's Health Protection Act, which was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on Sept. 24, 2021.
Credit: AP Images
Gov. Roy Cooper

RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina Gov. Cooper is among 17 governors calling on Congress to "immediately protect access to women's health care," according to the governor's office. 

A letter addressed to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell urges leaders to take immediate action in response to a Supreme Court draft opinion leaked to POLITICO that would throw out the landmark Roe v. Wade abortion rights ruling. 

RELATED: Supreme Court Chief Justice confirms draft abortion opinion is authentic

The letter says "it is imperative that Congress acts swiftly to ensure that all Americans continue to have meaningful access to reproductive healthcare and abortion." The group of governors says the U.S. Supreme Court decision in the draft opinion would limit access to reproductive health care.

"The vast majority of Americans agree that these decisions should be in the hands of the patients, who can consult with their doctors, families, and faith," the joint letter read.

The letter also references the Women's Health Protection Act, passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on Sept. 24, 2021, and urges the Senate to pass the measure. 

Doron Kalir, clinical professor of law at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, told the VERIFY team if the Women’s Health Protection Act was passed in the Senate and signed into law by President Joe Biden, it would likely be contested in lower courts immediately and could make its way back to the Supreme Court in a matter of weeks.

RELATED: Yes, Congress could pass a federal law that supersedes a Supreme Court ruling

"The consequences of overturning Roe v. Wade for millions across the nation cannot be overstated," the letter continues. "Our collective responsibility to defend access to reproductive healthcare, including abortion, has never been more important. Overturning Roe will turn back the clock on reproductive health, and Congress must immediately take action to ensure that our nation does not go backward and that the rights of all Americans to access reproductive healthcare and abortion continue to be protected." 

The following governors signed the letter: Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, Colorado Gov. Jaren Polis, Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker, California Gov. Gavin Newsom, Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, Rhode Island Gov. Daniel McKee, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, and Governor of the Virgin Islands, Albert Bryan.