Following 50th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, Markey and Dineen spotlight urgent need to expand abortion access, underscore importance of codifying rights into law and ensuring reproductive decisions throughout pregnancy remain between patient and doctor
Dineen returns to Washington area for first time since receiving abortion care here
Washington (February 6, 2023) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, will bring Massachusetts resident and abortion rights advocate Kate Dineen to the State of the Union to highlight the importance of codifying abortion rights into law, as well as the urgent need to go further in ensuring that people can make reproductive decisions with their health care provider throughout their pregnancy, without interference due to legal restrictions, or economic or geographical barriers.
After learning that her son had suffered a catastrophic stroke in utero, Dineen was forced to travel 500 miles from Boston, Massachusetts, to Bethesda, Maryland, and pay upwards of ten thousand dollars out of pocket to receive compassionate abortion care later in pregnancy. She has since worked with advocates and lawmakers to change Massachusetts state law, which restricts abortion care after 24 weeks, to ensure that those facing a devastating fetal diagnosis later in pregnancy are not forced to attempt to seek care out of state.
Dineen has bravely shared her story and become an advocate for the rights of pregnant people who face barriers and restrictions in terminating pregnancies. Like Senator Markey, Dineen is an advocate for the Women’s Health Protection Act to codify the rights established under Roe v. Wade into federal law, and The Judiciary Act, Senator Markey’s legislation to expand the number of justices on the U.S. Supreme Court from nine to 13 in order to restore its legitimacy in the eyes of the American people, and to roll back the far-right decisions of this Court, including the overturning of Roe v. Wade. Her story also highlights the need to expand access to abortion care throughout pregnancy.
“No one should ever have to go through the anguish and uncertainty Kate and her husband went through to find care,” said Senator Markey. “We are living in dangerous times, manufactured for partisan and misogynistic gain. Extremist Republicans are trying to create a world in which women, LGBTQ+ Americans, young people, and communities of color have fewer rights today than the generation before them. We must fight for a more just and equitable future, and that includes a full continuum of reproductive care, including abortion care, when and where it’s needed. It is an injustice and an indignity that any person would be forced to travel hundreds of miles, spend thousands of dollars, and be away from their family in order to terminate a pregnancy. For many Americans, this journey is unthinkable and inaccessible because of the cost or time away from work or family. Even in a state like Massachusetts, with the best health care in the country, law can stand in the way of medicine when it should be there to support, honor, and facilitate reproductive choice. It is unacceptable. I am honored that Kate Dineen is joining me at the State of the Union, and I will never give up fighting for her and every American who needs or wants an abortion.”
“It is an honor to join Senator Markey as his guest at this year's State of the Union and to spotlight America’s abortion access crisis. Throughout his career and especially in the wake of the unprecedented Dobbs v. Jackson decision, Senator Markey has been a stalwart champion for reproductive equity,” said Kate Dineen. “I am proud of our work to safeguard and expand reproductive health care in Massachusetts, and we cannot stop fighting until every person across our country has access to compassionate abortion care throughout pregnancy, free from cost, travel, or legal barriers. No one should be forced to cross state lines and travel hundreds of miles from home for abortion care—at any point in their pregnancy. Abortion is health care and all Americans deserve the right to make health care decisions without government interference or criminal prosecution.”
Senator Markey is also committed to reaffirming, codifying, and expanding the right to reproductive freedom. He introduced the Right to Contraception Act with Senators Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), and Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson. The legislation, which Senator Markey will reintroduce this Congress, codifies into law the right to contraception that the Supreme Court first recognized in Griswold v. Connecticut.