Since Roe v. Wade was Overturned: At Least Eighteen States Have Eliminated All or Some Access to Abortion; Republicans in New Congress Have Passed Anti-Abortion Measures; Court Poised to Eliminate Access to Medication Abortion Nationwide
Washington (Feburary 14, 2023) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) joined Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) in sending a letter to President Biden, urging his administration to take new steps to protect reproductive freedom amid divided control of Congress and increasing efforts to restrict access to abortion.
“Each day, women’s lives are threatened because they are denied access to essential health care,” wrote the senators. “As President of the United States, you have a distinct role and responsibility to defend reproductive rights for all Americans and ensure those values are reflected in domestic and foreign policy. We urge you to continue using the resources of the entire federal government to mount a robust response to this crisis.”
After Roe v. Wade was overturned, Republican extremists doubled down on their attacks on reproductive freedom, endangering millions. In September 2022, Senate Republicans introduced legislation to ban abortion nationwide. House Republicans passed anti-abortion measures as their first order of business in the new Congress, and at least 18 states eliminated all or some access to abortion. In some states, women have to travel over seven hours to find the nearest abortion facility. Health care providers are being forced to withhold life-saving care, and women suffering from miscarriages, ectopic pregnancies and other complications face higher risks. Anti-abortion extremists have also filed numerous lawsuits to strip access even further, including a baseless lawsuit in Texas that seeks to eliminate access to medication abortion nationwide.
The senators applauded President Biden for taking significant steps to protect access to reproductive health care services, including removing unnecessary requirements for medication abortion, inviting states to use Medicaid waivers to cover travel expenses for reproductive care, and increasing access to contraception under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
The senators laid out eleven new steps the Biden administration can take to respond to this growing crisis:
“In a post-Roe world, access to abortion care is increasingly limited nationwide. Medication abortion care has been safely used by millions since the FDA approved mifepristone more than 20 years ago. With access now on the line, the Biden administration must act swiftly to ensure this safe, FDA-approved medication remains available for those who want it,” said Kirsten Moore, Director of the EMAA Project.