Senator Murray: “This is the health care that ensures everyone can control their own bodies, lives and futures. It’s absolutely critical. And I urge everyone to speak out, make themselves heard, and fight to protect reproductive rights.”
***WATCH THE TWITTER LIVE HERE***
(Washington, D.C.) – This week, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Chair of the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP), and Dr. Jennifer Villavicencio, an OB-GYN and Lead for Equity Transformation for the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), hosted a Twitter Live on the impact of dangerous abortion restrictions—like Texas’ S.B. 8—on patients across the country. During the Twitter Live, Senator Murray stressed the urgent fight to safeguard the right to abortion—including by passing the Women’s Health Protection Act—and how this will help to finally ensure there are federal legislative protections in place for everyone’s right to abortion.
“A majority of Americans want a world where everyone has the right to make their own deeply personal decisions about pregnancy and parenting—not where total strangers can force people to be pregnant when they don’t want to be. I believe we can build that world—but we’ve got to fight for it,” said Senator Murray. “That’s why I’m pushing so hard to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act—to finally ensure that there are federal legislative protections for abortions. That’s also why I’m pushing so hard to make historic investments in Title X family planning services—so patients can get birth control, STI testing, and cancer screenings they need to make the best choices for themselves. This is the health care that ensures everyone can control their own bodies, lives and futures. It’s absolutely critical. So I urge everyone to speak out, make themselves heard, and fight to protect reproductive rights.”
“The women and people of Texas deserve access to comprehensive, safe pregnancy care—which includes abortion—and they deserve it within their own communities,” said Dr. Villavicencio. “We have a moral duty to show up for those who need help, regardless of their circumstances. That’s why I go to work every single day. When someone comes to me needing help in their pregnancy—whether it’s because they want to ensure they have a heathy pregnancy and delivery, or because they’ve decided the best decision for them and their family is to end a pregnancy—I’m there to help them. To have a law like this based in ideology and not science which forces me to turn away the women and people I show up to work for everyday is heart wrenching. And we can’t stand for it.”
Under Texas’ S.B. 8 law, patients in Texas are being deprived of their constitutional right to an abortion after six weeks of pregnancy—before many patients even realize they are pregnant. This has forced patients to try and find the time off work, child care, and funds to travel to another state just to get the reproductive health care that they need—which is impossible for many people with low incomes and people of color who lack those means. Patients seeking abortion care in Texas are also facing these restrictions under the threat that complete strangers could file lawsuits against their friends, family, doctors or nurses in order to force them to be pregnant when they don’t want to be.
Both Senator Murray and Dr. Villavicencio made clear that SB8 and abortion restrictions across the country have made the fight to protect reproductive and abortion rights all the more urgent. They discussed that when patients are able to access the abortion care—as well as family planning services—it ensures they can control they own bodies, lives and futures, and make the choices that work for them. Given how critical this health care is for people across the country, Senator Murray reaffirmed her commitment to push for critical investments in our Title X family planning program and to protect the right to abortion by passing the Women’s Health Protection Act.