06.25.22

Murray, Democrats Push Biden for “Bold Action” to Protect Abortion Access in a Post-Roe America

Murray, Dems to President Joe Biden: “You have the power to fight back and lead a national response to this devastating decision, so we call on you to take every step available to your Administration, across federal agencies, to help women access abortions and other reproductive health care, and to protect those who will face the harshest burdens from this devastating and extreme decision.”

 

(Washington, DC) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Chair of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, led 33 Democratic Senators in a letter to President Joe Biden urging “bold action” to protect the right to abortion after the conservative wing of the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and Republicans made this generation of women the first with fewer rights than their mothers.

 

“We appreciate that in your speech yesterday, you acknowledged the reality that the ‘health and life of women across this nation are now at risk.’ Now is the time for bold action to protect the right to an abortion. You have the power to fight back and lead a national response to this devastating decision, so we call on you to take every step available to your Administration, across federal agencies, to help women access abortions and other reproductive health care, and to protect those who will face the harshest burdens from this devastating and extreme decision,” wrote the Senators.

  

The letter comes as 22 state have laws in place to ban or severely restrict access that are trigged by the courts’ decision—with seven statewide abortion bans already in effect as of yesterday. Meanwhile, Republicans have made clear they will not stop with overturning Roe: next, they will push for a national abortion ban. Former Vice President Mike Pence even said yesterday that Republicans “must not rest and must not relent” until abortion rights are gone in “every state in the land.”

 

“There is no time to waste: nearly half of the states already had laws in place to ban abortion or severely restrict access as soon as the Supreme Court decision came down. Many states enacted those laws immediately, and at least a dozen are set to follow suit in the coming days and weeks. Those laws will leave millions of Americans without access to essential reproductive health care. The chilling reality is that our daughters and granddaughters now have fewer rights than their mothers and grandmothers. Women across the country are now being told by states what choices they can and cannot make when it comes to their own health and reproductive choices.  This is dangerous and horrifying and it will endanger women’s lives,” continued the Senators. “We cannot stand idly by as Republicans rip away women’s rights. And we know they will not stop with this decision—they are already eyeing a national abortion ban.”

 

In addition to Senator Murray, the letter was signed by Senators Markey (D-MA), Wyden (D-OR), Merkley (D-OR), Hirono (D-HI), Heinrich (D-NM), Gillibrand (D-NY), Blumenthal (D-CT), Rosen (D-NV), Duckworth (D-IL), Bennet (D-CO), Brown (D-OH), Warren (D-MA), Klobuchar (D-MN), Schatz (D-HI), Van Hollen (D-MD), Hassan (D-NH), Reed (D-RI), Kaine (D-VA), Smith (D-MN), Cortez Masto (D-NV), Murphy (D-CT), Carper (D-DE), Stabenow (D-MI), Kelly (D-AZ), Feinstein (D-CA), Hickenlooper (D-CO), Kaine (D-VA), Cantwell (D-WA), Sanders (I-VT), Shaheen (D-NH), Booker (D-NJ), Whitehouse (D-RI), Baldwin (D-WI), Durbin (D-IL), Luján (D-NM), Warnock (D-GA), Warner (D-VA), and Menendez (D-NJ).

 

Senator Murray has led the push urging the Biden Administration to act to protect abortion rights. During a hearing she led in May, Senator Murray pressed Secretary Becerra on the Administration’s plans to protect the right to abortion and noted that, “I have been warning for years that this is Republicans’ goal, and … [people] need to see leadership from the Biden Administration on this too. So I hope to hear more from you today about the Administration’s plan to respond to this latest attack, and protect women’s health because make no mistake: women’s lives are on the line.”

 

Since then, she has continued urging action, leading a letter—alongside Senator Warren—calling on President Biden to immediately issue an executive order to launch on all-of-government response to protect abortion access, including by increasing access to medication abortion, providing resources for those seeking abortion care in other states, protecting sensitive date, and using federal property and resources to increase access to abortion. She has been outspoken in urging the President to act, saying in a press conference: “We’re going to be loud. We’re going to be relentless. Because, Mr. President, we need a plan to protect reproductive rights in America—and we need it now.”

 

The letter is available HERE and below:

 

Dear Mr. President:

 

Yesterday, the Supreme Court decided Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overturned Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey and held that the right to abortion is no longer protected by the Constitution. This decision eliminates nearly 50 years of settled law and allows states to curtail access to abortion in any circumstance beginning at the moment of conception. This is an unprecedented assault on women and the result of decades of activism by Republican extremists. We call on you to combat these attacks and take immediate action to use the full force of the federal government to protect access to abortion in the United States.

 

There is no time to waste: nearly half of the states already had laws in place to ban abortion or severely restrict access as soon as the Supreme Court decision came down. Many states enacted those laws immediately, and at least a dozen are set to follow suit in the coming days and weeks. Those laws will leave millions of Americans without access to essential reproductive health care. The chilling reality is that our daughters and granddaughters now have fewer rights than their mothers and grandmothers. Women across the country are now being told by states what choices they can and cannot make when it comes to their own health and reproductive choices. This is dangerous and horrifying and it will endanger women’s lives. We cannot stand idly by as Republicans rip away women’s rights. And we know they will not stop with this decision—they are already eyeing a national abortion ban.

 

We appreciate that in your speech yesterday, you acknowledged the reality that the “health and life of women across this nation are now at risk.” Now is the time for bold action to protect the right to an abortion. You have the power to fight back and lead a national response to this devastating decision, so we call on you to take every step available to your Administration, across federal agencies, to help women access abortions and other reproductive health care, and to protect those who will face the harshest burdens from this devastating and extreme decision.

 

Thank you for your attention to this important matter.

 

Sincerely,

 

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