09.29.22

Murray, Duckworth, Blumenthal, Hirono, Escobar Rally with Servicemembers and Veterans to Defend Their Access to Reproductive Care as Republicans Continue Attacks

***WATCH: Senator Murray Joins Colleagues, Servicemembers, Veterans at Press Conference***

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As Republicans continue to push forward their proposal to ban abortion nationwide and attack the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs’ (VA) historic action to provide abortion care for veterans in certain circumstances, U.S. Senators Patty Murray (D-WA), Chair of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), and Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI) and U.S. Representative Veronica Escobar (D-TX-16) condemned Republicans’ barbaric efforts to restrict abortion and made clear they won’t stop working to protect reproductive rights for our veterans and servicemembers so they can get the health care services they need when and where they need them. The lawmakers made these calls at a press conference Wednesday with #UniformAccess, a coalition of advocacy groups for women veterans.

 

“Taking away life-saving care from veterans and attacking VA doctors should just be unthinkable. It should be unthinkable that any politician would put their own political ideology ahead of the well-being of our veterans—unthinkable that anyone would be willing to jeopardize the health of those who served our country in uniform,” said Senator Murray. “But Republicans have become so extreme and entrenched on abortion, that it was their first thought after President Biden’s announcement. Well, we aren’t having it. Democrats are pushing back, and pushing to protect the health care and the rights of everyone in uniform.”

 

“By actively pushing forward federal abortion bans, elected officials like Lindsey Graham are effectively ‘thanking’ our women Veterans and servicemembers for their sacrifices by telling them what they can or cannot do with the bodies they’ve already risked time and again for our country,” said Senator Duckworth. “Just as I made my own decision about my own body when I signed up to go to war, I’m proud to join my colleagues today to spread the message far and wide: we need to hurry up and do more to protect reproductive rights for our nation’s heroes. Every woman in America deserves the basic human right to choose what to do with her own body—and not just when it’s convenient for some men in fancy suits in hallowed halls in DC.”

 

“Today should be the beginning of a campaign to make sure that women veterans get the healthcare that they need and deserve. It’s not only a matter of fundamental freedom, it’s a matter of equity. If you are in active duty, you get contraceptives without a copay. If you have private insurance, you get contraceptives without a copay. If you are in the VA, you have to pay that copay. That’s wrong. Women are the fastest growing group of veterans enrolling in VA healthcare. They deserve contraceptives without a copay. The Equal Access to Contraceptives for Veterans Act’s time has come,” said Senator Blumenthal.

 

“Access to abortion and reproductive healthcare is a right everyone deserves—in or out of our country’s uniform,” said Congresswoman Escobar. “Draconian abortion laws degrade morale, affect retention, and weaken our overall readiness. For every servicemember, every veteran, and the Armed Forces as a whole, we must continue the fight for reproductive justice.”

 

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