ICYMI: Republican Senator Blocks Bill to Protect Right to Travel
ICYMI: Republican Senator Blocks Commonsense Family Planning Bill
ICYMI: Republican Senator Blocks Bill Codifying Right to Contraception
ICYMI: Republican Senator Blocks Bill to Protect Doctors Providing Legal Abortions
(Washington, D.C.) – Every week since Roe was overturned, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Chair of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP), and her Democratic colleagues in the Senate have fought to protect Americans’ reproductive rights—pushing to advance commonsense legislation to protect the right to contraception, protect every American’s right to travel, protect doctors’ right to provide legal abortion care, and expand our national family planning program. But at every turn, Senate Republicans stood in the way, blocking every single bill.
“Since Roe was overturned, Senate Democrats have been fighting back against Republicans’ extreme agenda with commonsense legislation to protect Americans’ reproductive rights—and Republicans have stood in the way at every turn,” said Senator Murray. “Republicans have endangered our rights and women’s health with their extreme policies—and week after week, they’ve blocked commonsense legislation to protect our rights, which the American people overwhelmingly support. It’s outrageous—and I’m going to keep calling out Republicans’ extreme agenda and working with my Democratic colleagues to protect every American’s reproductive rights.”
During the legislative session directly following the fall of Roe, Senate Republicans blocked four critical pieces of legislation to protect Americans’ reproductive rights:
As Republican state lawmakers eye legislation to restrict a woman’s fundamental right to travel to access care—effectively holding women captive in their own states—Senate Democrats introduced legislation to protect the right to travel. But Senate Republicans blocked the bill.
On the Senate floor, Senator Steve Daines (R-MT) called the straightforward legislation to protect Americans’ most fundamental right to travel across state lines “radical.” He also called traveling to get abortion care “abortion tourism,” just days after a 10-year-old girl made headlines after having to cross state lines to access abortion care after being raped.
Despite many Republicans in Congress talking about doing more to support women and family planning services—with Senator Roger Marshall (R-KS) arguing “family planning opportunities need to be expanded” at a recent HELP Committee hearing—Republicans blocked Democrats’ legislation to expand access to birth control, STI testing and treatment, and cancer screenings.
On the Senate floor, Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) argued “Congress should not greenlight family planning,” which she noted would lead to “family destruction.”
Following passage of companion legislation in the House, Senate Democrats fought to codify every American’s fundamental right to use birth control after Justice Thomas wrote that the Supreme Court “should reconsider” the Griswold decision—which first affirmed the right to contraception—and as Republican state legislators across the country push bills that would threaten access to IUDs and Plan B.
But Republicans blocked the Right to Contraception Act. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) claimed there was “something insidious with this bill”–which would simply codify the longstanding, fundamental right to use contraception.
In states across the country, Republican elected officials have threatened legal action against doctors for providing legal abortion care—like Dr. Caitlin Bernard who faces legal threats after providing legal abortion care to a 10-year-old rape victim. Senate Democrats pushed to pass the Let Doctors Provide Reproductive Health Care Act—endorsed by Dr. Bernard—to ensure that doctors don’t face legal threats when they provide legal abortion care.
But Senator Mike Braun (R-IN) blocked Democrats’ straightforward legislation to protect doctors from being punished for providing legal care—arguing the bill is a “backdoor” to “upend what neighboring state legislatures” can do to restrict the ability of providers in states where abortion remains legal to provide legal care to patients from out of state.