(Washington, DC) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, released the following statement in response to news that President Joe Biden is issuing an executive order on protecting abortion access in light of the Dobbs decision. The executive order comes following a push from Senate Democrats, led by Senator Murray, urging the Biden Administration to “fight back and lead a national response to this devastating decision.”
“Republicans have just dragged this country back 50 years, ripped away the constitutional right to abortion, and put women’s lives on the line: so this is really an all-hands-on-deck moment. That’s why I’ve pushed so hard for President Biden to do everything in his power to protect abortion access in America—because people across our country are scared, in need of guidance, and in need of care. After leading the charge urging the Biden Administration to act boldly and push the envelope following the Dobbs decision, I’m glad to see the President issue an executive order today to take steps to protect access to medication abortion, protect patients’ private information, safeguard access to emergency medical care, and help organize protection for women under legal threat just for getting the care they need.
“These are good, important steps: but this fight is far from over. As we continue living through a post-Roe health care crisis, I urge the President to continue doing everything he can to fight back—and I’ll continue the fight here in Congress and work to make clear to voters what’s at stake this November. The reality is that the President’s executive authority is limited—so the surest way to protect every woman’s right to abortion is electing two more pro-choice Democratic senators and protecting our pro-choice majority in the House so that we can codify Roe.”
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 an 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 data, 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.”