Senators Announce Groundbreaking Reproductive Health Bill

By: Ashmar Mandou

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Local NewsU.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Patty Murray (D-WA), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Tina Smith (D-MN), Jacky Rosen (D-NV) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) introduced legislation on Tuesday, March 12th protecting every woman’s constitutionally-guaranteed right to reproductive healthcare and helping ensure access to care to each woman, regardless of income, race or where in the country they may live. The Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance (EACH) Woman Act—which was also introduced in the House by U.S. Representatives Barbara Lee (CA-13), Jan Schakowsky (IL-09) and Diana DeGette (CO-01)—would lift the prohibition in current law preventing women who receive their health coverage through government-sponsored plans such as Medicaid, Medicare and the DOD from obtaining legal healthcare services.

“The Supreme Court has repeatedly affirmed women’s constitutional right to make their own reproductive decisions, making clear that the government has no place getting in between women and their doctors,” Duckworth said. “But for decades, conservative lawmakers have worked to whittle down that constitutionally-protected right to the point where it’s now effectively inaccessible for low-income women who rely on Medicaid, for female service members and for millions more women nationwide. The Supreme Court didn’t protect these rights only for wealthy women, and they didn’t say only for women who live in certain states. That kind of discrimination is not right, not fair and it’s certainly not equal—so I’m proud to join my colleagues in introducing the EACH Woman Act so that every woman in this country has equal access to her constitutionally-protected rights, no matter her income, her race or her zip code.”

Duckworth recently spoke on the Senate floor urging her colleagues to vote against S.311, GOP legislation that could have scared doctors into performing ineffective, inappropriate procedures on fetuses born with fatal abnormalities, even if such treatment went against recommended standards of care and was against the best interests of the child and the expectant mother. Duckworth also helped introduce legislation with Senators Murray and Bob Casey (D-PA) to safeguard a woman’s access to birth control against the Trump Administration’s efforts to make it harder for women to access contraceptive coverage.

“Though the Trump Administration is bending over backwards to erase reproductive rights for women, the EACH Woman Act takes a giant and important leap forward. I am proud to once again introduce legislation that will allow every woman to make her own health care decisions regardless of her income, her race, where she works, or how she gets her insurance,” said Schakowsky. “The Hyde Amendment has impacted millions of women across this nation for far too long, and I am glad that my colleagues in the Senate have now joined us to say: enough is enough. Comprehensive health care is a human right, and the EACH Woman Act affirms that promise.”

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Local News

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