June 21, 2023

Ahead of Dobbs Anniversary, Duckworth Joins Murray, Schumer, Senate Democratic Women to Announce Floor Action on Commonsense Bills to Protect Women’s Fundamental Freedoms


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) today joined U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and seven of her Democratic women colleagues to mark the upcoming one-year anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization that overturned Roe v. Wade and stripped reproductive healthcare freedom from 22 million women and counting. Since the Dobbs decision, 14 states have passed total bans on abortion, another six states have severely limited abortion access while nine others have had their abortion bans blocked in court. Video of today’s press conference is available here.

“One year after the Supreme Court’s disastrous Dobbs decision, I remain just as outraged and horrified about how far these anti-choice extremists are willing to go to rip away Americans’ basic access to healthcare services and the freedom to make decisions for themselves, their families and their futures,” said Duckworth. “Overturning Roe v. Wade wasn’t their endgame—Republicans are continuing to look for ways to ban access to abortion and limit reproductive freedom for women in every state. Democrats will not stop working to enshrine the right to choose into federal law.”

“Every day, women across our country are confronting a dystopian reality: one where Republican politicians have the final say in their health care decisions,” said Senator Murray. “Women are forced to stay pregnant against their will—even when their health and lives are at risk, doctors in some states are having to deny patients the lifesaving care they need or risk being sent to jail, and other providers—in states like mine—are being pushed to the breaking point trying to serve an influx of patients from out of state. The fallout has been devastating.”

“Nearly one year ago, the right-wing activist Supreme Court handed down the Dobbs decision and signaled to the women across this country that their right to privacy, to healthcare, and to their own autonomy could now be violated,” said Majority Leader Schumer. “MAGA Republicans have made it clear that they will not stop with their vicious anti-choice agenda until there is a nationwide abortion ban. This issue is too pressing to ignore. Senate Democrats are going to fight like hell to make sure that the women of this generation will not have less access to contraception and abortions than their parents and grandparents did.”

Duckworth, Murray and Schumer were joined this morning by U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Jacky Rosen (D-NV).

The senators marked the coming one-year anniversary of the Dobbs decision — which was the result of a calculated, decades-long effort by Republicans to fill our courts with extreme, anti-abortion judges — by speaking out about how Republicans have caused a full-fledged healthcare crisis by forcing women in states across America to stay pregnant against their will, even when their lives are in danger. The senators also highlighted the many ways Senate Democrats have been fighting back over the past year and previewed that they will seek unanimous consent for four common-sense bills to protect women’s fundamental freedoms on the Senate floor this afternoon. Those pieces of legislation are:

  • Right to Contraception Act (S.1999), which would enshrine into law the right to use birth control—which is under threat after Justice Clarence Thomas suggested the Supreme Court should reconsider its ruling in Griswold v. Connecticut.
  • Freedom to Travel for Health Care Act (S.2053), which would ensure women can freely travel for health care after Republican state legislatures have banned, and threatened to ban, women’s fundamental right to travel out of state to receive healthcare, including abortion care.
  • Let Doctors Provide Reproductive Health Care Act (S.1297), which would ensure doctors can continue to safely provide legal abortion care and protect health care providers from being held liable for providing services to patients from other states.
  • Upholding Protections for Health and Online Location Data (UPHOLD) Privacy Act (S.631), which would protect people’s online health and location data so that it cannot be used against them, including to identify people seeking reproductive healthcare services.

Duckworth has made protecting and expanding access to essential reproductive healthcare a top priority. Recently, Duckworth joined more than 250 members of Congress in submitting an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine v. FDA, in support of the Biden Administration’s appeal of a federal district court ruling that suspends the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) more than 20-year-old approval of mifepristone as well as the decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit—which does not revoke FDA approval of mifepristone in its entirety but does significantly restrict access to the drug nationwide and ultimately overrides FDA’s scientific judgment. Duckworth also helped introduce the Women’s Health Protection Act of 2023, federal legislation to guarantee access to abortion everywhere across the country and restore the right to comprehensive reproductive healthcare for millions of Americans. Last week, Duckworth helped re-introduce legislation to codify the right to contraception.