June 23, 2023

One Year After Dobbs: Duckworth Joins Warren, Health Care Providers in Releasing Report on How Republican Efforts to Limit Abortion Care Threaten Women’s Health


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] –Nearly one year after the Supreme Court ruled to ignore 50 years of precedent and overturn Roe v. Wade, stripping away the constitutional right to abortion, U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) joined U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Tina Smith (D-MN), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Maria Cantwell in releasing a new report: One Year Without Roe: Health Care Providers Speak Out on Criminalized Care and Compounding Confusion. The 14-page report—based on testimony received from leading health care providers—reveals the direct, immediate threats to women’s reproductive health and concludes that “the landscape of abortion access in the U.S. is bleak and growing bleaker.”

“This report lays bare the reality of a post-Roe America where the extreme, barbaric actions by Republicans are stripping women—on a state-by-state basis—of their rights to basic healthcare,” said Duckworth. “We know that overturning Roe v. Wade wasn’t the far-right’s endgame—Republicans are continuing to ban access to abortion and limit reproductive freedom for women in every state. Democrats will not stop working to restore and enshrine the right to choose into federal law.”

“Doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and medical leaders are sounding the alarm that women in America have been suffering through a health care crisis ever since the far-right Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade,” said Warren. “This Senate report reveals that Republican lawmakers’ efforts to criminalize abortion, spread misinformation, and take away reproductive freedom are extremely dangerous.”

The key findings of the report include:

One Year after Dobbs, Abortion Access Has Been Nearly Eliminated in Large Portions of the Nation – Even in States Previously Considered Havens for Care

  • Since June 2022, 19 states have imposed extreme laws to ban or severely restrict abortion, limiting access not only to abortion care, but also to pregnancy care, miscarriage care, and more.’
  • As a result of abortion bans enacted this year, the closest abortion provider for patients in some parts of the country is over 800 miles away.

Legal Attacks on Abortion, including Medication Abortion, Breed Widespread Confusion Among Patients and Providers and Sow Misinformation

  • Overly broad and sloppily drafted state laws to ban or severely restrict abortion have led to chaos and confusion for both patients and providers.
  • Providers have been left “in a position where they are unable to efficiently provide needed health care services to their patients.”

Anti-Abortion Activists are Threatening to Upend the Entire Drug Regulatory System to Remove Mifepristone from the Market

  • Republican state legislatures in 28 states – including 15 states where abortion is legal – have imposed bans or restrictions that prevent Americans from accessing medication abortion.
  • There is no question: removing mifepristone from the market entirely is an additional step towards a national abortion ban.

Threats of Criminalization and Violence Hurt Health Care Workers and Risk Women’s Ability to Obtain Care

  • Health care providers are facing increased threats of prosecution and workplace violence, interfering with their ability to meet their medical and ethical duties to put patient health and well-being first.
  • Coupled with the misinformation and confusion surrounding medication abortion, ongoing threats of violence and steep criminal and civil penalties are significantly impeding providers’ ability to care for their patients. 

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.