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Heinrich, Colleagues Introduce Legislation to Expand Capacity for Abortion Services in New Mexico

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) joined Senate colleagues to introduce the Abortion Care Capacity Enhancement and Support Services (ACCESS) Act. This legislation would establish a federal grant program for health care organizations to expand their capacity to provide abortion services and additional reproductive care in New Mexico and other states where it remains legal. 

Following the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, nearly half of all U.S. states have adopted or attempted to adopt severe restrictions or bans on abortion services. As a result, the number of patients traveling out of state to access reproductive health care has nearly doubled, overwhelming clinics in states like New Mexico where abortion services are legal. 

“While we worked hard to protect reproductive rights and abortion access in New Mexico, radical politicians in other states passed laws to punish women and their doctors. We won’t let that happen in New Mexico,” said Heinrich. “The ACCESS Act will help deliver the resources medical providers need to continue providing reproductive health care throughout our state and nationwide. This legislation will ensure that New Mexicans aren’t left to pay the price for the Dobbs decision and radical politicians in other states.”  

The ACCESS Act would establish a program to award grants to eligible entities, such as hospitals, clinics, and non-profit organizations, that have experienced the highest increases of out-of-state patients seeking abortion and other reproductive services, to help expand their capacity to deliver reproductive health care. 

Grants would support at least one of the following activities: 

  • Expansion of facilities, such as more examination, operation, or recovery rooms; 
  • Purchase of medical supplies or equipment; 
  • Administration of telehealth services; 
  • Hiring or training of clinical and non-clinical support staff; and 
  • Other forms of ancillary support. 

The legislation was led by U.S. Senators Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) and Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.). 

Alongside Heinrich, the bill was cosponsored by U.S. Senators Laphonza Butler (D-Calif.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Peter Welch (D-Vt.), Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). 

This legislation is endorsed by Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Center for Reproductive Rights, Reproductive Freedom for All, All* Above All Action Fund, Power to Decide, Physicians for Reproductive Health, National Council of Jewish Women, National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda, and more. 

The full text of the legislation is HERE


Heinrich remains unwavering in his commitment to protect women’s freedom to choose. 

In February, Heinrich cosponsored the Access to Family Building Act, legislation that would protect every American’s right to access in-vitro fertilization (IVF) and other assisted reproductive technology (ART) services that millions need to have children. He also urged for immediate Senate passage of the legislation after the Alabama State Supreme Court threatened access to IVF.  

In January, Heinrich attended a briefing on the state of abortion rights in America, the chaos and cruelty of the abortion bans that have been enacted in Republican-led states since Roe was overturned, and the need to pass legislation to restore the right to abortion nationwide.  

In December 2023, Heinrich introduced a resolution in support of equitable, science-based policies governing access to medication abortion. 

In May 2023, Heinrich cosponsored the Protecting Service Members and Military Families’ Access to Health Care Act to codify the Department of Defense’s (DOD) February 16, 2023 policy to ensure service members and their families can access non-covered reproductive health care, including abortion services, regardless of the state in which they are stationed. 

In April 2023, Heinrich joined an amicus brief to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in the case of Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine v. FDA, in support of the Biden administration’s appeal of Judge Matthew J. Kacsmaryk’s ruling that suspends the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) more than 20-year-old approval of mifepristone. 

In April 2023, Heinrich, as Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies, presided over a hearing on the President’s Fiscal Year 2024 Budget Request for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Heinrich expressed his strongly held view that the “decisions the FDA makes, whether approving a medical device or approving a new drug, must be guided by science and not by political pressure.” 

In a statement in April 2023, Senator Heinrich said that a recent federal court ruling by a judge in Texas has “undermined the FDA’s safety and efficacy determination of Mifepristone. And with it, he has undermined the FDA’s authority to determine the safety and efficacy of all medications – from insulin to cancer treatment.” 

In March 2023, Heinrich cosponsored the Women’s Health Protection Act to prohibit states from imposing restrictions that jeopardize access to abortion earlier in pregnancy, including many of the state-level restrictions in place prior to Dobbs, such as arbitrary waiting periods, medically unnecessary mandatory ultrasounds, or requirements to provide medically inaccurate information. The bill would also ensure that later in pregnancy, states cannot limit access to abortion if it would jeopardize the life or health of the mother and protect the ability to travel out of state for an abortion, which has become increasingly common in recent years. 

In September 2022, Heinrich urged the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to take immediate action to safeguard women’s privacy and their ability to safely and confidentially get the health care they need. 

In September 2021, Heinrich joined a group of 48 Democrats in the U.S. Senate and 188 in the U.S. House of Representatives that filed a bicameral amicus brief urging the Supreme Court to uphold nearly 50 years of precedent in Roe v. Wade and protect the constitutional right to abortion care.