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Heinrich Files Amendment to Protect Veterans’ Access to Abortion

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and the Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Subcommittee, filed an amendment to codify the U.S. Department of Veterans Affair’s (VA) rule protecting veterans and their beneficiaries’ access to abortions in the cases of rape, incest, or danger to the life and health of the mother.  

Heinrich filed the amendment to the Fiscal Year 2025 Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill that is expected to come before the full Appropriations Committee tomorrow

“Our military personnel, veterans, and their loved ones have sacrificed to defend our freedoms. We need to protect their freedom to access the reproductive health care they deserve. Instead, Republicans want to dismantle veterans’ access to abortion even in cases of rape, incest, and where the life of the mother is at stake. That’s shameful. My amendment will protect veterans from this attack. It’s the bare minimum we can do,” said Heinrich. 

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

Heinrich remains unwavering in his commitment to protect women’s reproductive freedoms. 

Heinrich is a cosponsor of the Reproductive Freedom for Women Act, legislation to enshrine the reproductive freedom protections of Roe v. Wade into law. The Senate is expected to vote on that bill this afternoon. 

Last month, Heinrich condemned Senate Republicans for blocking the passage of the Right to IVF Act, legislation he helped to introduce as an original cosponsor, which would both establish a nationwide right to in-vitro fertilization (IVF) and other assisted reproductive technology (ART) as well as lower the costs of IVF treatment for millions of families, veterans, and service members. Heinrich joined Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) in May t0 introduce the Right to IVF Act.   

Heinrich is also an original cosponsor of the Right to Contraception Act, which was introduced in the Senate in May. That legislation would guarantee that people can obtain and health professionals can provide contraceptives – free from government interference. Last month, Senate Republicans blocked the passage of the Right to Contraception Act

In May, Heinrich, Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee that oversees funding for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), reemphasized the safety of mifepristone at a hearing he chaired, with FDA Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf testifying.     

In March, Heinrich cosponsored the Abortion Care Capacity Enhancement and Support Services (ACCESS) Act, legislation to 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. This has become necessary because pro-choice states like New Mexico are shouldering the influx of patients from Republican-led states where abortion is now restricted. This has led to providers in states like New Mexico becoming overwhelmed with demand for abortion care from both in- and out-of-state patients.   

In February, after the Alabama State Supreme Court issued a ruling that threatened access to IVF treatment, Heinrich cosponsored the Access to Family Building Act, legislation that would protect every American’s right to access IVF and other assisted reproductive technology services that millions need to have children. This legislation is now included as part of the broader Right to IVF Act.   

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.     

As Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee that oversees the FDA, Heinrich has pushed pack against Judge Matthew J. Kacsmaryk’s ruling that suspends the FDA’s more than 20-year-old approval of mifepristone. 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 the ruling. In a statement in April 2023, Heinrich said that Judge Kacsmaryk “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.” That same month, Heinrich presided over a hearing on the President’s Fiscal Year 2024 Budget Request for the FDA, where he 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 March 2023, Heinrich cosponsored the Women’s Health Protection Act to prohibit states from imposing restrictions that jeopardize access to abortion earlier in pregnancy, 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. Finally, this bill would protect the ability of individuals 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 members 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.