WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) joined 33 Democratic Senators led by U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Chair of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, in a letter to President Joe Biden urging bold action to protect the right to abortion after the conservative wing of the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and Republicans made this generation of women the first with fewer rights than their mothers.
“We appreciate that in your speech yesterday, you acknowledged the reality that the ‘health and life of women across this nation are now at risk.’ Now is the time for bold action to protect the right to an abortion. You have the power to fight back and lead a national response to this devastating decision, so we call on you to take every step available to your Administration, across federal agencies, to help women access abortions and other reproductive health care, and to protect those who will face the harshest burdens from this devastating and extreme decision,” wrote the Senators.
The letter comes as 22 states have laws in place to ban or severely restrict access that are trigged by the courts’ decision—with seven statewide abortion bans already in effect as of yesterday. Meanwhile, Republicans have made clear they will not stop with overturning Roe: next, they will push for a national abortion ban. Former Vice President Mike Pence even said that Republicans “must not rest and must not relent” until abortion rights are gone in “every state in the land.”
“There is no time to waste: nearly half of the states already had laws in place to ban abortion or severely restrict access as soon as the Supreme Court decision came down. Many states enacted those laws immediately, and at least a dozen are set to follow suit in the coming days and weeks. Those laws will leave millions of Americans without access to essential reproductive health care. The chilling reality is that our daughters and granddaughters now have fewer rights than their mothers and grandmothers. Women across the country are now being told by states what choices they can and cannot make when it comes to their own health and reproductive choices. This is dangerous and horrifying and it will endanger women’s lives,” continued the Senators. “We cannot stand idly by as Republicans rip away women’s rights. And we know they will not stop with this decision—they are already eyeing a national abortion ban.”
In addition to Senators Murray and Heinrich, the letter was signed by Senators Markey (D-MA), Wyden (D-OR), Merkley (D-OR), Hirono (D-HI), Heinrich (D-NM), Gillibrand (D-NY), Blumenthal (D-CT), Rosen (D-NV), Duckworth (D-IL), Bennet (D-CO), Brown (D-OH), Warren (D-MA), Klobuchar (D-MN), Schatz (D-HI), Van Hollen (D-MD), Hassan (D-NH), Reed (D-RI), Kaine (D-VA), Smith (D-MN), Cortez Masto (D-NV), Murphy (D-CT), Carper (D-DE), Stabenow (D-MI), Kelly (D-AZ), Feinstein (D-CA), Hickenlooper (D-CO), Cantwell (D-WA), Sanders (I-VT), Shaheen (D-NH), Booker (D-NJ), Whitehouse (D-RI), Baldwin (D-WI), and Durbin (D-IL).
The full letter is available here.