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Heinrich Slams Senate Republicans for Blocking Legislation to Protect Reproductive Freedoms

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M) released the following statement after Senate Republicans blocked the passage of the Reproductive Freedom for Women Act, legislation he cosponsored to enshrine the protections of Roe v. Wade into law.

“Since Republicans overturned Roe v. Wade, they’ve launched attack after attack on women’s reproductive health care — enacting laws that put women’s lives in danger and restrict women’s access to medication abortion, contraception, and IVF,” said Heinrich.“I firmly believe that a woman should have the freedom to make her own health care decisions about her own body and her own family. I will never stop fighting to restore Roe v. Wade’s protections for all women in New Mexico and across our country.”

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

Yesterday, Heinrich filed an amendment to codify the VA’s 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. In May 2023, Heinrich cosponsored 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.   

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 introduced 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.