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Heinrich Statement After Senate Republicans Blocked Legislation to Protect Women’s Right to Contraception

Heinrich: “Shame on them.”

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M) released the following statement after Senate Republicans blocked the passage of the Right to Contraception Act, legislation he cosponsored to codify the right to contraception in federal law:  

“Once again, Senate Republicans have blocked legislation to protect women's right to contraception under federal law. Shame on them. 

“While Republicans are bent on stripping women of their reproductive freedoms, I will keep fighting to protect the right of every New Mexican to make their own decisions for themselves and their families. This isn’t over.”  

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

Heinrich is an original cosponsor of the Right to Contraception Act, which was introduced in the Senate last month. This legislation would guarantee the right for people to obtain and use contraceptives and for health providers to prescribe contraceptives and give information related to contraception— free from government interference.    

Additionally, this week, Heinrich joined Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) in introducing the Right to IVF Act, a new, sweeping legislative package that 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.  

Last month, Heinrich, Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee that oversees funding for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), reinforced 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. 

In February, 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. 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 FDA’s more than 20-year-old approval of mifepristone.  

That same month, Heinrich, as Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee that oversees the FDA, presided over a hearing on the President’s Fiscal Year 2024 Budget Request for the 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, 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.