‘It’s Time to Fight Back.’ Elizabeth Warren Unveils Her Strategy to Protect Abortion Access
Sen. Elizabeth Warren says it’s time to “fight back” against restrictive abortion laws recently passed in several states around the country — and has presented her plan for how to do it.
On Wednesday, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signed a bill that essentially outlaws all abortions, including in cases of rape and incest. On Thursday, Missouri’s state Senate passed a bill that would ban abortions at eight weeks gestation. Earlier this year, Georgia, Kentucky, Ohio and Mississippi passed “heartbeat bills” that effectively prohibit abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, which is when doctors can normally begin to detect a fetal heartbeat. Additionally, Arkansas and Utah voted to limit abortions to the middle of the second trimester.
In a post published on Medium Friday morning, Warren argues that “access to quality reproductive health services, including safe and legal abortion, is essential to a woman’s health and economic security, but systemic barriers have made it especially difficult for low-income women and women of color to get the access to reproductive care they need.”
Part of her strategy to fix that, she explains, is for Congress to pass new laws to make it harder for states to pass stricter legislation.
“Congress should pass new federal laws that protect access to reproductive care from right-wing ideologues in the states. Federal laws that ensure real access to birth control and abortion care for all women. Federal laws that will stand no matter what the Supreme Court does,” the Massachusetts Democrat and 2020 candidate wrote.
She advocates for new federal laws that would prohibit states from interfering in the ability of a health care provider to perform abortion services, and ones that bar states from interfering in individuals’ abilities to access abortion services. Further, she calls on Congress to repeal the Hyde Amendment, which blocks women from using federally funded healthcare programs, like Medicaid, to access abortions.
The blog post also advocates for revoking a controversial Trump administration rule, which a judge has temporarily blocked, that would bar healthcare facilities that provide abortion referrals from receiving federal funds for family planning.
This is just the latest of several recent Warren proposals. Since she announced she was running for president in February, she’s put out a slew of policy plans, including granting extremely low-income families free childcare, erasing student loan debt impacting millions of Americans, rewarding hospitals that would make childbirth safer for African-American women, and addressing the opioid crisis in America. Earlier this week, she also released a proposal that seeks to limit the influence of lobbyists on the Department of Defense.
Regarding abortion rights, she cites widespread public support of the protections Roe v. Wade secured — noting that 71% of American voters believe it should not be overturned, according to a 2018 survey by NBC and the Wall Street Journal.
“This is a dark moment. People are scared and angry. And they are right to be,” Warren wrote. “But this isn’t a moment to back down — it’s time to fight back.”