WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin joined her colleagues in reintroducing legislation to protect abortion providers in states where abortion remains legal from Republicans’ attempts to restrict their practice and create uncertainty about their legal liability.
The Let Doctors Provide Reproductive Health Care Act would ensure that doctors can continue to safely provide legal abortion care and protect health care providers from being held liable for providing services to patients from other states.
“Women in Wisconsin are living under an 1849 criminal abortion ban without the freedom to access essential health care in their home state and forcing them to travel across state lines for critical reproductive care, including abortion care,” said Senator Baldwin. “Doctors in states where abortion remains legal should not be living in fear just for doing the jobs they are trained to do. This legislation will help ensure that women whose fundamental rights are under attack or whose rights were stripped away will continue to have access to comprehensive health care.”
The Let Doctors Provide Reproductive Health Care Act will ensure that providers in states where abortion remains legal are protected from any efforts to restrict their practice or create uncertainty about their legal liability. Specifically, the bill will:
- Protect health care providers in states where abortion is legal from being subject to laws that try to prevent them from providing reproductive health care services or make them liable for providing those services to patients from any other state. These protections could be enforced by a federal lawsuit from the Department of Justice, a patient, or a provider, ensuring a future Department of Justice could not turn a blind eye to state laws that violate these protections;
- Prohibit any federal funds from being used to pursue legal cases against individuals who access legal reproductive health care services or against health care providers in states where abortion is legal;
- Create a new grant program at the Department of Justice to fund legal assistance or legal education for reproductive health care service providers;
- Create a new grant program at the Department of Health and Human Services to support reproductive health care service providers in obtaining physical, cyber, or data privacy security upgrades necessary to protect their practice and patients; and
- Protect reproductive health care providers from being denied professional liability insurance coverage solely because of legal health services offered to patients.
The legislation is led by U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Congresswoman Kim Schrier, M.D. (D-WA-08), and is supported in the Senate by U.S. Senators Ben Ray Luján (D-NM), Alex Padilla (D-CA), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Jack Reed (D-RI), Tina Smith (D-MN), Bernie Sanders (I-VT) Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Ron Wyden (D-OR).
The legislation has been endorsed by: Physicians for Reproductive Health, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association, National Partnership for Women & Families, Power to Decide, National Council of Jewish Women, National Women’s Law Center, the Center for Reproductive Rights, and NARAL.
Full text of the legislation is available here and a one-pager is available here.
An online version of this release is available here.