Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) today called on their Senate colleagues to prevent efforts to block access to reproductive health care for millions of American women, citing recently-introduced Republican legislation in the House of Representatives designed to restrict choice and prevent access to vital health care services. In a letter to Senate colleagues, Gillibrand and Blumenthal noted that bills introduced by Representatives Mike Pence and Christopher Smith would constitute an "unprecedented effort to restrict access" to women's reproductive health care.
"When we should all be focused on creating jobs and growing our economy, extreme forces in the House are mounting a new effort to cut critical funding for women's health care and curtail women's rights," said Senator Gillibrand. "I strongly urge all of my colleagues in the Senate to stand strong against this unprecedented effort to restrict access to women's reproductive health care. We cannot allow this type of assault on American women to gain any ounce of traction."
"Women in Connecticut and across the country deserve nothing less than unfettered access to their trusted health care providers and vital health care services," said Senator Blumenthal. "Efforts by Republican House leadership to overturn long-settled understanding of the law are deeply troubling, and I will strongly oppose them. I am asking colleagues to join in a bipartisan fight against any measure that would so severely set back and sabotage women's health care and rights."
In the letter, Gillibrand and Blumenthal tell Senate colleagues:
The Republican House leadership has made it a top priority to move legislation that would redefine the long-settled understanding of what constitutes federal funding of abortion, and to defund Planned Parenthood health centers around the country. Both bills introduced by Representatives Smith and Pence are likely to pass the House, and we will no doubt see attempts to pass these bills in the Senate.
We must work together to stop these bills in their tracks, as they represent an unprecedented effort to restrict women's access to reproductive health care and to their trusted health care providers.
Gillibrand helped lead the fight in the Senate to oppose the harmful and dangerous Stupak Amendment to health care reform and has long advocated for affordable access to quality reproductive care for all women.
Blumenthal has been a steadfast supporter of a woman's right to choose; as Connecticut's Attorney General, he consistently advocated for expanded access to vital reproductive health services.