Photos: YouTube Screenshot\Wikimedia Commons
Washington D.C.— Congresswoman Cori Bush (MO-01) released the following statement on the first anniversary of the Supreme Court case decision Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization which overturned Roe v. Wade (1973) and Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992) with a ruling that held that the constitution does not confer a right to abortion.
“The fall of Roe is personal for me, just like it is for millions of people across our country in need of lifesaving abortion care. At 18 years old, after a violent sexual assault, I made the difficult decision to terminate a pregnancy. I was young and afraid, and the shame I felt after I was raped was painful and isolating. Far too many people have had to endure a similar kind of trauma—and millions of people have decided to seek abortion care due to sexual assault or for other reasons that are solely their own. And for fifty years, the legal precedent established by the landmark Roe v. Wade decision protected our rights to do so.
“Fast forward nearly 25 years later—exactly one year ago today—I was sitting at the same clinic where I had my abortion hosting a roundtable with the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services to discuss the importance of nationwide access to reproductive health care. It was there that I found out the devastating news that the corrupt and illegitimate Supreme Court had just struck down Roe v. Wade and the protection to abortion care. Within minutes of this far-right extremist Supreme Court decision, Missouri became the first state to enact its trigger ban and outlaw abortion care.
“I was gutted. Like many, I knew that this decision was a death sentence — especially for Black, brown, Indigenous communities, people with disabilities, LGBTQ+ communities, young people, low-income folks, and other marginalized communities. Because the truth is Roe was always the floor when it came to reproductive freedom. Before, during and after Roe, marginalized communities always faced barriers to accessing abortion care. The Court failed in their responsibility to uphold critical rights and protections for people in America, and in the year since 14 states have enacted total or near total abortion bans. President Biden should continue to use his executive authority to protect access to abortion care, and Congress must work to enact legislation to drastically expand access to reproductive health care and staunchly defend reproductive rights.
“Over this past year, I took several legislative actions to do just that. I introduced and co-lead five different bills focused on expanding and protecting reproductive rights, and co-sponsored several others. I reintroduced the Protect Sexual and Reproductive Health Act, legislation to provide comprehensive sexual and reproductive health care using a whole-of-government, interagency approach. I joined my sister-in-service Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley in introducing the Abortion Justice Act because we need to build towards equitable access to abortion care for every person who wants or needs it.
“This moment demands an inclusive, anti-racist, anti-classist, anti-ableist, anti-transphobic response—and by banding together I believe we will win in our effort to guarantee our fundamental rights. Across the country, people from all backgrounds, genders, faiths, immigration statuses, and communities, are rising up and demanding what every person deserves: reproductive freedom, bodily autonomy, dignity, and justice. I am proud to partner with them in this fight.”
Congresswoman Bush continues to be a fierce champion for reproductive rights and health care in Congress. Since Dobbs, Congresswoman Bush has introduced five unique pieces of legislation. These bills include:
- Protect Sexual and Reproductive Health Act: provides a comprehensive and holistic national response to protect and improve sexual and reproductive health and well-being.
- Reproductive Health Travel Fund Act: provides grant assistance to those who live in trigger-ban states, like Missouri, who need to travel to receive reproductive health care. This legislation was reintroduced this month alongside Representatives Marilyn Strickland (WA-10), Lizzie Fletcher (TX-07) and Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.).
- Abortion Justice Act: addresses access to abortion care and puts forth a comprehensive vision of a just America where abortion care is readily available—without stigma, shame or systemic barriers–for all who seek it. This legislation was reintroduced this month alongside Representatives Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), Veronica Escobar (TX-16), Nikema Williams (GA-05), and Maxwell Frost (FL-10).
- Protecting Access to Medication Abortion Act: ensures people seeking abortion care can always access medication abortion through tele-health and certified pharmacies, including mail-order pharmacies. This legislation was reintroduced this January alongside Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn).
- Reproductive Health Care Accessibility Act: eliminate barriers and strengthens access to reproductive health care for people with disabilities. This legislation was introduced alongside Congresswoman Pressley and Senators Senators Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.).