Each Woman Deserves Reproductive Rights in Practice, Not Just on Paper: Why We Need the EACH Woman Act

I’m proud that yesterday, my colleagues in Congress and I introduced the Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance (EACH Woman) Act. Our bill would help make sure all women have access to the full range of reproductive health care services regardless of their income, where they live, or how they get their insurance.

I’ve heard from women across the country about how this effort is personal to them — and it’s personal to me too. When I was in college, my close friend went on a date and she was raped. My friend got pregnant. This was before Roe, and she didn’t know where to turn for a safe abortion. She also wasn’t wealthy — so even if she could find one, she wasn’t sure she could afford it.

The “back alley” procedure she ended up having left her, at a very young age, unable to give birth.

I saw my friend hurt, frightened, alone, and unable to get the care she needed because someone else’s beliefs mattered more under our laws than her health and her future.

That’s why, when Roe v. Wade affirmed that women in the United States have the constitutional right to safe, legal abortion, I committed to doing everything I could to ensure that right was protected for every woman.

The unacceptable reality is that there are far too many women — disproportionately those who already face barriers to getting care, like low-income women, young women, women of color, and those who live in rural areas — who have the constitutional right to safe, legal abortion in name only. Not in practice.

That’s wrong — and under the Trump-Pence Administration, this reality is growing more common, because this Administration and its Republican allies are doing everything they can to restrict women’s access to abortion and ultimately overturn Roe v. Wade.

I believe that as this Administration and its allies work as hard as they can to take away access to abortion in our country and move women backward, Democrats need to do even more to lay out our vision for ensuring every woman — regardless of how she is insured, her zip code, or her income — can make the decisions that are right for her.

The EACH Woman Act would move us forward by lifting restrictions in current law that prevent women who receive their health coverage through government-sponsored plans, such as Medicaid, Medicare, or TRICARE, from having access to the full range of reproductive health care services — including safe, legal abortion.

I’m proud to be working toward this absolutely critical goal and I’m going to keep fighting for the reproductive rights of each and every woman.