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Kaine, Murkowski, Sinema, & Collins Reintroduce Legislation to Protect Reproductive Freedom

The Reproductive Freedom For All Act would codify women’s rights to access abortion and contraception

WASHINGTON, D.C. —Today, U.S. Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), and Susan Collins (R-ME) reintroduced the Reproductive Freedom For All Act, which would codify the essential holdings of Roe v. Wade and related cases protecting women’s rights to access abortion and contraception. This would undo the damage of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade after almost 50 years, and would enshrine in federal law the fundamental right to reproductive freedom. The 50th anniversary of Roe would have been on January 22, 2023.

“Congress must restore women’s rights to make personal health care decisions,” said Senator Kaine. “In the wake of the Dobbs decision, we have seen just how necessary Roe v. Wade was, which is why I’ve worked with my colleagues to find common ground on this bipartisan compromise that would restore Roe’s protections. The Reproductive Freedom For All Act is much-needed legislation to protect a woman’s freedom to choose.”

“Following the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs, we’ve seen significant erosion of women’s reproductive rights in numerous states across the country—changes that have taken away rights and regressed access to women’s healthcare by decades. Now, it’s up to Congress to help restore and protect women’s reproductive rights. I’m proud to reintroduce bipartisan legislation with my colleagues to continue the access to contraception provided in Griswold and to make permanent the protections provided through Roe and Casey,” said Senator Murkowski. “Unless we enshrine reproductive healthcare autonomy into law, we risk a future where generations of women will grow up with fewer rights than their mothers.”

“A woman’s health care decisions should be between her, her family, and her doctor. Our bipartisan legislation protects the health and wellbeing of women in Arizona and across the country by ensuring all women have the ability to make their own decisions about their futures – no matter where they live,” said Senator Sinema.

“The Supreme Court’s abandonment of longstanding precedent erodes the reproductive rights on which women have relied for half a century. These basic rights need to be the same for American women regardless of the state in which they reside. Our bill would restore the right to obtain an abortion by enacting in federal law Roe v. Wade and other seminal Supreme Court decisions pertaining to reproductive freedom. In addition, our bill would protect access to contraception,” said Senator Collins. “By reinstating—neither expanding nor restricting—the longstanding legal framework for reproductive rights in this country, our bill would preserve abortion access along with basic conscience protections that are relied upon by health care providers who have religious objections.”

Roe v. Wade was decided on January 22, 1973. Overturning Roe has resulted in bans on all abortions in several states, longer travel times for abortion access, and life-threatening delays in care. Dobbs could also potentially call other important rights into question, including the right to access birth control, which was outlined in Griswold v. Connecticut, Eisenstadt v. Baird, and Carey v. Population Services International. That is why the Reproductive Freedom For All Act would enact the core holdings of those cases as well as Roe v. Wade, Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey, and Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt.

The Reproductive Freedom For All Act protects the ability of women to make health care choices for themselves. It would:

  1. Prohibit state regulations that impose an undue burden on a woman’s access to pre-viability abortions, while allowing states to enact reasonable restrictions on post-viability abortions – provided that states cannot ban abortions that are necessary to protect the life or health of the mother;
  2. Protect access to contraceptives; and
  3. Preserve conscience protections.

Full text of the legislation is available here.