Merkley and Wyden join colleagues urging Biden to protect abortion access

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Washington, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden joined Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and 31 Democratic Senators in a letter to President Joe Biden pushing for action to protect the right to abortion after the Supreme Court released their final opinion in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.

 

“Now is the time for bold action to protect the right to an abortion. You have the power to fight back and lead a national response to this devastating decision, so we call on you to take every step available to your Administration, across federal agencies, to help women access abortions and other reproductive health care, and to protect those who will face the harshest burdens from this devastating and extreme decision,” said the Senators.

 

The letter comes as 22 states have trigger ban laws in place to restrict access that are trigged by the courts’ decision.

 

“There is no time to waste: nearly half of the states already had laws in place to ban abortion or severely restrict access as soon as the Supreme Court decision came down. Many states enacted those laws immediately, and at least a dozen are set to follow suit in the coming days and weeks. Those laws will leave millions of Americans without access to essential reproductive health care. The chilling reality is that our daughters and granddaughters now have fewer rights than their mothers and grandmothers. Women across the country are now being told by states what choices they can and cannot make when it comes to their own health and reproductive choices.  This is dangerous and horrifying and it will endanger women’s lives,” said the Senators. “We cannot stand idly by as Republicans rip away women’s rights. And we know they will not stop with this decision—they are already eyeing a national abortion ban.”

 

In addition to Senators Merkley, Wyden and Murray, the letter was signed by Senators Markey (D-MA), Hirono (D-HI), Heinrich (D-NM), Gillibrand (D-NY), Blumenthal (D-CT), Rosen (D-NV), Duckworth (D-IL), Bennet (D-CO), Brown (D-OH), Warren (D-MA), Klobuchar (D-MN), Schatz (D-HI), Van Hollen (D-MD), Hassan (D-NH), Reed (D-RI), Kaine (D-VA), Smith (D-MN), Cortez Masto (D-NV), Murphy (D-CT), Carper (D-DE), Stabenow (D-MI), Kelly (D-AZ), Feinstein (D-CA), Hickenlooper (D-CO), Kaine (D-VA), Cantwell (D-WA), Sanders (I-VT), Shaheen (D-NH), Booker (D-NJ), Whitehouse (D-RI), Baldwin (D-WI), and Durbin (D-IL).

 

The full letter sent Saturday, June 26 can be read below:

 

Dear Mr. President:

 

Yesterday, the Supreme Court decided Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overturned Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey and held that the right to abortion is no longer protected by the Constitution. This decision eliminates nearly 50 years of settled law and allows states to curtail access to abortion in any circumstance beginning at the moment of conception. This is an unprecedented assault on women and the result of decades of activism by Republican extremists. We call on you to combat these attacks and take immediate action to use the full force of the federal government to protect access to abortion in the United States.

 

There is no time to waste: nearly half of the states already had laws in place to ban abortion or severely restrict access as soon as the Supreme Court decision came down. Many states enacted those laws immediately, and at least a dozen are set to follow suit in the coming days and weeks. Those laws will leave millions of Americans without access to essential reproductive health care. The chilling reality is that our daughters and granddaughters now have fewer rights than their mothers and grandmothers. Women across the country are now being told by states what choices they can and cannot make when it comes to their own health and reproductive choices. This is dangerous and horrifying and it will endanger women’s lives. We cannot stand idly by as Republicans rip away women’s rights. And we know they will not stop with this decision—they are already eyeing a national abortion ban.

 

We appreciate that in your speech yesterday, you acknowledged the reality that the “health and life of women across this nation are now at risk.” Now is the time for bold action to protect the right to an abortion. You have the power to fight back and lead a national response to this devastating decision, so we call on you to take every step available to your Administration, across federal agencies, to help women access abortions and other reproductive health care, and to protect those who will face the harshest burdens from this devastating and extreme decision.

 

Thank you for your attention to this important matter.

 

Sincerely,

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