House Oversight Committee Chair Carolyn Maloney, DN.Y., will introduce a bill Friday aimed at improving access to abortion services, as well as accurate information about the procedure, in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling that Roe v. Wade is quashed, NBC News has learned.
The Abortion Care Awareness Act of 2022 is Democrats’ latest effort to address the ramifications of the Supreme Court’s decision to end the constitutional right to abortion, which has since urged multiple states to halt the process. restrict or prohibit it altogether.
The legislation would direct the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services to conduct a federal public health campaign to help people get abortion services without violating the Hyde Amendment — a decades-old policy that bans federal funding from paying for abortions.
The bill would instruct HHS to mount a national campaign to promote resources on where and how to obtain abortion care, drug abortion, and a patient’s right to travel across state lines to get the procedure. The move would also call on the Biden administration to provide advice on how to differentiate between abortion providers and crisis maternity centers — often faith-based organizations advising people against abortion, many of which have been accused of spreading medical misinformation — and to “identify misinformation about abortion and related health services that are intended to mislead or discourage individuals from accessing such services.”
It’s unclear if the bill will gain traction in the House, but it’s unlikely to become law due to expected Republican opposition in the Senate.
Still, Maloney argued that “you won’t succeed if you don’t try,” adding, “we are committed to protecting abortion rights and preserving access, even if it means ending the filibuster.”
A large coalition of reproductive health groups — including the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association, Planned Parenthood Federation of America and more — will support Maloney’s bill.
“[Since] extreme Supreme Court decision, Republican-led states have rushed to impose draconian bans,” Maloney said in an interview with NBC News, pointing to a personnel analysis showing that restrictions affect access to abortion for an estimated 31 million women of childbearing age. “And we’ve documented 50 different bills that limit access to abortion at the federal level — it’s important that we work to push back against their sanctions.”
sen. Lindsey Graham, RS.C., introduced a bill in September that would ban abortion after 15 weeks in most cases nationwide, sparking criticism from Republicans and Democrats.
dr. Nisha Verma, an OB-GYN and a colleague with Physicians for Reproductive Health, who supports Maloney’s bill, said she was “discouraged” to hear of her patients being “given misinformation about abortion from anti-abortion extremists.”
“Abortion is safe and our communities need legislation like the Abortion Care Awareness Act that protects them from misinformation and misinformation about abortion care,” Verma said.
Karen Stone, Planned Parenthood Federation of America vice president of public policy and government relations, reiterated the need to expand access to educational resources about reproductive health care.
“At a time when anti-abortion lawmakers are spreading misinformation to create chaos and confusion, we need to ensure that everyone, wherever they live, has access to medically accurate information to help them make informed health care decisions — including information about drug abortion. said Stone.