Congressional Resolution Introduced to Protect Reproductive and Sexual Health Care

CHLP recently joined 150+ organizations in endorsing a congressional resolution that defends reproductive and sexual healthcare and disap

CHLP recently joined 150+ organizations in endorsing a congressional resolution that defends reproductive and sexual healthcare and disapproves of the criminalization of pregnancy outcomes.

On June 8, Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), Chair of the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions, introduced a resolution in the Senate opposing the criminalization of the full range of reproductive and sexual healthcare, including abortion, gender-affirming care and contraceptive care. On May 12, Rep. Nikema Williams (D-GA) led the introduction of an identical resolution and was joined by 115 of her colleagues in the House of Representatives. 

According to a news release from Sen. Duckworth, because several states have taken steps to enact laws that have been used to criminalize pregnancy outcomes and curtail access to abortion, contraception and gender-affirming care, and in light of the leaked memo suggesting that the Supreme Court is ready to overturn Roe v. Wade, this resolution is more important than ever and would help ensure all Americans will be able to access the full range of sexual and reproductive healthcare they may need, without fear of retaliation.

Specifically, the resolution:

  • Condemns the misapplication of criminal laws to punish people for the outcomes of their pregnancies;
  • Affirms that people deserve access to high-quality healthcare without fear of reprisal or punishment;
  • Condemns the criminalization of providing essential healthcare;
  • Affirms the ethical obligations of healthcare providers to safeguard patient privacy;
  • Declares a vision for a future where access to abortion, contraception and gender-affirming care is free from restrictions and bans universally, and people are able to manage care on their own free from discrimination or punishment; and
  • Affirms Congress’ commitment to work towards this goal in partnerships with providers, patients, advocates and their communities.

Access to the full range of sexual and reproductive health care, including gender-affirming care, abortion care, and contraceptive care, is essential to the health and well-being of all people. Black, Indigenous, people of color, people with low incomes, people who are immigrants, LGBTQ+ people, people with disabilities including HIV, and others with systematically oppressed identities are more likely to experience adverse pregnancy outcomes that place them under scrutiny of the legal system. Leading medical and legal associations, including the American Medical Association, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the American Bar Association oppose the criminalization of health care provision and the criminalization of pregnancy outcomes.