June 22, 2023



Historic, Intersectional Legislation Removes Systemic Barriers to Abortion Care, Affirms Access Regardless of Zip Code, Income, Immigration Status or Background

Bill Text | Bill Summary | Press Conference Video | Photos

Washington D.C. (June 22, 2023)– Today, ahead of the one-year anniversary of the devastating Dobbs decision, Congresswoman Cori Bush (MO-01) joined Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), Chair of the Pro-Choice Caucus’ Abortion Rights and Access Taskforce, in introducing the Abortion Justice Act, sweeping, intersectional legislation to address access to abortion care and put forth a comprehensive vision of a just America where abortion care is readily available—without stigma, shame or systemic barriers—for all who seek it, regardless of zip code, immigration status, income, or background. Congresswomen Bush and Pressley introduced the historic legislation alongside Congresswoman Veronica Escobar (TX-16), Congresswoman Nikema Williams (GA-05), Congressman Maxwell Frost (FL-10), and a broad coalition of reproductive health advocates.

The lawmakers and advocates unveiled the bill at a Capitol Hill press conference earlier today. Full video of the press conference is available here and high-resolution photos are available here.

“People exercising their right to make decisions about having an abortion should be legally protected and respected,” said Rep. Bush. “That is why I am proud to join my sister-in-service, Congresswoman Pressley, in introducing the Abortion Justice Act. This comprehensive legislation will ensure federally protected access to safe and affordable abortion services and reproductive health care. Legislation like the Abortion Justice Act is essential to protecting our fundamental right to reproductive freedom.”

“In a truly just America, everyone is free to make decisions about their lives, their bodies, and their futures with dignity – including the decision to pursue abortion care without fear, shame, or systemic barriers. Abortion care is health care and a fundamental human right, but access to this right has been stripped away from far too many, exacerbating many of the inequities and disparities that harm our most vulnerable,” said Rep. Pressley. “Our Abortion Justice Act builds the infrastructure necessary to systematically expand access to care, and I am thankful for my colleagues and our advocates for their close partnership on this bill. A just America is possible, and I look forward to the day where our bodily autonomy is our own.”

“It is estimated that over 36 million Americans are living in states that have or are likely to ban abortion. The Abortion Justice Act is a comprehensive vision for our country in which all people can access the healthcare they need without barriers, stigma, or politicians trying to control them,” said Rep. Escobar. “I am proud to stand with my Pro-Choice colleagues and continue the fight for reproductive justice for all.”

“We are in the fight of our lives to restore our reproductive freedoms that have been ripped away by an extremist, out-of-touch Supreme Court and extreme MAGA Republicans. But we must go further, we must eliminate the systemic barriers marginalized communities face while seeking the abortion care they need,” said Rep. Williams. “While working for Planned Parenthood, I saw these barriers and the great sacrifices patients made in attempts to overcome them–and this was before the Dobbs decision. I am co-leading the Abortion Justice Act because codifying the right to abortion is only the floor: it is time to ensure abortion is accessible and affordable for all who need it–no matter their ZIP code, no matter their bank account.”

“The right to an abortion is under attack across the nation and particularly in my home state of Florida, where we have seen one of the strictest abortion bans signed into law by a governor and legislature hell-bent on stripping people of their right to choose,” said Rep. Frost. “Abortion care is healthcare. The Abortion Justice Act is a critical step in ensuring and protecting the reproductive health of millions of Americans into law.”

The Abortion Justice Act is a comprehensive bill that:

  • Calls for necessary federal investments in abortion care, including training, research, outreach, doula care, and innovation;
  • Requires insurance coverage include abortion care;
  • Protects patients and providers from criminalization;
  • Affirms a legal right to abortion and miscarriage care;
  • Removes systemic barriers to care including for immigrant families; and
  • Addresses disparities and systemic racism in the healthcare system.

A copy of the bill text can be found here and a summary of the bill can be found here. Footage from the press conference can be found here, and photos are here.

“Women of color have been leading the way towards more equitable access to abortion care for decades, so that we all have the freedom to control our own bodies, lives, and futures. The Abortion Justice Act, led by Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, is a prime example of that leadership in action,” said Morgan Hopkins, President of All* Above All. “We’re done settling. With this groundbreaking bill, we’re creating a new vision for a bold future where abortion care is there for anyone who needs it without politicians standing in the way.”

“When they answer calls day after day to help people pay for and navigate the mounting logistical obstacles to access abortions, abortion funds and practical support organizations know firsthand the harmful and negative impact of abortion bans,” said Oriaku Njoku, Executive Director of the National Network of Abortion Funds and All* Above All steering committee member. “Abortion funds and practical support organizations embody abortion justice by leading with compassion as an antidote to the anti-abortion shame and judgment people seeking abortions experience elsewhere. The Abortion Justice Act would bolster their work while protecting them from criminalization, ensuring that they are to move past partisan politics by continuing to put people’s real life needs first.”

“Comprehensive medical education requires access to abortion and family planning training. This is an urgent public health concern threatening the medical profession and the human rights of pregnant people. Medical Students for Choice supports the Abortion Justice Act because future physicians and their patients deserve abortion justice protected in federal law,” said Pamela Merritt, Executive Director of Medical Students for Choice.

“I’ve always been the go-to person to support people in my life that have had abortions. I’ve witnessed them face barriers like inability to pay for an abortion, traveling over an hour on the train to get to an appointment, delays in care, and having to hear protesters on the way to the clinic,” said Faith Daniel, Project Manager at Community Catalyst and Activist Leader at Latina Institute NY. “My wish is for anyone seeking an abortion to be able to access affordable services without any barriers to care.”

“A few months after I used my private insurance to pay for my abortion in New York City, I received a bill for hundreds of dollars and I discovered my insurance only covered abortions considered ‘medically necessary.’ No one should be denied insurance coverage of abortion just because of our circumstances or how we get our insurance. I support the Abortion Justice Act because it will ensure cost is not a barrier to accessing care,” said Lizzie Chadbourne, Youth Abortion Support Collective Member at Advocates for Youth.