WASHINGTON, D.C. –U.S. Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI), member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, hosted a roundtable with patients from across the country to hear directly about how Roe and the right to abortion have shaped their lives—and to make clear what’s at stake with the Supreme Court set to end Americans’ constitutional right to abortion any day.
“What could be more fundamental than our right to control our own bodies? To wake up one morning to realize we no longer control our own bodies, which is exactly what will happen when the Supreme Court decision is made public and final,” said Senator Hirono. “That’s what we’re facing in this country. The impact of this decision is going to be deep and wide and, tragically, felt by millions and millions of people in this country. There are so many consequences of the elimination of Roe v. Wade that we have only begun to really recognize. The bottom line is that we need to tell our stories and organize.”
“We’re now approaching 10 months living under SB8, the 6-week abortion ban in Texas, and awaiting a decision from the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade. To say that we’ve already been experiencing a string of overlapping crises feels like an understatement,” said Sarah, a We Testify storyteller. “My abortion allowed me to recognize my power and create a life for myself that I’m proud of.”
“We are very grateful for Senators Murray and Hirono’s leadership during this challenging time. The potential upending of Roe v. Wade will devastate the more than 60 percent of abortion recipients who are people of color,” said Isra Pananon Weeks, Interim Executive Director and Chief of Staff, National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF). “Reproductive justice is a matter of life and death, and the path to abortion care can be an arduous one – AAPI community members can face language barriers, stigmas, and low rates of insurance obstructing their access to reproductive freedom.”
Senator Hirono is a staunch advocate for abortion rights and reproductive freedom. This month, she met with reproductive health care leaders and providers from Hawaii to hear about the challenges they face and to discuss the importance of protecting abortion access. Senator Hirono also introduced the Affordability is Access Act (AAA) to help ensure access to over-the-counter birth control options, in an effort to allow people to plan their own reproductive lives, on their own terms. She also advocated to protect servicemembers’ access to abortion care.
In May, Senator Hirono delivered a floor speech emphasizing the need to defend abortion rights. Earlier this year, she introduced a resolution to honor abortion providers and thanked them in a floor speech on National Abortion Provider Appreciation Day. Senator Hirono also cosponsored S.1975, the Senate companion to the House-passed Women’s Health Protection Act (H.R.3755), which would protect the right to access abortion care throughout the United States.