WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) applauded the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) announcement that it will begin offering abortion services in cases of rape, incest, and the life of the mother. In July, Senators Hirono and Warren led 23 of their colleagues in calling on VA to immediately begin offering abortion services after the far-right Supreme Court’s disastrous Dobbs decision overturning Roe v. Wade. Because of the Dobbs decision, over 800,000—or half of women veterans in this country—live in states that are certain or likely to ban abortions.
Upon the VA's announcement, Senators Hirono and Warren released the following statement:
“As the far-right Supreme Court and right-wing legislators work to eliminate the fundamental right to abortion, the federal government, including the VA, must do more to protect abortion access. That’s why we led our colleagues in calling on the VA to provide abortion care to the veterans it serves, millions of whom now live in states where abortion access has been restricted.
“We’re glad to see the VA quickly heeding our calls to begin offering abortion services in instances of rape, incest, and the life of a mother. This is an important first step. The VA must go further and provide these services to all veterans, regardless of circumstances. It’s critical that women are trusted and free to make decisions about their bodies.”
Veterans and CHAMPVA beneficiaries can learn more about VA reproductive health services here.
In addition to Senators Hirono and Warren, the July 28th letter calling on VA to offer abortion services was also signed by Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), John Hickenlooper (D-CO), Angus King (I-ME), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Edward J. Markey (D-MA), Patty Murray (D-WA), Alex Padilla (D-CA), Jack Reed (D-RI), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Tina Smith (D-MN), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Raphael Warnock (D-GA), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Ron Wyden (D-OR).
A long-time champion for abortion access, Senator Hirono is committed to protecting the fundamental right to abortion care for all. Earlier this month, Senator Hirono introduced the Let Doctors Provide Reproductive Health Care Act to protect doctors against Republicans’ non-stop attacks and ensure they can safely provide abortion care in states where it is still legal. She also led a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services urging them to make medication abortion more easily accessible. In July, she introduced the Right to Contraception Act, as well as the Expanding Access to Family Planning Act, to protect access to critical reproductive health care services, like birth control, and cancer screenings. Senator Hirono also introduced the Freedom to Travel for Health Care Act of 2022, which clarifies that it is illegal for anti-choice states to limit travel for abortion services, and would empower impacted individuals to bring civil action against those who restrict a woman’s right to cross state lines to receive legal reproductive care.