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Hirono, Peters, Pressley, Colleagues Introduce Bicameral Resolution Honoring Abortion Providers

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI), Gary Peters (D-MI), and Representative Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), along with Congresswomen Barbara Lee (D-CA), Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), Diana DeGette (D-CO), Cori Bush (D-MO), led 40 of their colleagues in reintroducing a bicameral congressional resolution honoring abortion providers and clinic staff. The Abortion Provider Appreciation Day resolution affirms that abortion providers are valued as they provide reproductive care despite pressures, restrictions, political interference and threats to their personal safety. It also highlights the essential role that these providers play in providing safe access to reproductive care, including abortions.

“Abortion providers have long been targets of violence and intimidation for simply doing their jobs. Since the Supreme Court’s disastrous Dobbs decision overturning Roe v. Wade, the challenges abortion providers face have only grown,” said Senator Hirono. “Today, we remember Dr. Gunn and all those killed by senseless acts of anti-abortion violence, and honor the bravery of abortion providers across our country who continue to provide essential care despite the threats they face. As Republicans work to ban abortion nationwide, I’ll keep fighting to protect access to abortion care and the professionals who provide it.”

“Many families, including my own, know how important it is to be able to access essential reproductive care when they need it,” said Senator Peters. “This resolution honors the bravery and dedication of the providers who help families receive safe and quality care even in the face of adversity and threats. I’ll keep fighting to protect these providers and every woman’s right to make medical decisions with her doctor without interference from politicians or judges.”

“Abortion providers work diligently every day to advance reproductive justice, and at a time when abortion care is under heightened attack, their work has become even more essential,” said Rep. Pressley. “Due to Republicans' dangerous rhetoric and policies, the threats abortion providers face is real – but in the face of danger, they persevere with courage and fight to provide safe and necessary care to all who seek it. I’m proud to stand in solidarity with them and to introduce a resolution to affirm their humanity, honor their labor, and recognize their endless contributions."

“Nearly one year after the fall of Roe and with abortion now fully banned in 13 states—and severely restricted in others—Abortion Provider Appreciation Day takes on a much greater significance," said Rep. Lee. "Abortion providers are vital to ensuring every person in this nation has the health care they need, whether due to personal choice or medical necessity. Congress must reject extremist Republicans’ attempts to vilify, threaten, and criminalize these heroes and enact legislation to protect them and the essential services they provide.”

“For me, terminating my pregnancy wasn’t an easy decision, but it was my decision. A decision I wouldn’t have been able to make without the critical work of abortion providers in this country,” said Rep. Jayapal. “Abortion providers face daily threats of violence, which have only grown as the extreme MAGA right has set their sights on disrupting abortion care. I am so grateful for the work that abortion providers do and I stand with them today and all days.”

“Abortion care is health care, and those who provide this essential care to patients across the country should be able to do so without the constant fear of violence, intimidation or harassment," said Rep. DeGette. "We are extremely grateful to the dedicated medical professionals who, despite the multitude of challenges they face, continue to provide abortion care to patients throughout the country. We must continue to fight for them, and the patients who need them by ensuring that every person in this country has access to the full range of reproductive services.”

“As far-right lawmakers and judges across the country continue stripping away abortion care access and reproductive freedom, abortion providers remain at the frontlines of the fight for full reproductive autonomy. From restrictive far-right laws to criminalization and literal violence, abortion providers face threats from every angle. Despite the persistent threats, they continue to push forward in order to provide people with critical, life-saving healthcare,” said Rep. Bush. “That is why I am proud to join Congresswoman Pressley in re-introducing this resolution recognizing March 10th as “Abortion Provider Appreciation Day.” We must keep supporting our abortion care providers as we continue the fight to ensure that every person in the country is able to access the care they need and deserve.”

The resolution was inspired by Dr. David Gunn, an abortion provider who was killed outside his clinic in Pensacola, Florida by a white supremacist and antiabortion extremist in the first known instance of the murder of an abortion provider. To honor his legacy, Abortion Provider Appreciation Day was established on March 10, 1996 as a day to show appreciation for the essential, high-quality care that abortion providers and clinic staff provide to their communities and to celebrate their courage and dedication. 

“When our father made the decision to go work on the morning of March 10, 1993, he may have had some reservations,” said Wendy Gunn and David Gunn, Jr., the children of Dr. David Gunn. “He was one of only a few doctors willing to provide abortion services to patients across Alabama, Georgia, and Florida because those who dared do so faced real threats of violence at the hands of local anti-abortion activists. His drive to provide compassionate abortion services to his patients coupled with his firm belief in people’s rights to bodily autonomy compelled him to continue working. Tragically, an anti-abortion activist killed him 30 years ago today because he would not back down. We thank Senators Hirono and Peters as well as Reps. Pressley, Bush, Jayapal, Lee, and DeGette for honoring his work and the work of abortion providers and clinic staff across this country. In the face of an unprecedented crisis, providers show up every day with strength and resilience to help people access the abortion care they need. We, in the memory of our father, honor their courage and dedication to the proposition that each of us should be able to make our own decisions about when and how to create a family and shape our futures.”

"Today, on National Abortion Provider Appreciation Day, I am so grateful for the leadership of Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, Senators Mazie Hirono and Gary Peters, along with co-leads Congresswomen Cori Bush, Pramila Jayapal, Barbara Lee, and Dianne Degette as they recognize the critical care abortion providers offer their communities,” said Dr. Jamila Perritt, President & CEO of Physicians for Reproductive Health. “Especially amidst ongoing attacks from anti-abortion extremists and politicians, it is critical that political leadership show their support and solidarity for the just, compassionate, and medically necessary care abortion providers perform in service of our collective safety and wellbeing. No one should ever fear for their physical, mental, or emotional safety, especially the people who make abortion care possible as they provide critical health care. Today's resolution gives well deserved respect to the countless health care providers across the country continuing to provide this essential care."

“Today, we honor Dr. David Gunn, his family, and all abortion providers and clinic staff who work tirelessly each day to provide care to those who need it,” said Gretchen Borchelt, Vice President for Reproductive Rights and Health at the National Women’s Law Center. “We are at a crisis: abortion is now illegal in 12 states, forcing clinics to close and others to expand beyond capacity to help those traveling for care. Abortion care providers face relentless threats to their work and safety every day from anti-abortion extremists. And despite it all, they show up for all of us and empower their patients to determine what happens to their own bodies, lives, and futures. These providers are people in our communities, our neighbors, partners, family members, and friends. We thank them not just today, but every day, for their compassion, their commitment to the rights and freedoms of their patients, and their resilience.”

The Abortion Provider Appreciation Day resolution demonstrates a commitment to abortion providers and staff by:

  • Extending Congressional recognition of Abortion Provider Appreciation Day;
  • Lauding the communities across the country who proudly support their abortion providers and clinic staff;
  • Affirming Congress’ commitment to ensuring the safety of abortion providers and their ability to continue providing the essential care their patients need; and
  • Declaring a vision for a future where access to abortion is liberated from restrictions and bans universally.

In addition to Senators Hirono and Peters and Reps. Pressley, Lee, DeGette, Bush, and Jayapal, the resolution is cosponsored in the Senate by Senators Ed Markey (D-MA), Alex Padilla (D-CA) and Cory Booker (D-NJ), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Patty Murray (D-WA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Reps. Adam B. Schiff (D-CA), Sara Jacobs (D-CA), Ami Bera (D-CA), Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ), David Trone (D-MD), Deborah K. Ross (D-NC), Donald M. Payne Jr. (D-NJ), Dwight Evans (D-PA),  Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), Gerald E. Connolly (D-VA), Grace Meng (D-NY), Jamaal Bowman (D-NY), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Jesus “Chuy” Garcia (D-IL), Jill Tokuda (D-HI), Jimmy Gomez (D-CA), Joseph Morelle (D-NY), Judy Chu (D-CA), Katie Porter (D-CA), Lizzie Fletcher (D-TX), Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), Lori Trahan (D-MA), Madeleine Dean (D-PA), Mark Pocan (D-WI), Nanette Barragán (D-CA), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Ro Khanna (D-CA), Seth Moulton (D-MA), Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), Sydney Kamlager-Dove (D-CA), Sylvia Garcia (D-TX), and Veronica Escobar (D-TX).

The Abortion Provider Appreciation Day resolution is endorsed by: #VOTEPROCHOICE, A Woman’s Choice of Florida & North Carolina, Abortion Access Front, Abortion Care Network, Abortion Fund of Arizona, Abortion On Demand, ACCESS REPRODUCTIVE JUSTICE, ACLU of Texas, Advocates for Youth, American Humanist Association, American Medical Student Association, American Society for Reproductive Medicine, Amplify Georgia Collaborative, Apiary for Practical Support, Avow Texas, Bans Off Miami, Birth in color rva, Black Women for Wellness Action Project, Blue Mountain Clinic, Blue Mountain Clinic Family Practice, Blue Ridge Abortion Fund, Boulder Valley Women’s Health Center, Camelback Family Planning, carafem, CARE Colorado, Carolina Abortion Fund, Catholics for Choice, Cedar River Clinics, Center for Biological Diversity, Center for Disability Rights, Center for Reproductive Rights, Chicago Abortion Fund, Choice Network, CHOICES Center for Reproductive Health, Choix, Cobalt, Collective Power for Reproductive Justice, CONNECTIONS, Desert Star Family Planning, EMAA Project, Family Planning Associates Medical Group, Feminist Majority Foundation, Feminist Women's Health Center, FL National Organization for Women, Florida Access Network, Florida Interfaith Coalition for Reproductive Health and Justice, Floridians for Reproductive Freedom, Gender Justice, Global Justice Center, Health Justice MD, HealthQ, Ibis Reproductive Health, In Our Own Voice: National Black Women's Reproductive Justice Agenda, Indigenous Women Rising,, Ipas, Kentucky Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, KM Consulting & Training, LLC, Liberate Abortion, Louisiana Coalition for Reproductive Freedom, Maine Family Planning, Medical Students for Choice, Midwest Access Project, Miscarriage and Abortion Hotline, Mississippi in Action, MomsRising, MYA Network, NARAL Pro-Choice America, National Abortion Federation, National Birth Equity Collaborative, National Council of Jewish Women, National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association, National Health Law Program, National Institute for Reproductive Health, National Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice, National Organization for Women, National Organization for Women Foundation, National Partnership for Women & Families, National Women's Health Network, National Women's Law Center, National Women’s Political Caucus, NCJW Sarasota Manatee, NOISE FOR NOW, Physicians for Reproductive Health, Plan C, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Population Connection Action Fund, Population Institute, Power to Decide, Pregnancy Justice, Pregnancy Options Wisconsin: Education, Resources, & Support, Inc (POWERS), Pro Choice Missouri, Pro-Choice Arizona, Pro-Choice Connecticut, Pro-Choice Minnesota, Pro-Choice North Carolina, Pro-Choice Ohio, Pro-Choice Washington, Progress Florida, ProgressNow New Mexico, Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, REPRO Rising Virginia, Reproductive Equity Now, Reproductive Health Access Project, Reproductive Rights Coalition,, RHITES (Reproductive Health Initiative for Telehealth Equity & Solutions), a fiscally sponsored project of the Hopewell Fund, SHERo Mississippi, SIECUS: Sex Ed for Social Change, Steph Black Strategies, Supermajority, Tampa Bay Abortion Fund, Texas Equal Access Fund, The Reproductive Health Project of the American Medical Student Association, The Women's Centers, Trans Empowerment Project, UCSF Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health, UltraViolet, Union for Reform Judaism, Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity (URGE), UnRestrict Minnesota, URGE: Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity, VoteProChoice, We Testify, West Alabama Women's Center, Inc, Women of Reform Judaism, Women's Foundation of Florida, Women's Health Specialists of California, Women's Reproductive Rights Assistance Project (WRRAP), Women's Rights and Empowerment Network, Women’s Health Center of West Virginia,  Women’s March, and Yellowhammer Fund.

The full text of the resolution is available here.

A long-time champion for abortion access, Senator Hirono is committed to protecting the fundamental right to abortion care for all. Last March, she led the first introduction of the Abortion Provider Appreciation Day resolution. Last month, she introduced the Secure Access for Essential Reproductive (SAFER) Health Act, legislation that would expand patient privacy protections by strengthening the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) to prohibit medical providers from disclosing personal health information related to abortion or pregnancy loss without patient consent. Senator Hirono also urged the Biden administration to take new steps to protect reproductive freedom amidst divided control of Congress and increasing efforts to restrict access to abortion.

Last August, she 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, Senator Hirono 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.