Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) led eight of her colleagues in introducing the Women’s Health Patient Navigators Act to create a federal grant program to fund patient navigators who help women access reproductive health care. Modeled on similar programs for cancer patients, the grant program would support organizations, like abortion funds and community health clinics, that help connect women to reproductive health care resources. The Women’s Health Patient Navigators Act also protects patient navigators from retaliation.
“Navigating the health care system can be challenging and confusing, and my legislation would support organizations that are helping women seeking reproductive care connect with providers who fit their needs,” said Senator Cortez Masto. “Patient navigators help give women across the country resources and support to access critical reproductive health care.”
The Women’s Health Patient Navigators Act is supported by the Planned Parenthood Foundation, National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association, and Catholics for Choice. Senators Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) are also original cosponsors of the legislation.
Senator Cortez Masto has been a fierce advocate for women’s reproductive rights. After the Supreme Court decision in June to overturn Roe v. Wade, the senator introduced the Freedom to Travel for Health Care Act of 2022, legislation that would ensure legal protections for women traveling across state lines to receive reproductive care. The senator also joined colleagues in introducing Affordability is Access Act, which would make certain that women across the country have access to affordable over-the-counter birth control. She recently urged the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to protect the data privacy of women seeking reproductive health care.