Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) led her colleagues in re-introducing the Reproductive Health Patient Navigator Act to help women – including those in anti-abortion states – access reproductive health care. Modeled after similar programs that help to connect cancer patients to clinical trials, the new federal grant program established by this bill would support organizations – including abortion funds and community health clinics – that make it easier to access vital reproductive health care resources and services. Companion legislation is being introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Congresswoman Susie Lee (D-Nev.).
“Far-right extremists are continuing to attack reproductive rights and we need to be doing all we can to get women the necessary support, regardless of if they live in states that have eliminated abortion services,” said Senator Cortez Masto. “My legislation will support programs that can connect those in need with critical reproductive health care in pro-choice states like Nevada.”
“While abortion remains safe and legal in Nevada, women seeking reproductive care here and in other states are struggling to access these critical services,” said Congresswoman Susie Lee. “As threats to access persist at the state, local, and federal levels, I’m proud to champion legislation that establishes a proven framework for reproductive care and helps patients – whether in Nevada or not – navigate available resources, wade through misinformation, and find the services they desperately need.”
“The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade triggered a wave of state abortion bans, putting people’s health and lives at risk. Across the nation, we continue to see legislators attempt to restrict abortion and criminalize those who provide abortion care, creating a challenging and dangerous environment for navigating the healthcare system,” said Deirdre Schifeling, National Political Director at the ACLU. “This legislation would provide critical resources for organizations across the country that are helping people access lifesaving reproductive care.”
The Reproductive Health Patient Navigator Act is supported by the National Network of Abortion Funds, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Center for Reproductive Rights, National Women’s Law Center, ACLU, National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association, and Catholics for Choice.
Senators Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Peter Welch (D-Vt.) Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) are original cosponsors of the legislation.
Senator Cortez Masto has been fierce advocate for women’s reproductive rights. After the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, Senator Cortez Masto introduced the Freedom to Travel for Health Care Act of 2022 to ensure legal protections for women traveling across state lines to receive reproductive care. She has urged the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to protect the data privacy of women seeking reproductive health care and introduced legislation to make sure women across the country have access to affordable over-the-counter birth control. She took on one of the nation’s biggest pharmaceutical wholesalers to ensure Nevadans can access the abortion pill in retail pharmacies, including Walgreens.