In Case You Missed It, Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) is leading legislation to help women in anti-abortion states access reproductive health care. Cortez Masto’s bill would create a new federal grant program for abortion funds and community health clinics helping women access vital reproductive health care resources and services.
Democratic Nevada Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto reintroduced a bill Thursday that would establish a federal grant program for abortion funds and community health clinics, drawing inspiration from similar programs for cancer patients.
In the time since she last introduced the bill in December, organizations helping patients cover abortion-related costs ― including travel, lodging and child care when they must travel out of state for the procedure ― have become increasingly overwhelmed as more and more states enact post-Roe abortion bans, forcing more patients than ever before to seek their help in getting care hundreds of miles away from home.
“I think the federal government should support these groups and make it easier for patients to find them and work with them,” Cortez Masto said. “There are already programs out there that the federal government funds to help women connect with essential health care. Why should this be any different?” she continued, referencing similar grant programs the federal government funds to help cancer patients navigate clinical trials and offer other assistance.
Abortion providers in states where the procedure remains legal have seen a massive uptick in out-of-state patients, and they’re relying on patient navigator services to help get those patients to them.
Senator Catherine Cortez Masto is reintroducing the Reproductive Health Patient Navigator Act. The bill works to support organizations including abortion funds and community health clinics to provide necessary resources.
“Nevada has always been strong and continues to be strong in this space,” said Senator Catherine Cortez Masto. “And because of it, we are seeing now women in other states where abortion is being banned coming to that to seek those essential health care needs.”
According to the Senator, the Reproductive Health Patient Navigator Act will create funding that nonprofits in unrestricted states can apply for. If approved, that organization [can hire] what they call a “navigator” that can get in touch with women in abortion- restricted states and [connect them with] reproductive services. This is a re-introduction of the act that she says is needed since the overturning of Roe v Wade.”
“Women are half this population. Equality does matter and we should have it. Including when it comes to our health care. This is about a woman’s right to choose, on a difficult subject at times, when she needs to. And have access to that. 21st century health care, to help her make that decision, with her doctor and her loved ones. There should not be a government official or an elected official in the room when she makes that decision,” said Senator Cortez Masto.
Right now at least 20 states have banned or limited access to abortion and several legal challenges are ongoing in higher courts.
Democrat Senator Catherine Cortez Masto introduce the Reproductive Health Patient Navigator Act. It would provide grants to help women find care. Abortion is legal up to 24 weeks here in Nevada. Senator Cortez Masto says it should be similar to other federal programs.
“It’s no different than what I’ve seen in the past, the navigators that the federal government funded through grant funding for cancer patients. Navigators that would help cancer patients access clinical trials or access essential services they needed based on the type of cancer they have. This is the similar type of program,” said Senator Cortez Masto.
Senator Cortez Masto introduced the Reproductive Health Patient Navigator Act. It’s a federal grant program to help fund organizations that help connect women nationwide to vital reproductive care, including abortions.
“I suspect, unfortunately, I’m not going to be able to get some extreme Republicans on this because they’re going to, they’re trying to ban all access to any funds, essential funds, for women for their reproductive needs. And so, my goal will be to find where I can the support, not just on the Democrats, but our Independents, and then look to see if there’s any moderate Republicans who would be willing to join,” said Senator Cortez Masto.
On Thursday Senator Catherine Cortez Masto and Congresswoman Susie Lee introduced the bicameral Reproductive Health Patient Navigator Act.
It calls for the creation of a grant program to help local community-based providers who are assisting women traveling to states like Nevada for reproductive services. During the past year since the reversal of Roe versus Wade. Planned Parenthood says it has seen an increase of 37% and people traveling to Nevada’s 8 in-person abortion providers, arriving primarily from Texas and Arizona.
Senator Cortez Masto said the legislation is modeled on existing cancer service programs that connect cancer patients with care.