UPDATED 1:00 PM PT – Thursday, July 14, 2022
During a hearing on Tuesday, senators from both sides of the aisle heard testimony from healthcare providers about the implications of the Supreme Court’s decision to allow states to implement their own abortion laws. Dr. Kristyn Brandi of Physicians for Reproductive Health told senators that state abortion bans were affecting how physicians treat patients, including withholding critical treatment.
“It’s incredibly hard to think about being in that position where I can’t intervene because I have to call my lawyer first to make sure that it’s okay,” Brandi vocalized. “Or that I’m going to wait, wait and wait until somebody gets sicker because I don’t know what that law means. We’re seeing that across the country. I’m hearing stories from all over from physicians that are withholding lifesaving care because they don’t want to go to jail. That’s really not how health care should work.”
The end of Roe changed everything. I've met women who have never voted for a Democrat before but are planning to now. We have to fight for every Senate seat in every state – including here in Idaho – to restore abortion rights. #idpol #CodifyRoe
— David Roth – Democratic Nominee to U.S. Senate (@rothforIdaho) July 13, 2022
Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) described the high court’s ruling as “barbaric.”
“About one in 50 pregnancies in our country are ectopic,” Murray voiced. “That means they’re not viable and without medical action they are deadly. In Republican’s post-Roe world, health care providers aren’t sure when or even if they will be able to treat ectopic patients without being sent to prison. Some have already been instructed to observe patients until they have unstable vital signs before acting. Basically, sit on your hands until women are at dire risk before you can do what is medically necessary. That is absolutely barbaric.”
Senate GOP just BLOCKED my bill w/ @SenCortezMasto to protect the right to travel—including to get abortion care. This move shows that they stand w/ extreme politicians trying to hold women captive in their own states rather than defending the right to travel within our country. pic.twitter.com/6ZxWlkbz27
— Senator Patty Murray (@PattyMurray) July 14, 2022
Sen. Roger Marshall (R-Kansas) pushed back against her statement. He accused Democrats of using scare tactics and lying to American citizens about state’s who have laws banning abortion.
“Myth three, overturning Roe means health care professionals in hospitals cannot treat women with miscarriages, ectopic pregnancies or when the mom’s life is endangered,” Marshall said. “These are all scare tactics preying on the emotions of people. Listen, every state abortion law triggered by overturning Roe includes an exception to save the life of the mother. Treating miscarriages and ectopic pregnancies are not the same as performing abortions. In fact, no abortion law in any state in America prevents treatment for women with ectopic pregnancies and or other life-threatening conditions.”
Meanwhile, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) played the middle man by saying Congress would have to look at the issue further down the line.
“I think we’ve got to look at this again,” Murkowski stated. Again down the road. The balance of power in Congress moves back and forth. Without the filibuster do we really think, do we really believe that a different majority would not seek a nationwide ban on abortion and find a way to succeed in enacting it? The filibuster is really one of the few mechanisms that protects the rights of the minority. I raise this because I think we need to be looking long term at this.”
In the meantime, states remain split on their reaction to Roe’s end while the White House is expressing interest in declaring a health emergency to protect access to the procedure.