WASHINGTON D.C. – Today, ahead of the one-year anniversary of the devastating Dobbs decision, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07) along with Congresswoman Veronica Escobar, Congresswoman Nikema Williams, Congresswoman Cori Bush, and Congressman Maxwell Frost, introduced the Abortion Justice Act, sweeping, intersectional legislation to address access to abortion care and put forth a comprehensive vision of a just America where abortion care is readily available—without stigma, shame, or systemic barriers—for all who seek it, regardless of zip code, immigration status, income, or background.
The bill comes as a new poll conducted by Hart Research Associates on behalf of All* Above All shows an overwhelming majority of Americans support such a law.
“Women of color have been leading the way towards more equitable access to abortion care for decades, so that we all have the freedom to control our own bodies, lives, and futures. The Abortion Justice Act, led by Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, is a prime example of that leadership in action,” said Morgan Hopkins, President of All* Above All. “We’re done settling. With this groundbreaking bill, we’re creating a new vision for a bold future where abortion care is there for anyone who needs it without politicians standing in the way.”
“In a truly just America, everyone is free to make decisions about their lives, their bodies, and their futures with dignity – including the decision to pursue abortion care without fear, shame, or systemic barriers. Abortion care is health care and a fundamental human right, but access to this right has been stripped away from far too many, exacerbating many of the inequities and disparities that harm our most vulnerable,” said Rep. Pressley, lead sponsor of the Abortion Justice Act. “Our Abortion Justice Act builds the infrastructure necessary to systematically expand access to care, and I am thankful for my colleagues and our advocates for their close partnership on this bill. A just America is possible, and I look forward to the day where our bodily autonomy is our own.”
One year after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, anti-abortion politicians have enacted laws that ban all or most abortions in at least 13 states. Bans disproportionately impact people who already face significant barriers to care due to systemic racism, economic injustice, and immigration status, including people working to make ends meet, immigrants, young people, and women of color.
But even when abortion was legal nationwide, insurmountable restrictions—including insurance coverage bans, bans on medication abortion, and inhumane policies that target immigrants—denied people abortion care.
The Abortion Justice Act protects patients, including immigrants, and providers from criminalization; removes systemic barriers to care; ensures abortion care is covered by insurance; and, calls for necessary federal investments in abortion care including training, research, outreach, doula care, innovation, and access.
The bill builds on the policy priorities outlined in the Action Plan for Abortion Justice, co-created by All* Above All network partners, including abortion providers, abortion funds, state organizations, legal experts, economic and immigrant justice organizations, and federal policy experts.
“When they answer calls day after day to help people pay for and navigate the mounting logistical obstacles to access abortions, abortion funds and practical support organizations know firsthand the harmful and negative impact of abortion bans,” said Oriaku Njoku, Executive Director of the National Network of Abortion Funds and All* Above All steering committee member. “Abortion funds and practical support organizations embody abortion justice by leading with compassion as an antidote to the anti-abortion shame and judgment people seeking abortions experience elsewhere. The Abortion Justice Act would bolster their work while protecting them from criminalization, ensuring that they are able to move past partisan politics by continuing to put people’s real life needs first.”
“Comprehensive medical education requires access to abortion and family planning training. This is an urgent public health concern threatening the medical profession and the human rights of pregnant people. Medical Students for Choice supports the Abortion Justice Act because future physicians and their patients deserve abortion justice protected in federal law,” said Pamela Merritt, Executive Director of Medical Students for Choice.
“I’ve always been the go-to person to support people in my life that have had abortions. I’ve witnessed them face barriers like inability to pay for an abortion, traveling over an hour on the train to get to an appointment, delays in care, and having to hear protesters on the way to the clinic,” said Faith Daniel, Project Manager at Community Catalyst and Activist Leader at Latina Institute NY. “My wish is for anyone seeking an abortion to be able to access affordable services without any barriers to care.”
“A few months after I used my private insurance to pay for my abortion in New York City, I received a bill for hundreds of dollars and I discovered my insurance only covered abortions considered ‘medically necessary.’ No one should be denied insurance coverage of abortion just because of our circumstances or how we get our insurance. I support the Abortion Justice Act because it will ensure cost is not a barrier to accessing care,” said Lizzie Chadbourne, Youth Abortion Support Collective Member at Advocates for Youth.
All* Above All unites individuals across the country and over 150 organizations to build a future where abortion is affordable, available, and supported for anyone who seeks care. As a catalyst for abortion justice, we accelerate strategy, shift narrative, move policy, and build networks to ensure that care is there when we need it. Learn more at allaboveall.org and follow our social media at @allaboveall.