Sen. Tammy DuckworthWASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and U.S. Representative Ayanna Pressley (D-MA-07), in partnership with disability justice and reproductive justice advocates, announced a bicameral resolution calling for equitable access to reproductive and sexual health care for people with disabilities, and designating a day in May as “Disability Reproductive Health Equity Day.” The resolution recognizes the barriers people with disabilities encounter to accessing sexual and reproductive health care due to systemic discrimination, leaving many with unmet and underserved health needs.

“Due to a long history of sexism, resulting in discrimination and misconceptions about people with disabilities that persist to this day, millions of Americans with disabilities have faced—and continue to face—health disparities and mistreatment,” said Senator Duckworth. “In addition to stigma and attitudes bent on ‘fixing’ us, we also must overcome barriers to health care services, equipment and providers. With Republican efforts underway to go even further to undermine our freedom, agency and bodily autonomy following the overturning of Roe, many people with disabilities are rightfully worried about having an even harder time accessing the reproductive care they need. I’m proud to introduce this resolution alongside Senator Murray and Congresswoman Pressley to help ensure all of us in the disability community are seen and are not left behind in getting the reproductive care we need.”

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“Americans with disabilities have long had to jump through extra hoops and faced real discrimination when it comes to accessing the health care they need, including abortion care,” said Senator Murray. “Access to reproductive health care has been in crisis since the Dobbs decision, making it even harder for people with disabilities to access high-quality care from providers who understand their health care needs. It’s important that we recognize the barriers millions of women face in accessing reproductive health care, and this resolution is an important marker for us all to recommit to the fight for reproductive justice for all.”

“Our siblings with disabilities have long been relegated to second-class status and systemic discrimination that has shamefully denied them the adequate and high-quality reproductive and sexual health care they deserve,” said Congresswoman Pressley. “Our resolution recognizes these injustices and affirms Congressional intent to confront them head-on. I am proud to introduce this resolution alongside Senator Duckworth and our partners in the disability community. Disability justice is reproductive justice, and we need both, now.”

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A copy of the resolution text can be found here.

Throughout her time in the Senate, Duckworth has made protecting reproductive freedom and expanding access to IVF top priorities in the face of Republicans’ anti-choice crusade. Duckworth is the author of the Access to Family Building Actand, in February, she led a group of Senate Democrats in calling for the bill’s passage through unanimous consent, only for Republican U.S. Senator of Mississippi Cindy Hyde-Smith to object and block Duckworth’s effort. This was the second time Senate Republicans blocked Duckworth-led legislation that would protect access to IVF nationwide. The Access to Family Building Act builds on previous legislation she introduced in 2022.

Last year, Duckworth helped Murray introduce the Reproductive Healthcare Accessibility Actto help people with disabilities—who face discrimination and extra barriers when seeking care—receive better access to reproductive health care and the informed care they need to control their reproductive lives. Pressley and U.S. Representative Cori Bush (D-MO-01) introduced companion legislation in the House.

Duckworth was the first Senator to give birth while serving in office and had both of her children with the help of IVF. In 2018, she advocated for the Senate to change its rules so she could bring her infant onto the Senate floor.

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