July 6, 2022
Pressley Statement on 10-Year-Old Rape Survivor Denied Abortion in Ohio
WASHINGTON – Today, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), Chair of the Pro Choice Caucus’ Abortion Rights and Access Task Force, issued the following statement regarding a 10-year-old rape survivor who was denied abortion care in Ohio and forced to seek care out of state.
“The fallout of the Supreme Court’s cruel and callous ruling to deny millions access to abortion care overnight is reverberating across the nation. This weekend, we learned of a 10-year-old rape survivor denied abortion care in her home state of Ohio who was forced to travel out of state to receive the care she needed. Abortion care is health care. Abortion care is a fundamental human right. No person should be denied access to the care they need.
“The federal government must use every tool available to make access to abortion care readily available, and ensure that those traveling out of state have the necessary support to receive the care they need and are able to move freely. President Biden should declare a public health emergency to unlock critical flexibilities and resources to get patients the care they need now.
“This fight is not over. To any person who feels scared, alone, or unclear about their options to access abortion care right now, I encourage you to go to abortionfinder.org. We will see each other through these continued attacks on our bodily autonomy.”
Last month, shortly before the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade, Rep. Pressley led her Black women Congressional colleagues in writing to President Biden urging him to declare a public health emergency amid the unprecedented threats to abortion rights nationwide. She has been a consistent advocate for abortion access and a leading voice condemning the Supreme Court decision.
Rep. Pressley is a lead co-sponsor of the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA), bicameral federal legislation to guarantee equal access to abortion care, everywhere which passed the House over 9 months ago.
In her time serving in Congress, Congresswoman Pressley has fought persistently to protect fundamental reproductive and sexual health care rights.
- Last year, Congresswoman Pressley, along with U.S. Representatives Judy Chu (D-CA), Lois Frankel (D-FL), Veronica Escobar (D-TX) and Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), introduced the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA), bicameral federal legislation to guarantee equal access to abortion care, everywhere. Recently, she issued a statement condemning the Supreme Court’s leaked draft opinion to overturn Roe v. Wade., and implored the Senate to protect abortion rights and slammed the white supremacist roots of anti-abortion efforts.
- In September 2021, Rep. Pressley issued a statement condemning the Supreme Court’s inaction on SB-8, Texas’ restrictive abortion law. Later that month, she participated in a House Oversight Committee hearing to examine the threat posed by abortion bans and underscored the urgency of the Senate passing the Women’s Health Protection Act.
- In April 2021, Rep. Pressley, along with Congresswomen Barbara Lee (CA-13), Diana DeGette (CO-01) and Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), led a group of 131 Democratic members in reintroducing the Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance Act or the EACH Act, which would repeal the Hyde Amendment and ensure that all people, regardless of income, insurance or zip code, can make personal reproductive health care decisions without interference from politicians.
- As Chair of the Pro-Choice Caucus’s Abortion Rights and Access Task Force, Congresswoman Pressley has led the fight to repeal the Hyde Amendments from annual Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies appropriations bills and in July 2020 published a Medium post on the importance of doing so. The amendment was
- In May 2020, she led more than 155 Members of Congress in calling on House Democratic leadership to ensure that any future COVID-19 relief packages rejected Republican efforts to use the public health crisis to diminish abortion access.
- In May 2019, she led more than 100 colleagues in introducing H.Con.Res.40, a resolution reaffirming the House of Representative’s support for Roe v. Wade.
- In June 2019, Rep. Pressley introduced H.R. 3296, the Affordability is Access Act, to make oral contraception available without a prescription.
- In September 2016, as a member of the Boston City Council, Pressley championed a resolution calling on Congress and President Obama to repeal the Hyde Amendment and reinstate insurance coverage for abortion services.