March 10, 2023
Pressley, Hirono, Colleagues, Introduce Bicameral Resolution Honoring Abortion Providers
Legislation Would Designate March 10th as “Abortion Provider Appreciation Day”
WASHINGTON – Today, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07) and U.S. Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI), along with Congresswomen Barbara Lee (CA-12), Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Diana DeGette (CO-01), Cori Bush (MO-01) and Senator Gary Peters (D-MI), led 40 of their colleagues in reintroducing a bicameral congressional resolution honoring abortion providers and clinic staff. The Abortion Provider Appreciation Day resolution affirms that abortion providers are valued as they provide reproductive care despite pressures, restrictions, political interference and threats to their personal safety. It also highlights the essential role that these providers play in providing safe access to reproductive care, including abortions.
“Abortion providers work diligently every day to advance reproductive justice, and at a time when abortion care is under heightened attack, their work has become even more essential,” said Rep. Ayanna Pressley. “Due to Republicans’ dangerous rhetoric and policies, the threats abortion providers face is real – but in the face of danger, they persevere with courage and fight to provide safe and necessary care to all who seek it. I’m proud to stand in solidarity with them and to introduce a resolution to affirm their humanity, honor their labor, and recognize their endless contributions.”
“Abortion providers have long been targets of violence and intimidation for simply doing their jobs. Since the Supreme Court’s disastrous Dobbs decision overturning Roe v. Wade, the challenges abortion providers face have only grown,” said Sen. Hirono. “Today, we remember Dr. Gunn and all those killed by senseless acts of anti-abortion violence, and honor the bravery of abortion providers across our country who continue to provide essential care despite the threats they face. As Republicans work to ban abortion nationwide, I’ll keep fighting to protect access to abortion care and the professionals who provide it.”
“Nearly one year after the fall of Roe and with abortion now fully banned in 13 states—and severely restricted in others—Abortion Provider Appreciation Day takes on a much greater significance,” said Rep. Barbara Lee. “Abortion providers are vital to ensuring every person in this nation has the health care they need, whether due to personal choice or medical necessity. Congress must reject extremist Republicans’ attempts to vilify, threaten, and criminalize these heroes and enact legislation to protect them and the essential services they provide.”
“For me, terminating my pregnancy wasn’t an easy decision, but it was my decision. A decision I wouldn’t have been able to make without the critical work of abortion providers in this country,” said Congresswoman Jayapal. “Abortion providers face daily threats of violence, which have only grown as the extreme MAGA right has set their sights on disrupting abortion care. I am so grateful for the work that abortion providers do and I stand with them today and all days.”
“Abortion care is health care, and those who provide this essential care to patients across the country should be able to do so without the constant fear of violence, intimidation or harassment,” said Congresswoman DeGette. “We are extremely grateful to the dedicated medical professionals who, despite the multitude of challenges they face, continue to provide abortion care to patients throughout the country. We must continue to fight for them, and the patients who need them by ensuring that every person in this country has access to the full range of reproductive services.”
“As far-right lawmakers and judges across the country continue stripping away abortion care access and reproductive freedom, abortion providers remain at the frontlines of the fight for full reproductive autonomy. From restrictive far-right laws to criminalization and literal violence, abortion providers face threats from every angle. Despite the persistent threats, they continue to push forward in order to provide people with critical, life-saving healthcare,” said Congresswoman Bush. “That is why I am proud to join Congresswoman Pressley in re-introducing this resolution recognizing March 10th as “Abortion Provider Appreciation Day.” We must keep supporting our abortion care providers as we continue the fight to ensure that every person in the country is able to access the care they need and deserve.”
“Many families, including my own, know how important it is to be able to access essential reproductive care when they need it,” said Senator Peters. “This resolution honors the bravery and dedication of the providers who help families receive safe and quality care even in the face of adversity and threats. I’ll keep fighting to protect these providers and every woman’s right to make medical decisions with her doctor without interference from politicians or judges.”
The resolution was inspired by Dr. David Gunn, an abortion provider who was killed outside his clinic in Pensacola, Florida by a white supremacist and antiabortion extremist in the first known instance of the murder of an abortion provider. To honor his legacy, Abortion Provider Appreciation Day was established on March 10, 1996 as a day to show appreciation for the essential, high-quality care that abortion providers and clinic staff provide to their communities and to celebrate their courage and dedication.
“When our father made the decision to go work on the morning of March 10, 1993, he may have had some reservations,” said Wendy Gunn and David Gunn, Jr., the children of Dr. David Gunn. “He was one of only a few doctors willing to provide abortion services to patients across Alabama, Georgia, and Florida because those who dared do so faced real threats of violence at the hands of local anti-abortion activists. His drive to provide compassionate abortion services to his patients coupled with his firm belief in people’s rights to bodily autonomy compelled him to continue working. Tragically, an anti-abortion activist killed him 30 years ago today because he would not back down. We thank Senators Hirono and Peters as well as Reps. Pressley, Bush, Jayapal, Lee, and DeGette for honoring his work and the work of abortion providers and clinic staff across this country. In the face of an unprecedented crisis, providers show up every day with strength and resilience to help people access the abortion care they need. We, in the memory of our father, honor their courage and dedication to the proposition that each of us should be able to make our own decisions about when and how to create a family and shape our futures.”
“Today, on National Abortion Provider Appreciation Day, I am so grateful for the leadership of Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, Senators Mazie Hirono and Gary Peters, along with co-leads Congresswomen Cori Bush, Pramila Jayapal, Barbara Lee, and Dianne Degette as they recognize the critical care abortion providers offer their communities,” said Dr. Jamila Perritt, President & CEO of Physicians for Reproductive Health. “Especially amidst ongoing attacks from anti-abortion extremists and politicians, it is critical that political leadership show their support and solidarity for the just, compassionate, and medically necessary care abortion providers perform in service of our collective safety and wellbeing. No one should ever fear for their physical, mental, or emotional safety, especially the people who make abortion care possible as they provide critical health care. Today’s resolution gives well deserved respect to the countless health care providers across the country continuing to provide this essential care.”
“Today, we honor Dr. David Gunn, his family, and all abortion providers and clinic staff who work tirelessly each day to provide care to those who need it,” said Gretchen Borchelt, Vice President for Reproductive Rights and Health at the National Women’s Law Center. “We are at a crisis: abortion is now illegal in 12 states, forcing clinics to close and others to expand beyond capacity to help those traveling for care. Abortion care providers face relentless threats to their work and safety every day from anti-abortion extremists. And despite it all, they show up for all of us and empower their patients to determine what happens to their own bodies, lives, and futures. These providers are people in our communities, our neighbors, partners, family members, and friends. We thank them not just today, but every day, for their compassion, their commitment to the rights and freedoms of their patients, and their resilience.”
The Abortion Provider Appreciation Day resolution demonstrates a commitment to abortion providers and staff by:
- Extending Congressional recognition of Abortion Provider Appreciation Day;
- Lauding the communities across the country who proudly support their abortion providers and clinic staff;
- Affirming Congress’ commitment to ensuring the safety of abortion providers and their ability to continue providing the essential care their patients need; and
- Declaring a vision for a future where access to abortion is liberated from restrictions and bans universally.
In addition to Senators Hirono and Peters and Representative Pressley, the resolution is cosponsored in the Senate by Senators Ed Markey (D-MA), Alex Padilla (D-CA) and Cory Booker (D-NJ), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Patty Murray (D-WA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Reps. Barbara Lee, Diana DeGette, Cori Bush, Pramila Jayapal, Adam B. Schiff, Sara Jacobs, Ami Bera, Bonnie Watson Coleman, David Trone, Deborah K. Ross, Donald M. Payne Jr., Dwight Evans, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Gerald E. Connolly, Grace Meng, Jamaal Bowman, Jan Schakowsky, Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, Jill Tokuda, Jimmy Gomez, Joseph Morelle, Judy Chu, Katie Porter, Lizzie Fletcher, Lloyd Doggett, Lori Trahan, Madeleine Dean, Mark Pocan, Nanette Barragán, Rashida Tlaib, Ro Khanna, Seth Moulton, Suzanne Bonamici, Sydney Kamlager-Dove, Sylvia Garcia, and Veronica Escobar.
The Abortion Provider Appreciation Day resolution is endorsed by: Ibis Reproductive Health, National Women’s Law Center, Physicians for Reproductive Health, National Abortion Federation, NARAL Pro-Choice America, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, National Organization for Women, National Women’s Political Caucus, American Medical Student Association, National Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice, Women’s March Inc, National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association, Catholics for Choice, National Organization for Women, National Women’s Health Network, National Council of Jewish Women, The Reproductive Health Project of the American Medical Student Association, Abortion Access Front, National Partnership for Women & Families, ReproFreedomArts.org, MYA Network, Ipas, Feminist Women’s Health Center, NOISE FOR NOW, We Testify, Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity (URGE), Plan C, ACCESS REPRODUCTIVE JUSTICE, Center for Reproductive Rights, National Institute for Reproductive Health, Women’s Rights and Empowerment Network, Supermajority, In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda, National Birth Equity Collaborative, American Humanist Association, Black Women for Wellness Action Project, Choice Network, Women’s Reproductive Rights Assistance Project (WRRAP), Gender Justice, Abortion Care Network, National Institute for Reproductive Health, ineedana.com, Medical Students for Choice, Steph Black Strategies, REPRO Rising Virginia, Bans Off Miami, FL National Organization for Women, Cobalt, Tampa Bay Abortion Fund, SHERo Mississippi, Apiary for Practical Support, RHITES (Reproductive Health Initiative for Telehealth Equity & Solutions), Pregnancy Justice, Chicago Abortion Fund, Indigenous Women Rising, Pro-Choice Washington, Reproductive Rights Coalition, Camelback Family Planning, #VOTEPROCHOICE, Midwest Access Coalition, Birth in Color RVA, Midwest Access Coalition, Women’s Health Center of West Virginia , A Woman’s Choice of Florida & North Carolina, CONNECTIONS, Florida Access Network , Amplify Georgia Collaborative, West Alabama Women’s Center, Inc, Advocates for Youth, Power to Decide, Florida Access Network, Louisiana Coalition for Reproductive Freedom, ACLU of Texas, Pregnancy Options Wisconsin: Education, Resources, & Support, Inc (POWERS), CHOICES Center for Reproductive Health, Blue Mountain Clinic, Women’s Health Specialists of California, Abortion On Demand, Family Planning Associates Medical Group, Midwest Access Project, Carolina Abortion Fund, CARE Colorado, SIECUS: Sex Ed for Social Change NCJW Sarasota Manatee, Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, VoteProChoice, Pro Choice Missouri, Pro-Choice Connecticut, Maine Family Planning, Reproductive Health Access Project, ProgressNow New Mexico, Choix, Boulder Valley Women’s Health Center, Progress Florida, HealthQ, KM Consulting & Training, LLC, Yellowhammer Fund, Blue Mountain Clinic Family Practice, UCSF Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health, carafe, Floridians for Reproductive Freedom, Florida Interfaith Coalition for Reproductive Health and Justice, Kentucky Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, Population Institute, and UnRestrict Minnesota.
The full text of the resolution is available here.
As Chair of the Pro-Choice Caucus’s Abortion Rights and Access Task Force, Congresswoman Pressley has fought tirelessly to protect comprehensive reproductive health care for all, including abortion care.
Rep. Pressley is also a lead co-sponsor of the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA), bicameral federal legislation to guarantee equal access to abortion care, everywhere.
Earlier this year, she introduced a resolution to condemn all forms of political violence in the U.S., regardless of its target or intent. That same day, she delivered a powerful speech on the House floor slamming Republicans’ harmful, misleading anti-abortion resolution.
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. This bill has twice passed the House of Representatives and awaits passage in the United States Senate.
- She condemned 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. She re-Introduced the legislation In January 2023.
- Rep. Pressley has led calls in Congress for the FDA to remove medically unnecessary restrictions on the medication abortion drug mifepristone, and applauded the FDA’s action in January 2023 to allow retail pharmacies to dispense abortion medication pills.
- 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 August 2021, Rep. Pressley, Oversight Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney, and Pro-Choice Caucus Co-Chairs Reps. Diana DeGette and Barbara Lee led more than 70 of their House Democratic colleagues in introducing a resolution in support of equitable, science-based policies governing access to medication abortion care.
- 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.