Shaheen, Hassan & Pappas Meet with Planned Parenthood of Northern New England & NH Providers for Roundtable Discussion in Manchester on Anti-Woman TX Abortion Pill Ruling
Shaheen, Hassan and Pappas with providers earlier today at the Planned Parenthood Manchester Health Center.
(Manchester, NH) - Today, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) hosted a roundtable discussion with U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Congressman Chris Pappas (NH-01) and New Hampshire family care providers at the Planned Parenthood of Northern New England (PPNNE) Manchester Health Center. The discussion centered around the recent ruling out of Texas from U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk – a Donald Trump-appointed judge – who issued a nationwide injunction pausing the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)'s approval of mifepristone, the first drug used in the two-drug medication abortion protocol, and the implications on those seeking reproductive care in New Hampshire.
On April 7, Kacsmaryk ruled against the FDA to block its approval of mifepristone. Judge Kacsmaryk gave the agency seven days to request a stay of the ruling, after which the case will be referred to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. On Monday, the Department of Justice filed an emergency stay with the 5th Circuit to block the ruling from going into effect. If the ruling goes into effect, mifepristone would be effectively banned nationwide, gravely limiting abortion access including in states where abortion is protected.
“Like many women in New Hampshire and across the country, I was outraged by the medication abortion ruling on Friday by a federal judge in Texas. This unprecedented ruling is the most serious assault on reproductive freedom since the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade. If this decision stands, American women’s two-decade-long access to mifepristone will be in jeopardy across the nation, outlawing the most commonly used method for women to seek abortions. The Supreme Court must intervene to protect the health, safety and lives of women,” said Senator Shaheen. “Today’s engaging roundtable discussion with community leaders and family care providers demonstrated that the New Hampshire congressional delegation stands firmly with women and will leave no stone unturned in the fight to protect reproductive freedoms. I’ll continue to do everything I can to stop GOP legislators or unelected jurists from imposing their control over women’s right to choose if or when to start a family.”
“The recent decision by a Texas judge to prevent doctors from prescribing mifepristone is the latest effort to dismantle a woman’s fundamental freedom – and impacts women across the country, including in New Hampshire,” said Senator Hassan. “It is clear that anti-choice extremists will not stop at overturning Roe, and they will not stop until abortion is banned in America. But women are capable of making their own health decisions and doctors are capable of providing the best care to their patients – and I will continue to fight to protect a woman’s fundamental freedom.”
“Mifepristone has been FDA approved for twenty years because it is safe, effective, and helps provide life-saving care,” said Rep. Pappas. “Women seeking a safe, legal abortion or treatment for miscarriage with mifepristone should not have their care thrown into jeopardy by the uncertainty radical right-wing judges and politicians have created. This ruling does not follow the science and endangers the health and well-being of women across this country while setting a dangerous precedent that could unleash attacks on other life-saving medications Granite Staters have relied on for decades. I remain committed to ensuring that all Americans have the freedom to make their own decisions about their bodies, their health care, their lives, and their futures, and will continue to oppose efforts from the far right to interfere in these personal medical decisions.”
“Let’s be clear - medication abortion is still safe, legal, and accessible in New Hampshire. Everyone should have access to the abortion procedure that works best for their lives and their bodies. If necessary, we are prepared to pivot to a different medication abortion protocol to ensure we can continue to deliver this critical care to our patients. Our commitment to providing safe, effective health care is steadfast,” said Jinelle Hobson, Equality Health Center.
“From our own state's 24-week abortion ban to the Executive Council’s multiple votes to defund family planning providers to the overturning of Roe v. Wade, the last year has been a relentless assault on reproductive rights and our ability as providers to deliver the critical care patients need. This politically motivated ruling in Texas should make clear to everyone that people opposed to abortion will not stop until abortion is banned everywhere, including here in New Hampshire,” said Sandi Denoncour, Lovering Health Center.
“Granite Staters agree - private medical decisions should be made by patients and their providers, not politicians and judges. Every person deserves access to safe, effective health care when they need it in consultation with their medical providers - not politicians and judges. This ruling is just the latest attempt by political forces to insert themselves where they don’t belong. We are grateful for members of New Hampshire’s Congressional Delegation who are standing up for Granite Staters’ reproductive rights and freedoms,” said Liz Canada, Advocacy Manager, Planned Parenthood of Northern New England.
The entire New Hampshire congressional delegation have been fiercely defending women’s reproductive rights and health care for years in response to unrelenting attacks by Republican lawmakers and the previous administration under Donald Trump. When it became clear in the Fall of 2021 and last Spring that the Supreme Court would likely overturn Roe v. Wade, Shaheen and Hassan held a press conference with the New Hampshire congressional delegation and Planned Parenthood of Northern New England to discuss women’s freedoms and the implications for reproductive health with the overturning of the landmark Supreme Court case. Recently, Senator Hassan led group of Senators, including Shaheen, on a letter to Danco Laboratories, a manufacturer of mifepristone, urging them to submit an application to the FDA to add miscarriage management to the medication’s label. Currently, mifepristone’s label includes medication abortion, but it can also be safely and legally used for miscarriage management.
Shaheen and Hassan have led and supported a number of efforts in the U.S. Senate in defense of women’s health. Earlier this month, Shaheen and Hassan helped reintroduce the Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Healthcare (EACH) Act, a bicameral bill that would help guarantee abortion coverage—without restrictions—for millions of Americans. For years, Shaheen has fought to expand coverage of women’s reproductive health and successfully pushed an effort through Congress that was signed into law to ensure servicewomen have access to abortions in cases of rape or incest. Shaheen also leads policy priorities that invest in preventative care, including through her legislation, which Senator Hassan also joined in introducing, to reduce the cost of contraception for servicewomen and dependents in military families. Senator Shaheen authored an op-ed for the Union Leader underscoring the threats to women’s freedoms and rights in a post-Roe America, which can be read in full here. In March, Shaheen spearhead the letter to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin on behalf of 37 U.S. Senators underscoring the serious national security imperatives tied to providing U.S. service members access to protected leave for abortion and reproductive health care services. Senators Shaheen and Hassan are leaders in the fight to protect Title X family planning centers.