WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), a senior member of the Senate Finance Health Care Subcommittee, today released the following statement in the wake of the Supreme Court’s 5-4 denial of a request from Texas abortion providers to freeze a state law (SB8) that bans abortions after approximately six weeks and directly challenges the Supreme Court’s previous ruling in Roe v. Wade.
“Yesterday’s actions by five members of the Supreme Court of the United States represent a shocking failure to abide by our constitutional standards and to protect women’s health. The Roe v. Wade decision has been the established legal precedent for more than a half-century. The Supreme Court is allowing Texas to ride roughshod on the constitutional right for women to make their own choices about their own health and well-being.
“From a practical perspective, the Texas law removes the ability to make critical health decisions after about six weeks of pregnancy, before many people even know they are pregnant.
“Worse, the law will have the most profound effects on patients who cannot overcome the logistical and financial obstacles of traveling out-of-state for care, meaning that communities of color and those with low incomes will face the worst risk.
“Even worse still, the Texas law allows private citizens to bring civil suits against anyone, from healthcare providers to family members, who assists a pregnant person seeking an abortion. This is a bald-faced attempt to isolate women in need of care, counseling and services, and is a shameful attempt to sever women from support. It also allows self-anointed enforcers to inject themselves into the most personal and private of health decisions.
“It is imperative for Congress to support women’s well-being by passing the Women’s Health Protection Act, which I have co-sponsored, to prohibit laws that impose burdensome requirements on access to reproductive health services.
“With the House expected to take action on this measure in the coming weeks, I urge my Senate colleagues to do the same to prevent future state laws like SB8 from further limiting women’s health. We must make a firm statement in support of women’s health and their constitutional rights as soon as we possibly can.
“I also encourage the Biden administration, including HHS and DOJ, to explore the expedited use of additional tools at their disposal to safeguard the reproductive rights of Texans – and all Americans.”