Senate Defeats 20-Week Abortion Ban; States Must Continue to Safeguard Reproductive Freedom

January 29, 2018
Contact: Stephanie Reichin
E: [email protected]
M: 617.549.3745

Statement by Andrea Miller, President of the National Institute for Reproductive Health

New York – Today, the U.S. Senate rejected an unconstitutional, medically unnecessary abortion ban that would criminalize abortion after an arbitrary cutoff point and leave women who need access to abortion later in pregnancy without any recourse. This legislation previously passed the House.

“Today’s Senate vote is the latest attempt by the federal government to impose a harmful restriction to push abortion further out of reach for women in need. The bill is an attack on a women’s ability to make personal decisions about her health and aims to assert legislator control over her sexual and reproductive life.

“This attempt at a federal abortion ban shows an appalling lack of concern or understanding of the reality of people’s lives. The impact would have fallen hardest on women who already face barriers to care – including women of color, low-income women, and those without regular or adequate health care.

“This latest attempt exemplifies why state and local leaders across the country must act as a counterweight to harmfullegislation that shames, pressures and punishes women for deciding to have an abortion. States in particular need to examine their abortion laws, remove criminal abortion bans from state law, and ensure that access to the full range of reproductive health care is adequately protected. The National Institute for Reproductive Health will provide states and cities with the tools they need to pass proactive legislation that advances reproductive freedom and eradicate policies that criminalize women for deciding to have an abortion. State and local leaders must act as a bulwark against the harmful actions of the federal legislature. Women’s lives and freedom depend on it.”


The National Institute for Reproductive Health (NIRH) builds power at the state and local levels to change public policy, galvanize public support, and normalize women’s decisions about abortion and contraception.