Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher, Congressman Ami Bera, Congresswoman Kim Schrier, and Congressman Mark Pocan Introduce Bill To Expand Reproductive Health Care Training to Medical Students
Legislation would ensure that medical students in states like Texas, where abortion is effectively eliminated, can travel out of state to receive training and education in abortion care
Today, Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher (TX-07), Congressman Ami Bera, M.D. (CA-06), Congresswoman Kim Schrier, M.D. (WA-08), and Congressman Mark Pocan (WI-02) introduced the Reproductive Health Care Training Act. The Reproductive Health Care Training Act creates a grant program to establish medical programs in states where abortion is legal, so that students, residents, and advanced practice clinicians training in states where abortion is limited or banned can receive proper education in reproductive health care. The bill also prepares and encourages these individuals to serve as abortion providers after completing their training. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) also introduced this legislation in the U.S. Senate today.
“Restrictions on access to abortion in Texas and states like it that have eliminated abortion care place burdens on medical students and residents, who cannot receive proper training to provide the full range of reproductive health care, as well as on their patients,” said Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher. “It is critical that as we work to restore and protect abortion access, we also work to educate the next generation of health care providers on the full range of reproductive health care, including abortion care. For both students and educational institutions, success depends on proper and full education. I am glad to join Congressman Bera, Congresswoman Schrier, and Congressman Pocan to ensure medical students and residents have access to training in reproductive health care.”
“The Dobbs decision has had a profound impact across the country,” said Congressman Ami Bera, M.D., former Chief Medical Officer for Sacramento County. “Instead of being able to provide the highest quality medical care to their patients, physicians are being forced to flee from states that have restrictive abortion bans. This not only results in healthcare gaps in those regions, but also places an undue burden on states that protect abortion rights. The Reproductive Health Care Training Act is a crucial step towards addressing the medical education voids caused by restrictive abortion laws. By establishing a program that supports and expands education in abortion care, regardless of where students and providers reside, we can empower the next generation of healthcare professionals to fulfill their duty to serve their patients and uphold reproductive rights.”
“Medical students need access to a complete education, and that includes comprehensive abortion training,” said Congresswoman Kim Schrier, M.D.“The Reproductive Health Care Training Act will expand abortion care education allowing for the next generation of doctors to ensure they get the education they need, regardless of where they train. As one of only two pro-choice woman doctors in Congress, I will continue to do everything I can to protect women’s access to safe abortion, and physicians' ability to provide a full spectrum of care.”
“In states like Wisconsin with an abortion ban as a result of the Dobbs decision, not only can patients not get abortion care, medical students are prevented from learning the skills they need,” said Congressman Mark Pocan. “The Reproductive Health Care Training Act is crucial legislation that ensures medical students gain all necessary clinical skills no matter where they train. Abortion is healthcare. Student doctors in every state should be able to learn to provide patients the care that is their right.”
If enacted, the Reproductive Health Care Training Act would establish a program, funded at $25 million each year for the next five years, to award grants or contracts to medical programs in states where abortion is legal to:
Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher is a leader in the Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus and has led several efforts to protect access to abortion. After a Texas Judge banned abortion medication across the country, she introduced the Protecting Reproductive Freedom Act, H.R. 2573, with Congressman Pat Ryan (NY-18) to reaffirm that the abortion pill was appropriately approved by the FDA. Last month, she met with Vice President Harris and Pro-Choice Caucus leaders to discuss ways to preserve, protect, and restore reproductive rights across the U.S.
She is the lead House sponsor of a bill to protect the right to travel between states to obtain an abortion, the Ensuring Women’s Right to Reproductive Freedom Act, H.R. 782, which passed the House in the last Congress, and which she reintroduced this year. She has also introduced legislation challenging the bounty system created in Texas Senate Bill 8. Congresswoman Fletcher was an original cosponsor of the Women’s Health Protection Act, H.R. 12, which establishes a statutory federal right to abortion free from medically unnecessary restrictions.
To view the full text of the Reproductive Health Care Training Act, click here.