Baldwin, Democratic Senators urge Biden to take ‘bold action’ to protect abortion rights

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) joined 33 of her fellow Democratic Senators in a letter Monday urging President Joe Biden to take “bold action” to protect the right to abortion in the wake of the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade.

“You have the power to fight back and lead a national response to this devastating decision,” the Senators wrote. “We call on you to take every step available to your Administration, across federal agencies, to help women access abortions and other reproductive health care.”

Wisconsin is one of 22 U.S. states that have laws banning or restricting abortion access. In Wisconsin, an 1849 law criminalizes abortion including in instances of rape and incest. The penalty for performing abortions is up to six years in prison and a $10,000 fine, but increases to 15 years in prison and a $50,000 fine if the fetus is past sixteen weeks of development.

RELATED: U.S. Supreme Court reverses Roe v. Wade, abortion now illegal in Wisconsin

“Those laws will leave millions of Americans without access to essential reproductive health care,” the Senators wrote. “We cannot stand idly by as Republicans rip away women’s rights.”

Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers already promised clemency for abortion providers. Speaking at a rally Saturday, Baldwin said that the issue will be a decisive one in the upcoming election season.

“Roe v. Wade is on the ballot,” she said. “You stand with Wisconsin women and America’s women or not.”

You can read the full letter that the Senators sent to President Biden below:

Dear Mr. President:

Yesterday, the Supreme Court decided Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, whichoverturned Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey and held that the right to abortion is no longer protected by the Constitution. This decision eliminates nearly 50 years of settled law and allows states to curtail access to abortion in any circumstance beginning at the moment of conception. This is an unprecedented assault on women and the result of decades of activism by Republican extremists. We call on you to combat these attacks and take immediate action to use the full force of the federal government to protect access to abortion in the United States.

There is no time to waste: nearly half of the states already had laws in place to ban abortion or severely restrict access as soon as the Supreme Court decision came down. Many states enacted those laws immediately, and at least a dozen are set to follow suit in the coming days and weeks. Those laws will leave millions of Americans without access to essential reproductive health care. The chilling reality is that our daughters and granddaughters now have fewer rights than their mothers and grandmothers. Women across the country are now being told by states what choices they can and cannot make when it comes to their own health and reproductive choices. This is dangerous and horrifying and it will endanger women’s lives. We cannot stand idly by as Republicans rip away women’s rights. And we know they will not stop with this decision—they are already eyeing a national abortion ban.

We appreciate that in your speech yesterday, you acknowledged the reality that the “health and life of women across this nation are now at risk.” Now is the time for bold action to protect the right to an abortion. You have the power to fight back and lead a national response to this devastating decision, so we call on you to take every step available to your Administration, across federal agencies, to help women access abortions and other reproductive health care, and to protect those who will face the harshest burdens from this devastating and extreme decision.

Thank you for your attention to this important matter.

Sincerely,

Senators Pat Murray (D-WA), Markey (D-MA), Wyden (D-OR), Merkley (D-OR), Hirono (D-HI), Heinrich (D-NM), Gillibrand (D-NY), Blumenthal (D-CT), Rosen (D-NV), Duckworth (D-IL), Bennet (D-CO), Brown (D-OH), Warren (D-MA), Klobuchar (D-MN), Schatz (D-HI), Van Hollen (D-MD), Hassan (D-NH), Reed (D-RI), Kaine (D-VA), Smith (D-MN), Cortez Masto (D-NV), Murphy (D-CT), Carper (D-DE), Stabenow (D-MI), Kelly (D-AZ), Feinstein (D-CA), Hickenlooper (D-CO), Kaine (D-VA), Cantwell (D-WA), Sanders (I-VT), Shaheen (D-NH), Booker (D-NJ), Whitehouse (D-RI), Baldwin (D-WI) and Durbin (D-IL).