WASHINGTON, D.C. — Abortion access is at the top of the agenda on Capitol Hill this week.

Federal lawmakers are discussing reproductive health and considering new policies after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last month.

Tuesday’s hearing focused on the legal consequences of this historic decision. During the hearing, some doctors said this ruling will lead to a public health crisis, while some attorneys say the decision gives states the power to determine abortion access.

“We will see more people be harmed by these decisions,” said Dr. Colleen McNicholas, Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis region and Southwest Missouri.

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“Abortion is an act of violence against the most innocent and vulnerable beings,” said Denise Harle, Alliance Defending Freedom.

In Illinois, abortion is still legal and state officials say the number of out-of-state patients has now doubled since the ruling with patients coming as far as Texas and Tennessee.

“I come before you today because people throughout the entire Midwest are relying on our commitment to protect and preserve women’s rights namely the right to an abortion,” said Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton, (D – Illinois).

On the other end of the debate, the director of a Pregnancy Care Center in California says there’s been an increase in violence and threats at these clinics.

“We have been forced to hire 24-hour on-site security. We have had to reenforce doors, bullet proof our walls…We have been forced to expend valuable resources, resources for women of up to $150,000 just to protect ourselves,” Heidi Matzke, executive director for Alternatives Pregnancy Center.

Matzke said they’re also battling misinformation.


“We charge them nothing, we never financially benefit from any choice a woman makes. We make no profit of any kind off the women who turn to us for help,” said Matzke.

But others are fearful Black and brown women will face another cost.

“A post Roe-America will be devasting for Black women whose maternal mortality rate is already two to three times higher than white woman,” Lt. Governor Stratton.

Later this week, the House will consider a proposal that would “protect” the right for women to travel to other states for abortion services. Some Democrats say this is in response to some GOP leaders threating to restrict access between states.

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