(Katelynn Richardson) – U.S. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto introduced legislation Thursday that would create a federal grant program for organizations that connect women to reproductive health care and abortion resources, her office announced.
Such organizations include “abortion funds and community health clinics” identified as patient navigators. The Women’s Health Patient Navigators Act, S.5174, is modeled after similar patient navigator programs for cancer patients, which provide personal guidance through the healthcare system and remove barriers to accessing care.
Cortez Masto’s bill would fund patient navigators for “patients seeking abortion care.”
“Navigating the health care system can be challenging and confusing, and my legislation would support organizations that are helping women seeking reproductive care connect with providers who fit their needs,” said Sen. Cortez Masto. “Patient navigators help give women across the country resources and support to access critical reproductive health care.”
The bill is co-sponsored by Senators Patty Murray, D-WA, Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill, Tina Smith, D-Minn, Michael Bennet, D-Colo, Jacky Rosen D-Nev, Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn, Alex Padilla, D-Cal, and Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn.
It is also backed by the Planned Parenthood Foundation, the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association, and Catholics for Choice.
During her campaign, Cortez Masto was endorsed by the Planned Parenthood Action Fund.
Earlier this year, Cortez Masto introduced the Freedom to Travel for Health Care Act of 2022 to provide legal protection to women traveling to other states for abortion procedures.
Katelynn Richardson | The Center Square