Goldman pushes Abortion Care Awareness Act to protect women’s access to abortion pills amid court challenges

a group of people in front of a building discussing the Abortion Care Awareness Act
Congress Member Dan Goldman speaks about the Abortion Care Awareness Act on March 18, 2024.
Photo by Dean Moses

As reproductive rights throughout the country remain under attack and subject to court challenges, U.S. Rep. Dan Goldman announced at Planned Parenthood’s Manhattan Health Center on Monday the introduction of the Abortion Care Awareness Act. 

The proposal of the bill comes after a judge in Texas ruled to take the abortion pill mifepristone off the market. According to the FDA, mifepristone is a drug that blocks a hormone called progesterone that is needed for a pregnancy to continue. 

Goldman, a Democrat from New York’s 10th district, which covers parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn, announced the bill a week prior to the Supreme Court’s highly anticipated oral arguments on how patients can access the drug

“Next week, they will hold the oral arguments on a critical case related to the myth of mifepristone medication abortion, which has been proven to be safer than Tylenol over its 20 years of use, but is under attack by the right-wing Republicans who have very particularly chosen a single judge in Texas who they know will rule in their favor,” Goldman said. “So the Supreme Court will get another opportunity to weigh in.

two people in front of a building discussing the Abortion Care Awareness Act
Dean Moses

Goldman’s bill is mostly informational, designed to increase access to medically accurate information about abortion, specifically medication abortion. 

“It will ensure that everyone has access to accurate information about where and how to obtain abortion services across the country, how to avoid anti-abortion centers intended to deceive patients, and how to identify misinformation about abortion care,” Goldman said. 

As part of the bill, the Secretary of Health and Human Services would carry out coordinated national public health education, awareness and outreach. The campaign would be designed in consultation with healthcare professionals, nonprofit reproductive rights and justice organizations, state and local health departments, Goldman said. 

“One critical component of this bill that I want to highlight is that it creates a much greater transparency requirement for so-called pregnancy centers, which are really centers designed to peddle anti-abortion propaganda while masquerading as reproductive health centers,” Goldman said, adding that these kinds of centers tend to target low-income communities and communities of color. 

Goldman also announced a new initiative, Abortion Awareness Week that will include a series of meetings and events starting tomorrow aimed at highlighting “various different attacks” on women’s reproductive rights. 

The overturn of Roe v. Wade two years ago opened the door for a “draconian slew of state level abortion bans, some with no exceptions at all,” Goldman said. 

Former Congress Member Carolyn Maloney was also on site to support the bill.

“This bill requires the Department of Health and Human Services to combat this misinformation about abortion, and it requires this effort to be done with advice from real health-care professionals,” Maloney said. “That means doctors will be informing the public, not politically motivated extremists and crisis pregnancy centers.”

Manhattan Deputy Borough President Keisha Sutton-James discussed statistics surrounding abortion and said that one in every four women will have an abortion by the time they are 45 years old. 

“OBGYNs are increasingly leaving the states where abortion is criminalized,” Sutton-James said. “So it’s critically important that we have an information campaign that is a nationwide campaign, and that’s why we in the borough president’s office in Manhattan and I personally, and definitely [Borough President] Mark Levine, feel very strongly that this law must go through.”