Senate Democrats want to use millions of dollars in federal funds to train health care workers to become abortionists.
Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Patty Murray (D-WA) introduced a bill called “The Reproductive Health Care Training Act” on Thursday which would allot $25 million over five years in federal funds for a grant program that would go toward training health care workers how to perform abortions.
A press release from Murray’s office states that the bill would “help meet the current need for more women’s health care providers nationwide, especially in states that have abortion restrictions.” Baldwin said in a statement that the funds would help medical students and faculty who are “being forced to travel out of state for training” following the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision.
“In order for women to exercise their right and freedom to control their bodies, doctors need the proper reproductive health care training,” Baldwin said. “The Reproductive Health Care Training Act will bolster the pipeline of these needed doctors by easing the burden that out-of-state training presents and supporting the medical programs that are seeing an influx of individuals that need training.”
The bill’s text states that the secretary of Health and Human Services would establish a program to award grants or contracts to eligible entities, like accredited health professions schools, academic health centers, and appropriate private or public nonprofit healthcare safety net providers, including sexual and reproductive health providers” as determined by the secretary.
The funds would be awarded to expand and support education for students, residents, or advanced practice clinicians in covered states that permit abortion training, and to “prepar[e] and encourag[e] each [trainee] in a covered state to serve as an abortion provider after completing such training.”
Under the bill, which is supported by pro-abortion organizations like Planned Parenthood, the grant program would prioritize awarding entities located in pro-abortion states where “abortion care is permitted and/or comprehensively taught,” as well as entities in states where abortion training is limited, “minority serving institutions,” or “institutions that provide training to increase underrepresented minority health professions.”
The “use of funds” portion of the bill specifies that funding could be used to “support or expand clinical training” for abortions or to “develop and operate” abortion training programs. The section additionally emphasizes how award recipients could use the funds to address “challenges to accessing abortion care, including the needs of racial and ethnic minority groups, people with disabilities, Tribal and medically underserved communities.”
Award recipients would also be able to integrate abortion training into healthcare education, or develop partnerships with community health organizations to “enhance access to abortion care.”Another use of the funding includes working to boost retention rates of abortionists who work in medically underserved communities.
The grant could also be used to provide scholarships or stipends to health care students, residents, or advanced practice clinicians that are pursuing abortion training, “with a focus on medically underserved communities.”
Senators Baldwin and Murray’s legislation is co-sponsored by Sens. Deb Stabenow (D-MI), Catherine Cortez-Masto (D-NM), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ). Companion legislation was also introduced in the U.S. House by Representative Ami Bera (D-CA).
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