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Congresswoman Escobar Re-introduces Legislation to Protect Healthcare Providers, Patients, and Clinics

Today, Congresswoman Veronica Escobar (TX-16) introduced H.R. 286, the Healthcare Providers’ Safety Act of 2023. This legislation establishes a grant program for healthcare providers to enhance the physical and cyber security of their facilities, personnel, and patients. This is the same bill that Congresswoman Escobar introduced during the 117th Congress. 

“Essential healthcare workers have had to provide critical abortion services despite facing unrelenting threats, violence, and harassment by extremists,” said Congresswoman Escobar. “As House Republicans continue their assault on women’s healthcare and reproductive freedom, House Democrats have a responsibility to act and provide protections. We are committed and unwavering in our support for women and healthcare providers across the nation.” 

The Healthcare Providers Safety Act of 2023 amends the Public Health Service Act to allow the Secretary to award grants to be used by healthcare providers to pay for the costs of necessary security services and enhancements including but not limited to video surveillance camera systems, data privacy enhancements, and structural improvements. 

The legislation is currently co-sponsored by 108 Members of Congress.  

The Healthcare Providers Safety Act has been endorsed by Planned Parenthood Federation of America, URGE: United for Reproductive & Gender Equality, the National Women’s Law Center, National Abortion Federation, Catholics for Choice, the National Partnership for Women & Families, the Feminist Majority Foundation, and the National Council of Jewish Women. 

“The Health Care Providers Safety Act would help address the very real threats of violence and harassment that providers and those seeking abortion care have faced for decades—a stunning contrast to the cheap political ploys the House GOP is working to pull off today,” said NARAL Pro-Choice America President Mini Timmaraju. “We’re grateful to Rep. Escobar for her leadership as we continue our fight to make sure all of us have the freedom to make our own decisions about our lives, families, and futures.”

"Catholics for Choice applauds Rep. Escobar for reintroducing the Healthcare Providers Safety Act,” said Catholics for Choice President Jamie L. Manson. “The HPSA would strengthen safety protections for abortion providers and patients, who face constant threats of violence, harassment, vandalism, and intimidation from anti-abortion extremists — particularly in the wake of the Supreme Court’s devastating decision overturning Roe v. Wade. As Catholics, we know that doctors should be able to do their jobs, and patients should be able to access basic healthcare, free from harm, punishment, shame, and obstacles. We look forward to working with Rep. Escobar and our partners in the faith and reproductive justice communities to advance this critical legislation."

Full text of the bill can be found here

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