Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) today spoke on the Senate floor against proposed legislation by Senator Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) and Senator Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.) that attack women’s constitutional reproductive rights.
Below are her remarks as prepared for delivery. You may download video of the speech HERE.
I rise today to oppose my colleagues’ legislation to limit women’s health care choices. These bills are part of a wave of efforts to turn back the clock on women’s health.
In my home state of Nevada, with the only majority-women legislature in the nation, we’re moving in the opposite direction. We’ve been fighting to protect a woman’s right to choose for decades.
I’m inspired by women like Sue Wagner, the first woman elected as Nevada’s lieutenant governor, whose grit and leadership sparked a movement in the 1990s to enshrine women’s reproductive freedom in the state’s constitution.
Just this year, with women at the helm of the Nevada legislature, the Trust Nevada Women Act was signed into law to remove undue burdens on reproductive rights.
Nevadans understand that reproductive rights are part and parcel not just of women’s health, but of their economic security. When women can’t control whether and when they have children, they are more likely to struggle financially.
Eighty-three percent of Nevadans are pro-choice, and I stand with them. I’m going to continue to fight for what the American people want: comprehensive health care and reproductive justice.
Bills to protect women’s health are what we should be voting on—like the bipartisan legislation to cover pre-existing conditions, to reduce prescription drug prices, to prevent violence against women, and many more languishing on Leader McConnell’s desk.
And that includes pushing for meaningful legislation to protect mothers and babies at a critical time in their lives, like the Healthy MOM Act to expand health care coverage for pregnant and postpartum women.
But Leader McConnell is more focused on passing an extreme political agenda than in protecting women’s health in Nevada and across the country.
We must stop the assault on women’s right to choose and their reproductive health care. The rights of American women to make their own health decisions should not be up for debate. These are fundamental human rights.