On Senate Floor, Cortez Masto Urges Colleagues to Protect Women’s Rights
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“Extremist Republicans’ war on reproductive freedom didn’t stop with overturning Roe, it didn’t stop with punishing doctors, and it won’t stop with going after medication abortion. Let’s get one thing clear: for the far-right, this is about controlling women.
“I trust women, and so do the majority of Americans. Nearly two-thirds of Americans believe women should have the right to make their own choices about their reproductive care. I stand with them.”
Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) spoke on the Senate floor to call out attacks on women’s reproductive rights since the fall of Roe v. Wade and to advocate for the Women’s Health Protection Act, legislation to restore abortion access for millions of Americans.
Senator Cortez Masto has been a fierce advocate for women’s reproductive rights. After the Supreme Court decision in June to overturn Roe v. Wade, the senator introduced the Freedom to Travel for Health Care Act of 2022, legislation that would ensure legal protections for women traveling across state lines to receive reproductive care. She recently urged the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to protect the data privacy of women seeking reproductive health care and called out Walgreens after the company announced plans to stop dispensing the abortion pill in some states.
Below are her remarks as delivered:
M. President, less than a year has gone by since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, and it’s been a dark time for women in America.
By dismissing fifty years of precedent protecting reproductive freedom, the Supreme Court emboldened far-right Republicans to go after women’s rights in increasingly extreme ways.
One of the first things some Republican leaders in Congress did after the Dobbs decision was get to work on legislation to ban abortion nationwide. And until they can pass that legislation denying states their ability to keep abortion legal, they will continue their attacks on reproductive freedoms and make it as difficult as possible for women to access essential reproductive health care.
In Texas, Arizona, Wisconsin, and other states with strict abortion bans, doctors who provide women with reproductive care could be prosecuted, heavily fined, or imprisoned – in some cases all three. These states have threatened to revoke provider’s medical licenses, putting their politics above what’s best for the patient health. For women, confusion and fear over abortion bans has led to denied access to necessary and potentially life-saving reproductive care.
Imagine the distress…the burden these women and their families carry. Pregnancy decisions are deeply personal, not a legal debate up for discussion in the courts. We must do everything we can to ensure women have all the tools they need so they can decide what’s best for their lives, their health and their families.
Since the Court overturned Roe, women have begun to travel to pro-choice states like Nevada for the abortion care they need, but anti-choice policymakers are working on taking away that freedom, too.
Their latest attack on women’s rights is through a lawsuit to restrict nationwide access to the abortion pill, even for women in states where medication abortion is one of the few legal abortion options left.
Extremist Republicans’ war on reproductive freedom didn’t stop with overturning Roe, it didn’t stop with punishing doctors, and it won’t stop with going after medication abortion. Let’s get one thing clear: for the far-right, this is about controlling women.
I trust women, and so do the majority of Americans. Nearly two-thirds of Americans believe women should have the right to make their own choices about their reproductive care. I stand with them.
That’s why I’m proud to join my colleagues to re-introduce the Women’s Health Protection Act. This bill defends women against the extremist politicians who are working to strip away their rights, guaranteeing that women can seek the vital reproductive care they need without having to answer to the government.
Under this bill, women would see an end to abortion bans and burdensome restrictions to accessing abortion. Women would be able to get the health care they need without being subjected to medically unnecessary ultrasounds, excessive waiting periods, and other obstacles far-right Republican politicians have put in their path.
Women and their families would be able to plan for their futures on their own terms.
The alternative is to watch a minority of extremists continue to strip away women’s rights across the country. We must protect a woman’s right to choose and pass the Women’s Health Protection Act.
And I will say one final thing, and I would hope my colleagues on the other side would listen to this.
We’ve heard conversations about the impact that this issue has had on this past election cycle. I am proof; I am back here because not just Democrats, but Republicans and Independents, not just partisans in my state care about this issue. They care about the rights of women and their freedom to make this decision, and a majority of Americans do as well.
So that is why it is important for all of my colleagues – I don’t care what aisle you sit in, I don’t care what party you are or you’re not a party – the goal here is when we come to this Congress, when we stand here together, and we try to solve the problems that matter to this country, we are listening to the American people, and we are not letting a minority determine.
We are not about taking away the freedoms and rights of people in this country, including women, and turning them into second-class citizens. That’s not who we are.
So I invite my colleagues at all times, I don’t care where you are, what party you stand with, where you are – stand with women in this country.
This is such an important issue, pay attention to the American public, what’s at stake here, and I would ask you to support us with the Women’s Health Protection Act.
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