After Republicans Block WHPA, Senator Murray Charts Path Forward to Fight for Abortion Rights
***WATCH: SENATOR MURRAY FLOOR REMARKS***
(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, released the following statement laying out a path forward after Senate Republicans blocked the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA) in a 49-51 vote.
“Republicans think women should have fewer rights. They want this generation of women—my daughter, my granddaughters—to have fewer rights than I did. How dare they.”
“Women will remember this vote. They will not forget it tomorrow, or next week, or come November. Neither will Democrats: because we will not stop fighting. We have a plan—and we will be tireless in our fight to protect women’s rights:
- We will not stop lifting up the voices of women across the country—the women who Republicans have abandoned. We will make sure they are heard here in the Senate, and in the halls of power. We won’t stop there. When Democrats head home, we’ll be lifting the voices of women across the country, too. This fight is also in the states—we are not backing down. We’ll call out Republicans’ extremism: the state bills criminalizing abortion providers, banning abortion, greenlighting abortion bounty hunters; the governors talking about banning IUDs and Plan B; the Senators who want the court to rule against birth control next; and so much more. And in states like mine, we’ll be sounding the alarm about the health care crises that Republican abortion bans cause.
- We are going to continue making clear where our party stands on reproductive health—and where the Republican party stands. We’ll introduce bills that show what Democrats are fighting for—policies that Democrats have been working on and pushing for years. Bills that show where we stand on over-the-counter birth control, on defending Title X, on investing in family planning, on comprehensive sex education, and so much more. We’ll be calling for unanimous consent to advance our priorities on the Senate floor—and we’ll be watching closely as Republicans show their true colors.
- We will be pressing for companies—who say they value women—to push back on the Republican extremism we’re seeing. We will push them to take action to cover travel costs for their employees, many who will soon have to travel hundreds of miles to get abortion care, to protect people’s private information that could be abused, to stop anti-abortion misinformation, and so much more. We’ll be pushing insurers too: they need to cover birth control as the law requires. Full stop.
- We will push the Biden Administration for a plan—and for action. The painful reality is: we need more pro-choice voices here in Congress, and we need more votes for the Women’s Health Protection Act. But the Administration can act right now. I want them to do whatever they can and I want to see a plan soon, so we are ready the moment the Supreme Court hands down this decision—and rips away our rights.
“Here’s my message to Republicans: women will not forget your cruelty. I ran for the Senate because of the Supreme Court. I ran for the Senate because I watched Anita Hill’s testimony where it was plain as day that women’s voices weren’t being heard. Where a woman was bombarded with offensive questions—from a Committee full of men—and then a man—who didn’t answer questions on Roe v. Wade and who didn’t even bother to listen to Ms. Hill’s testimony—ascended to the highest court in the land to make decisions for women all across the country. And we’re seeing how that’s playing out right now.
“That just wasn’t okay with me. So I took the anger, the frustration, the drive that I felt—and I made it to the United States Senate. So mark my words: women won’t just remember—they will be out in the streets, registering to vote, running for office. They will be ceaseless in their activism. I know because I was one of those women back in ’92. I’m a Senator now: and I’m leading this fight. We are going to make our voices and our votes heard—and we are going to win because there is no other option.”
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