05.19.22

Schumer, Murray, Senate Democratic Women: Democrats Aren’t Backing Down from The Fight to Protect Abortion Rights

***WATCH: PRESS CONERENCE***

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Assistant Democratic Leader Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) led a press conference with Democratic women Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) on the non-stop Democratic efforts to protect reproductive rights amid Republicans’ extreme attempts to end access to abortion care across the country.

With the Supreme Court poised to overturn Roe, Senate Republicans blocking passage of the Women’s Health Protection Act and pushing for a federal abortion ban, and everything from abortion care to birth control to IVF under attack by Republicans, Senate Democrats are using every lever they have to protect reproductive rights, including by:

  • launching a floor effort to highlight Republicans’ regressive efforts to roll back our rights,
  • holding private companies accountable for collecting and selling data of people who visit abortion clinics;
  • urging Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin to ensure service-members can get abortion care;
  • protecting patients’ access to birth control;
  • and pressing the Biden administration for federal action to respond to the imminent end of Roe.

At the press conference, Senate Democrats made clear: they will not allow Republicans to hide from their cruelty. Instead, they will continue a non-stop strategy on the Senate floor and across the country to call out the real ways Republicans’ extreme agenda will hurt women. They will introduce and call up legislation to make clear where they stand on reproductive rights. They will continue pressing the private sector for action, and they will continue pushing the Biden Administration to protect women’s rights.

“The American people have seen the stark contrast between pro-choice Democrats who are fighting to protect a woman’s rights to make decisions about her body and MAGA Republicans who want to rip away women’s rights, ban abortion, come between women and their doctors, and stop them from getting the health care they need,” said Leader Schumer. “Democrats are going to confront these extreme Republicans whose anti-women views are wildly out of step with the American people and will not stop fighting for this crucial and important issue because women’s rights are human rights.”

“Republicans don’t just want to ban abortion. They’re coming after the birth control that millions of patients rely on to plan a family, which includes IUDs and Plan B. They’re jeopardizing families’ ability to get the reproductive care like IVF that they need to help start a family,” said Senator Murray. “This is scary, extreme, and shameful stuff. And I don’t think it should surprise anyone that people in Washington state—and across the country—are not onboard with Republicans’ radical attempt to reverse their rights. So we’re here today to make clear that Democrats are not done fighting—far from it. As Republicans work around the clock to reverse people’s rights, Democrats are fighting back around the clock—and making the stakes of Republicans’ extreme agenda clear. We’re getting together today to make clear that we are—and will continue to—use every lever at our disposal to protect women’s ability to control their own bodies. Put simply: Senate Democrats are undeterred—and will not abandon the fight to protect everyone’s reproductive rights.”

“We will engage, organize, and activate the American people on reproductive rights because this freedom is so deeply personal to them. We will call on private companies to stop putting the health and safety of women who use abortion clinics in jeopardy by selling their data. And we are going to do everything we can to protect and expand access to birth control because women know better than an activist Supreme Court, or politicians in Washington, how to make their own personal, reproductive health care decisions,” said Senator Baldwin. “Our message is simple. We are not giving up this fight and neither should you. We need you to join it.”

“Let’s be clear: shame on people who think it is beyond the pale to regulate firearms, but totally fine to regulate our uterus,” said Senator Duckworth. “I refuse to let my daughters grow up in a world with fewer rights than I had, and I won't stop working to codify Roe v. Wade into law and ensure reproductive freedoms are protected for all women.”

“Republican politicians have spent decades plotting to overturn Roe and force their extremist, unpopular agenda on the rest of America,” said Senator Warren. “If Roe is overturned, the consequences of this decision will fall hardest on low-income women and women of color, but make no mistake—every woman in America will feel the impact. This is a five-alarm fire, and Democrats need to use every tool possible to protect a woman’s right to choose. We can’t go back, not now, not ever.”

“We have heard from record numbers of people calling our offices, emailing us, sending us information, and saying that this is an unbelievable running over of their rights,” said Senator Cantwell. “We've heard heartbreaking stories of women who've talked about sexual assault, and they had no choice but to abort that fetus. And what they want to know is if we are going to stand with them, and stand for the hard choices that they've had to make.”

“Women in our country are going to wake up one morning soon and realize they no longer have control over their own bodies,” said Senator Hirono. “The question is who gets to decide what we do with our bodies—women or government? I stand in solidarity to say loudly and clearly that it is the women—it is us—not government, who gets to decide.”

“The Declaration of Independence promised life and liberty and the Constitution enshrined these fundamental rights. However, the Supreme Court’s draft majority opinion overturning Roe v. Wade directly attacks and threatens these truths,” said Senator Gillibrand. “That’s why I’ve pushed Defense Secretary Austin on his strategy to ensure our service members have access to reproductive care and why I’m introducing the Health Care Providers Safety Act to provide physical and cyber security protections to reproductive health care providers, their facilities, personnel, and patients who have often faced intimidation and harassment when attempting provide or reproductive care. We are united in our fight to protect reproductive freedom and we will prevail.”

“This leaked opinion, which basically strips women of their freedoms of the last 50 years…will literally be going against what the vast majority of the American people believe: that we should uphold the principles of Roe v. Wade,” said Senator Klobuchar. “A few people in the Supreme Court…should not be making that decision for millions of women in this country.”

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