Senator Murray Statement on the Senate’s Women’s Health Protection Act Vote
Senator Murray: “Tonight, we voted in the Senate to say that Roe v. Wade is the law of the land. Democrats stood up and said women should make their own health care decisions. We trust women. We trust patients. We trust their doctors. We trust them to make their own decisions.”
***WATCH SENATOR MURRAY’S POST-VOTE VIDEO HERE***
***WATCH SENATOR MURRAY’S FLOOR SPEECH HERE***
(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, released a video on the Senate’s 46-48 vote on the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA).
“Tonight, we voted in the Senate to say that Roe v. Wade is the law of the land. Democrats stood up and said women should make their own health care decisions. We trust women. We trust patients. We trust their doctors. We trust them to make their own decisions.
“We didn’t get the result we wanted, but that doesn’t mean we have stopped fighting. We’re going to keep fighting to make sure that we protect women’s rights in this country. I know we’re all disappointed tonight but tonight is not the night to stand down. Tonight’s the night to stand up and keep fighting—not just for ourselves but for future generations.
“We cannot go back in this country to a place where women’s health is at risk, where Roe is not the law of the land, where we have a time when women will get abortions and they will be at risk because it will be in an unsafe place. We are going to stand up and fight for them, and we ask you to join us too.”
Earlier this evening, Senator Murray spoke on the Senate floor to urge her colleagues to vote for the Women’s Health Protection Act and protect the right to abortion nationwide. During her remarks, Senator Murray made it clear that no matter the outcome, the vote sends a message that Democrats trust women and patients and are fighting to protect the right to an abortion—while Republicans are not. She warned that very soon, 72 million Americans of reproductive age may lose a constitutional right every generation has known since Roe was decided in 1973—and they will know that the Republican party is responsible.
Senator Murray has long fought to protect reproductive and abortion rights and has consistently spoken out against Republicans’ efforts to restrict patients’ control over their bodies, lives, and futures. Since the Supreme Court agreed to hear Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, Senator Murray has vowed to fight back and protect Roe, and worked to ensure the Senate voted on WHPA.
Senator Murray’s floor speech, as prepared for delivery, is below:
“I will start with a few simple questions for my colleagues.
“Do you trust women? Do you trust patients? Do you trust doctors? Do you believe that every American should be able to make deeply personal decisions about pregnancy and parenting according to their own beliefs, without the government interfering?
“If you answer ‘yes’ to these questions, then your job tonight is pretty easy: vote for the Women’s Health Protection Act.
“What this bill does is simple: it follows the Constitution and nearly half a century of precedent and gives patients the right to get an abortion—and doctors the right to provide abortion care—no matter where in America that patient or doctor lives.
“M. President, you might ask—why do we need a bill like this if the right is already in the Constitution?
“Sadly, we need this bill because too many extreme, right-wing politicians, too many well-funded conservative interest groups, and way too many conservative lawyers jammed into our judicial system at every level clearly do not trust women. Or patients. Or doctors.
“Now, you might say that assertion is unfair. But I am looking at actions, not words.
“And here’s what I see.
“In 2021 alone, Republican legislators across the country passed more than a hundred abortion restrictions.
“In Texas, there’s a law that’s been in effect for nearly six months that bans abortions before many women even know they’re pregnant. And not only that—Texas has empowered citizens to sue one another—personally—for the “crime” of helping someone get an abortion or providing abortion care.
“The Supreme Court has already rubber-stamped this appalling, divisive law, and there is a very real threat that in a matter of months, they’ll end the constitutional right to abortion in Roe v. Wade.
“M. President, what Republicans like to say is if Roe v. Wade is gone—abortions will end.
“That’s not true. Abortions will still happen. People will find a way—but many won’t have safe options, and their health and even their lives will be at huge risk.
“Even more so than today, women who don’t have the money, don’t have the time off, or in some other way don’t have the means—won’t be able to get them.
“And this cruelty will fall hardest on women of color, women who have low incomes, women in rural parts of the country, and the LGBTQ+ community.
“To me, and to so many Democrats here today, that’s just wrong.
“A person’s ability to make the right decision—for themselves—about pregnancy and parenting shouldn’t only be available to the rich. Or depend on what zip code you live in.
“Unfortunately, that’s the future the Republican Party wants for America.
“But, M. President, it’s not what Democrats want. It’s certainly not what my constituents in Washington state want. And it’s not what the vast majority of Americans across the country want either.
“M. President, sometime in the next few months, we will, very likely, see the historic reversal of a fundamental right Americans have known for nearly fifty years regarding one of the most personal decisions any individual can make.
“A right generations of Americans have grown up depending on—and want to see protected.
“M. President, that means this vote tonight is historic as well.
“This is each Senator’s chance to stand up for an individual’s right to decide what to do with their own body and future.
“Tonight, the Democratic position is clear: we trust women and patients, and we believe Roe should be the law of the land.
“I hope Senate Republicans reverse course and vote with us—but if they don’t, make no mistake: seventy-two million Americans of reproductive age today may soon lose a constitutional right every generation has known since Roe was decided in 1973.
“And if they do, they are going to know exactly who is responsible: the Republican Party.
“I yield the floor.”
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