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Majority Leader Schumer Floor Remarks On Republicans Blocking Federal Protections For Reproductive Freedoms Again And Again

Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor on the Reproductive Freedom for Women Act and on Senate Republicans voting against legislation to protect access to reproductive rights. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:

Next Monday, America will mark a dark anniversary: two years since the MAGA Supreme Court overturned Roe, unleashing a crisis of reproductive health. The day Roe was overturned will be remembered as one of the darkest days for women’s rights in modern history.

Two years later, America looks almost unrecognizable when it comes to reproductive rights. Millions and millions of women across America have fewer freedoms today than their mothers and grandmothers did. At least twenty states have passed total or near total bans on reproductive freedom. Shameful.

This week, I moved to place the Reproductive Freedom for Women Act on the legislative calendar, so we can be ready to move this bill soon. I thank Senator Murray for leading this bill and every woman senator on our side of the aisle for cosponsoring it with me.

Protecting freedom of choice is not a show vote, it’s a show-us-who-you-are vote. And the American people certainly want to know who their elected representatives truly are, and are entitled to know where they stand on choice.

That’s why all month long, we have prepared votes on choice and contraception and IVF. Americans want to know where their representatives stand on such an important issue.

Americans didn’t elect us to sweep these issues under the rug, even if some Senators think they are difficult. By voting on these bills on women’s health care, we are moving the issue forward, because it’s important for members to be forced to take a position. That’s the only way we’ll make progress.

Of course, some would want to sweep it under the rug. They say it’s political. That’s because they don’t want to vote on it.

They don’t want to show their constituents that they are blocking something that the majority of their constituents demand. We all know these issues are very, very personal to so many people. We all know that the other side is trying to hide. We are not letting them hide, and we are not letting them hide because that is the only way we will move this issue forward – by being public, by showing where people stand, and then by having, as our system has been designed to work since it was founded, their constituents putting pressure on them to do the right thing.

As I’ve made abundantly clear over the past couple years, Democrats are always ready to work with the other side on legislation. But when we can’t agree, Democrats aren’t going to shy away from issues Americans fiercely care about, and protecting reproductive freedoms is among the most important issues in the minds of the American people.

So, once again, let me repeat: voting on reproductive freedom is a show-us-who-you-are vote. And all month long, Senate Republicans have shown everyone just how out of touch they have become with the mainstream. Hopefully, votes like this force them to change over a period of time.

In the last two weeks, Senate Republicans have shown that – for all their attempts to sound moderate on reproductive care – when it comes time to vote, they choose MAGA extremism over the wishes and desires of the American people.

When Senate Republicans blocked federal protections for contraception, they chose MAGA extremism over the American people.

When Senate Republicans blocked federal protections for IVF, they chose MAGA extremism over the American people.

When Donald Trump continues, to this day, to brag about working with Senate Republicans to confirm three hard-right Supreme Court Justices to eliminate Roe, he is choosing MAGA extremism over the American people.

Make no mistake: the MAGA hard-right’s attacks on women aren’t done. First it was abortion, then contraception, then IVF. What’s next? If they get their chance, they will push for their ultimate goal of a national abortion ban.

That’s why voting on legislation protecting access to contraception and IVF is so important.

That’s why affirming a woman’s fundamental right to choose is so important.

And that’s why Senate Democrats will continue to fight back against Republican attacks on reproductive care and never stop until the protections of Roe are the law of the land.