TRANSCRIPT: At A Press Conference On The Senate Steps With Senate Democrats, Majority Leader Schumer Speaks On The Urgent Need To Protect A Woman’s Right to Choose

May 3, 2022

Washington, D.C.   Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today delivered remarks at a press conference with other Senate Democrats in response to the leaked draft Supreme Court decision that would overturn Roe v. Wade, jeopardizing a woman’s right to choose and the rights of millions of Americans. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks:

This is a dark and disturbing day for America. Last night, a report came out that a conservative majority on the United States Supreme Court is ready to overturn Roe v. Wade and uproot decades of precedent affirming a woman’s right to an abortion.

It is hard not to feel angry, troubled and deeply disturbed about what overturning Roe would do to women across America. More than twenty states have laws or constitutional amendments in place that would outlaw abortions should the Supreme Court invalidate Roe. Over eighty million women live in those states. If the report is accurate, the decision would be an abomination, an abomination; one of the worst ever in modern history.

Of course, Republicans have sought this outcome for years, so you’d think they’d be celebrating such a decision. But they aren’t.

No, this morning, Republicans are shamefully scrambling—scrambling—to try and distract from the main issue.

Republicans are spending all their focus on the leak because they don’t want to talk about Roe v Wade, where they know they’re on the wrong side of history and on the wrong side of American people.

Let me say it again: Republicans are spending all their focus on the leak because they don’t want to focus on Roe v Wade, where they know they’re on the wrong side of history and on the wrong side of the American people.

Try as they might they can’t distract from the truth: the blame for this decision falls squarely on Senate Republicans, who spent years pushing extremist judges and Justices while claiming this day would never come.

But come it has, so in light of this potential ruling I want to make three things very clear:

First: it is our intention for the Senate to hold a vote on legislation to codify the right to an abortion in law.

Second: a vote on this legislation is no longer an abstract exercise; this is as urgent and as real as it gets. We will vote to protect a women’s right to choose and every American is going to see which side every senator stands on.

Third, to the American people I say this: the elections this November will have consequences, because the rights of a hundred million women are now on the ballot.

To help fight this court’s awful decision, I urge every American to make their voices heard this week and this year.

Call your members! Write them! Call your Senators! Write them! Email them! Text them! And most of all, cast your ballots this November.

Because if Roe v. Wade is overturned we have to assume there’s more to come. The question is, what will these Republicans – these right-wing Republicans – target next?

Will they have the Supreme Court overturn Griswold so they can prevent American women from contraception? They may say, we wouldn’t do that because of precedent.

Why would anyone believe them anymore?

Will they have the Supreme Court overrun Obergefell so that they can prevent same-sex marriage? They may say, we wouldn’t do that because of precedent.

Why would anyone believe them?

No, it’s clear that they will try to turn back the clock to a time when women, people of color, LGBTQ people are all considered second class citizens.

I do not believe the hard right will succeed. I still firmly believe in my very bones that the story of American democracy is the story of progress. 

Democrats are going to fight this decision all the way, for as long as it takes.

We will not relent. We will not give up. We know history is on our side and we are determined to preserve the precious rights that are the bedrock of this great nation.

I thank all my colleagues for being here and call on our brave leader on so many of these issues, Senator Murray!

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