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TRANSCRIPT: Majority Leader Schumer Delivers Remarks At Abortion Rights Briefing Ahead Of The 51st Anniversary Of Roe v. Wade

Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke at a press briefing with Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) ahead of the 51st anniversary of Roe v. Wade. The event can be viewed here:

Thank you Senator Murray and thank you for your amazing leadership on this issue and I thank all of my colleagues.  Our caucus has stood strong in support of Roe v. Wade.

And the anniversary of Roe v Wade should be a joyous day for our country. A day when the Supreme Court decided to value a women’s right to privacy and her own autonomy.

And for nearly 50 years, this landmark case was the law of the land.

But for decades, the far-right has led a campaign to systematically dismantle a woman’s fundamental right to choose.

The most extreme elements of the Republican Party have made it their mission to eliminate this freedom of choice.

The most extreme elements of the Republican Party have done this repeatedly over and over again made it their mission.

And in 2022—tragically, alarmingly, and outrageously—they succeeded when a hard-right 5-4 majority on the Supreme Court voted to overturn Roe v. Wade.

For over a year and a half now, we have had to live with the calamitous Dobbs decision, as we have heard from our witnesses. It has opened the floodgates for draconian and cruel bans on women’s choice across America.

Republican abortion bans around the country have led to chaos and irreparable harm. There are thousands and thousands of stories that we’ll never know of the harm caused by this ruling and they have put hard-right Republican politicians, mostly male, in charge of women’s personal health care decisions.

I am honored to stand with my Democratic colleagues and say that we will never – never – stop fighting for a women’s right to choose.

We will never stop fighting to take back these rights from the far-right extremists who want to impose their views on a country that overwhelmingly does not agree with them. The anti-choice activists who will descend on Washington, D.C. on January 19th should know that they are a shrinking minority in America. Every year they are shrinking and have less and less weight with the American people.

Democrats cannot and will not accept this new status quo. We will never stop fighting to take back the rights from these far-right extremists when America overwhelmingly disagrees with them.

When the MAGA Supreme Court signaled the end of Roe and declared there was no constitutional right to an abortion, it meant that our children will now grow up, unfortunately, in a world with fewer liberties than previous generations. My granddaughter will have fewer rights than her grandmother.

The effects were instantaneous and devastating.

One in three woman in America lost abortion access.

And we know this has had a disproportionate effect on certain Americans more than others – rural and low income Americans, people of color, members of the LGBTQ community, particularly the Trans community, and Black Americans.

The far-right has shown that they want to force this on the entirety of the country. They won’t stop until they have enacted a federal abortion law. But again let me repeat it, the people who come down here on the 19th are a shrinking minority. They don’t represent very much of America.

The American people have told us time and time again that they reject this extreme MAGA agenda. They have voted against it at the ballot box in midterms - even in states where people never expected there was a pro-choice majority - and marched in support of access by the thousands. They’ve rallied time and time again in support of access to abortion as more cases wind their way through the courts. And now there are cases in Texas, Idaho, New Mexico to name a few.

There are cases coming up before the Supreme Court, looking at access to mifepristone and a hospital’s obligation to provide life-saving abortion care.

Every day the legal landscape gets more complicated, and it’s leaving the women of America in the lurch.

But Democrats will fight tooth and nail to stop that from happening. We will not relent. We will not give up.

We know that history is on our side. Monday we celebrated MLK Day and he said, “The arc of history is long, but it bends in the direction of justice.” We will win justice for the women of America. We will bend that arc of history.