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Majority Leader Schumer Floor Remarks Supporting The Women’s Health Protection Act

Washington, D.C.  Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor calling out national, state and local Republican attacks on access to abortion care. Senator Schumer also applauded Senate Democrats’ work to craft the Women’s Health Protection Act and committed to working to push the legislation forward. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:

First, I want to thank Senators Murray, Baldwin, Blumenthal, and so many of the others who have spoken on this issue so vital to our country, to the women of our country, to all of us in this country. Now, for nearly 50 years, Roe v. Wade safeguarded Americans’ fundamental right to choose. But from the moment Roe was decided in 1973, the most extreme elements of the Republican Party made it their mission to reverse Roe and eliminate freedom of choice.

Last summer, tragically, that doomsday scenario became true when the MAGA Supreme Court overturned Roe and declared that there was no constitutional right to access abortion.

Eight months later, consequences of the Court’s decision have been severe: one in three women have lost abortion access, and over 17 million individuals can no longer access the full range of reproductive care. The MAGA Supreme Court’s decision means our children will grow up in a world where they have fewer liberties than previous generations.

Today, as I mentioned, Senator Baldwin and Blumenthal, along with many others of us, are re-introducing a salve to this terrible injustice: the Women’s Health Protection Act. This legislation only dropped this morning, but Senate Democrats already have a record number of cosponsors—49 in total! Let me say that again, the legislation only dropped this morning, but Senate Democrats already have a record number of cosponsors—49 in total! This is the most united Senate Democrats have ever been on pro-choice legislation, while Republicans remain hell-bent on eliminating women’s choice.

After Americans rejected MAGA Republicans’ anti-choice agenda last fall, you’d think they would have gotten the message, but they have not. Today, 14 states have enacted near-total abortion bans. Florida Republicans, meanwhile, introduced a bill this week to ban abortions after just six weeks, before many women even know they are pregnant. How can you say the Florida bill is anything but cruel and inhumane?

And for those who think Republicans’ abortion hostility is about states’ rights, nearly every Republican in the Senate sponsored and voted in favor of a nationwide abortion ban. That’s what this is all about: Republicans, deep down, want to ban abortions for everyone, everywhere.

And as bad as all this is, the worst injustice is that those who suffer most are often low income Americans, rural Americans, people of color, LGBTQ+ Americans—particularly the trans community—and especially Black Americans. In fact, research shows that states with the harshest abortion bans have some of the highest rates of Black maternal death, as much as 38% higher in states with abortion restrictions.

There’s only one word to describe this: shameful. It’s a stain, a blot, a blemish on America’s soul.

So passing the Women’s Health Protection Act is the right thing to do for our country. I want to thank all of the senators who helped lead this bill, the women members of our leadership, and all of our women senators, and so many others, including Senator Blumenthal, Senator Whitehouse, and many more who worked so hard on this legislation. I will work with them to push this bill forward.