Schumer Floor Remarks On Republican Attacks On Women’s Healthcare Rights

March 5, 2020

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer today spoke on the Senate floor regarding Republican attacks on women’s healthcare rights. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:

I just listened to the Republican leader and there was a glaring omission in his speech: he did not mention what the rally yesterday, my speech, or the case before the court was about: a woman’s constitutional right to choose. To the women of America: what we are talking about here, what I am fighting for here is your right to choose—an issue, of course, Leader McConnell completely ignored in his speech.

I feel so passionately about this issue and I feel so deeply the anger of women all across America about Senate Republicans and the Courts working hand-in-glove to take down Roe v. Wade. I just read about a woman in Shreveport who, under the Louisiana law now before the Supreme Court, would have to travel over 300 miles to exercise her constitutional freedoms.

And this is happening in states across the country. Republican state legislatures are restricting a woman’s right to choose so severely as to make it non-existent. And the courts are now likely to go along, because Senate Republicans have confirmed nominees they believe will strip away women’s rights and fundamentally change this country, going so far as to deny a duly-elected president the right to pick a Supreme Court Justice.

Republicans are afraid, here in the Senate, to confront this issue directly, so they try to accomplish through the courts what they’d never accomplish in the court of public opinion. And they leave women out in the cold.

So yes, I am angry. The women of America are angry. And, yes, we will continue to fight for a woman’s right to choose. I will continue to fight for the women of America.

Now, I should not have used the words I used yesterday. They did not come out the way I intended to. My point was that there would be political consequences—political consequences, for President Trump and Senate Republicans—if the Supreme Court, with newly confirmed Justices, stripped away a woman’s right to choose. Of course, I did not intend to suggest anything other than political and public opinion consequences for the Supreme Court, and it is a gross distortion to imply otherwise.

I’m from Brooklyn. We speak in strong language. I shouldn’t have used the words I did, but in no way was I making a threat. I never—never—would do such a thing. And Leader McConnell knows that. And Republicans who are busy manufacturing outrage over these comments know that too.

Now, what will remain long after the clamor over my comments dies down is the issue at hand: a woman’s constitutional right to choose and Republican attempts to invalidate it.

The fact that my Republican colleagues have worked, systematically over the course of decades, to install the judicial infrastructure to take down Roe v. Wade—and do very real damage to the country and the American way of life. That is the issue that will remain.

And we owe—I owe—an obligation to the women of America to fight for their constitutional rights.