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Mr. PADILLA. Madam President and colleagues, this past week, following the leaked Supreme Court opinion that threatens to overturn Roe v. Wade, thousands of Californians have reached out to my office in the form of phone calls, in the form of letters, and in the form of emails, all to voice their support for the right to choose.
It is abundantly clear that Congress must pass the Women's Health Protection Act and codify the right to an abortion into Federal law.
Countless Californians and other Americans have spoken up--many in public, many in private--to share their own abortion stories.
Think about the students who want to finish high school before starting a family. Think of survivors of sexual assault, whose abortion reaffirmed their right to choose for their own bodies. Think of parents who desperately wanted a child but, upon becoming pregnant, learned the devastating news about dangerous health risks associated with that pregnancy. Think of the women whose lives were saved by an abortion, because abortion is often critical medical care. And think about women who remember a time a half a century ago, before Roe v. Wade secured this right, a time when--don't get me wrong--abortion still happened, but they were unsafe secrets at the time, when women risked their lives for the choice that they needed.
I believe that the right to an abortion is a fundamental right, and I am proud to represent a State that fiercely defends abortion access. California is committed to safe, respectful abortion care for all who need it. That is why Californians have stepped up this year, with some even traveling to aid women who were threatened by SB 8, the Texas law that prohibits abortion at 6 weeks. This is the very law that Senator Cortez Masto just referenced a few minutes ago, and it is why so many Californians are speaking up now.
We know that your right to choose should not end at a State border, and it certainly shouldn't rely on your income or your transportation options or whether or not you can afford to take time off from work.
All across America, a strong majority support a woman's right to make her own healthcare decisions. We can't stand by and watch while rightwing politicians and judges seem to roll back the clock on women's rights. That is why I am voting for the Women's Health Protection Act and why I urge each and every one of you to do the same.
We must secure the right to abortion nationwide. We must protect the fundamental rights of women across the country--not just in a few States but across the country.
Congress can and must do this by passing the Women's Health Protection Act.
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