Women's Reproductive Rights

Floor Speech

Date: May 12, 2022
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. JONES. Madam Speaker, it is absurd, absurd that in the year 2022 I have to speak to defend every human's right to make their own healthcare decisions, but because six far-right Supreme Court Justices are set to impose their unpopular views on everyone in this country, I stand here to urge my colleagues to do everything we can to protect the right to abortion, including expanding the Supreme Court.

Madam Speaker, I stand here for people in my family and folks in my community who could soon have their rights stripped away, people who, if they aren't able to get the abortion they need, will be trapped in a cycle of poverty, folks who will no longer be able to work their job or get the education that they fought so hard to get.

For me, this is personal because it is people like my single mother who worked multiple jobs just to provide for our family, Black and brown folks, and the poorest people in our society who will suffer most from the extreme decision to overturn Roe v. Wade--50 years of settled precedent out of the window because Republicans on the Supreme Court want to interfere in people's healthcare decisions.

Yes, the Senate must follow our lead here in the House and pass legislation that will secure the right to an abortion, but let's not fool ourselves into thinking that the 6-3 far-right Court, which is preparing to overturn a 50-year-old Supreme Court precedent, and which has spent the last decade dismantling the Voting Rights Act, is all of a sudden going to start respecting the will of Congress.

That is why we have to pass the Judiciary Act of 2021 to add four seats to the Supreme Court to restore balance and finally respect the will of the American people, who overwhelmingly support Roe v. Wade.

Madam Speaker, I want to now read an abortion story from a resident in Westchester County, New York, Lisa Hofflich, into the Record.

Lisa writes: ``For almost 30 years, I could count on one hand the people who knew I had an abortion. One was my boyfriend, and two were the nurse and the doctor who performed the procedure. Until now. I am finally sharing a story I never thought I would tell, one that I have kept personal and private because of the fear of judgment and stigma I thought I would receive from the outside world.

``I was barely 20 years old and a college junior dreaming of becoming a television journalist. My boyfriend and I had been dating for only a few months. Like many women, my cycle was irregular, and so by the time I realized I was pregnant, I was 8 weeks along. I was terrified that my very strict parents would force me to quit school, move back home, and have the baby. I couldn't do that. I was a baby myself. It took me 2 weeks to save up the $500 in cash and finally get an appointment with a doctor to perform the abortion.

``I will never forget that day, the fear and the guilt I was made to feel. After learning that I was 10 weeks pregnant, the nurse shook her head and asked, `Why did you wait so long?' Those words pierced me then and still haunt me to this day.

``My heart breaks for all the women and girls who still suffer in silence from the shame imposed on them.

``I eventually married that boyfriend, and we now have five beautiful children. But I know if I had not gone through with that abortion, these children and the wonderful life my husband and I built for ourselves would not exist. I made the right choice, and I have no regrets. I made the right choice because it was my choice to make.

``As our fundamental rights over bodily autonomy come under siege, we can't afford to be silent any longer. I am sharing my story to bring abortion out of the shadows and into everyday dialogue so that we can ensure they remain safe, legal, and accessible for every person.''

Mrs. CAROLYN B. MALONEY of New York. Madam Speaker, may I inquire how much time is remaining.