Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) led a press conference with their Democratic colleagues and patients, providers, and leaders in the fight for reproductive rights to underscore that they will block House Republicans' extreme antiabortion attacks--and keep fighting to protect Americans' reproductive rights and restore Roe once and for all so that every woman once again has the right to control her own body and future.
Exactly seven months after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade--and just two days after what would have been the 50-year anniversary of Roe--Senators Murray, Schumer, Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Tina Smith (D-MN), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) made clear Senate Democrats will continue fighting for everyone's reproductive rights at every turn. They were joined by Mini Timmaraju, President of NARAL Pro-Choice America; Clare Coleman, President & CEO of the National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association (NFPRHA); Kelley Huber, Planned Parenthood patient advocate; Dr. Serina Floyd, Chief Medical Officer for Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington, D.C. (PPMW); and Monica Edwards from URGE (Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity), who shared how the Dobbs decision and Republicans' attacks have hurt women and patients across the country.
"On Sunday, we should have been commemorating 50 years of Roe--50 years of women having the constitutional right to make their own health care decisions," said Senator Murray. "Instead, it marked the first anniversary since Republicans overturned Roe, dragged us back half a century, struck down a constitutional right for the first time in our history, and passed ban, after ban, after deadly, dangerous abortion ban."
"Well, here's my message to Republicans," continued Senator Murray. "The fight for abortion rights didn't end fifty years ago when Roe was decided, and it did not end last year when Roe was overturned. We are not giving up. And we are not going anywhere. My Democratic colleagues in the Senate and I will not stop fighting until every woman in America once again has the right to control her own body--and her own future. We are going to be a firewall against House Republicans' every attack on our rights. We're going to block the outrageous bills they send our way. We're going to keep putting forth common-sense legislation to protect our most fundamental rights--and to restore Roe, once and for all."
Since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, Senator Murray has led the fight in Congress to fight back and protect Americans' fundamental rights, and she has warned that the effects of the decision will extend well beyond women's right to get abortion care. At a hearing she chaired right in the immediate aftermath of the Dobbs decision, Senator Murray warned of the chaos, confusion, and harm the decision and Republicans' extreme policies would cause--including by jeopardizing Americans' access to IVF. In the months since Dobbs, Senator Murray has introduced and fought to pass commonsense legislation to protect the right to contraception, protect every American's right to travel for abortion care, protect doctors' right to provide legal abortion care, expand our national family planning program, and protect the right to build a family through assisted reproductive technology--and she will be continuing her fight this Congress.
Senator Murray's remarks, as prepared for delivery, are below:
"Fifty years ago, when Roe was first decided, I remember thinking about my friend--who needed an abortion before the decision but couldn't get a safe one.
"And I remember hoping stories like hers would be a thing of the past. And they should have been.
"On Sunday, we should have been commemorating 50 years of Roe--50 years of women having the constitutional right to make their own health care decisions.
"Instead--it marked the first anniversary since Republicans overturned Roe, dragged us back half a century, struck down a constitutional right for the first time in our history, and passed ban, after ban, after deadly, dangerous abortion ban.
"It has now been exactly seven months since the Supreme Court overturned Roe, and the months since have been really hard.
"They have been heartbreaking, and the health care crisis that followed has been horrific.
"In just a few months, Republicans have ripped abortion rights away from over twenty million women, and overruled women's own decisions about their lives, bodies, and futures.
"But looking out at this group gathered here today, and looking at what happened in November, where voters backed abortion every single place it was on the ballot--I can't help but think.
""You know what?'
"I did not get into politics because things were going great.
"Everyone who has stood up and used their voice over the last many months did not get into this fight because it was easy or comfortable.
"We got involved because there was too much at stake to stand on the sidelines.
"And the stakes have never been higher.
"Right now, in this country, our daughters and granddaughters are growing up with fewer rights than I did.
"Right now, because of Republican bans, women facing miscarriages have been unable to get the care they need for days on end. They've been left bleeding, left getting sicker, and sicker, left pleading for help.
"All while doctors are being forced to compromise medical care, leave patients in pain, and even forgo providing life-saving care--because they fear far-right politicians will jail them for doing their jobs.
"And if that weren't enough, Republicans have investigated a doctor for providing care to a child who was raped, proposed funding to jail people for abortions, talked about using existing laws to prosecute women who get abortions, made it harder for patients to get birth control and even the treatments they need for really serious issues like cancer!
"And I am infuriated that anyone could look at this nightmare, look at the health care crisis this has caused, look at the suffering women are being forced to go through, and think: "you know what we need?' More abortion restrictions. Seriously?
"Yet that is one of the first things the Republican House voted on.
"One of Republicans' top priorities is forcing women to be pregnant--no matter their circumstances, no matter their wishes.
"And we know the end goal: a national abortion ban--it's no secret.
"Well, here's my message to Republicans: The fight for abortion rights didn't end fifty years ago when Roe was decided, and it did not end last year when Roe was overturned.
"We are not giving up.
"And we are not going anywhere.
"My Democratic colleagues in the Senate and I will not stop fighting until every woman in America once again has the right to control her own body--and her own future.
"We are going to be a firewall against House Republicans' every attack on our rights.
"We're going to block the outrageous bills they send our way.
"We're going to keep putting forth common-sense legislation to protect our most fundamental rights--and to restore Roe, once and for all.
"And we're here to say: the American people are with us, and reproductive rights are on the agenda this Congress.
"Democrats are going to keep fighting for women, fighting for patients, and fighting for the right to abortion.
"And we are going to win."