Disapproving the Action of the District of Columbia Council in Approving the Revised Criminal Code Act of 2022

Floor Speech

Date: March 8, 2023
Location: Washington, DC


Ms. STABENOW. Mr. President, I am really proud to join today with my colleagues to speak on behalf of American women of the fundamental rights of all pregnant persons and our freedom to make our own healthcare decisions.

Thanks to a radically conservative Supreme Court, reproductive freedom is no longer a constitutional right in the United States for any American. Roe v. Wade protected our freedoms for 50 years, until it didn't, and now today's young women have fewer freedoms than their mothers and their grandmothers ever did. And we are furious. Do you want to know how furious?

In Michigan, we turned our anger into action. In November, we had the largest voter turnout for a midterm election ever. One of the measures on the ballot enshrined the right to reproductive freedom in our State's constitution. It passed by a strong 13-point margin, because Michiganders understand that health decisions should be made by individual people, not by judges and not by politicians.

Unfortunately, a lot of folks didn't get the message. Republicans in Congress have pushed for a nationwide abortion ban. State legislatures across the country are making it harder and harder for people in their States to receive reproductive care. There are 24 States that have already banned abortion or probably will soon, and any day now, a Federal judge--one man in Texas--let me repeat that. One man in Texas is expected to hand down a ruling that could ban a medication that has been used to safely end pregnancies for 23 years. That decision would prevent patients from getting the healthcare they need even in States where abortion is legal.

That is why it is so incredibly important that we pass a law that says, once and for all, that women in America have the freedom to make our own healthcare decisions. That is just what the Women's Health Protection Act will do, and I am very proud to join my colleagues in introducing this bill.

It will protect all Americans from State laws that limit access to abortion services. Right now, your freedom to make your own healthcare decisions depends on the ZIP code you happen to live in, and that is simply wrong. Women in Michigan and Mississippi and Montana all deserve to make decisions about our own healthcare, our own lives--not extreme Republican lawmakers, not extreme members of the Supreme Court, not one extreme judge in Texas. It is critical that we pass the Women's Health Protection Act now. Our freedom depends on it.

Let's be clear. We will continue to fight until our reproductive freedom as Americans is restored.