U.S. Senator Mazie K. Hirono released the following statement today to recognize the 42nd anniversary of the landmark Roe v. Wade decision:
"As a college student at the University of Hawaii, I wrote my first political letter to Hawaii's Congressional delegation asking for their position on a woman's right to choose. At the time, abortion was illegal in nearly every state and Hawaii was considering, and eventually passed, one of the nation's first laws to partially legalize it.
"It's been a hard fight, but we've come a long way since I was in college to expand and protect women's health care rights. Today, because of the Affordable Care Act, women have access to critical preventative health care services like contraception and mammograms and are not penalized by insurance companies simply for being a woman. However, the battle over women's health care continues. In recent years many states have passed laws restricting a women's fundamental right to choose.
"We must stand vigilant against these attacks on women's health. Today on the 42nd anniversary of the monumental Roe v. Wade decision, I challenge Congress to reject the extremists and stand on the side of women and middle class families. Instead of endlessly fighting to repeal Roe v. Wade, blocking access to common forms of birth control, and opposing paid family leave, Congress should be focused on making it easier for women to succeed in our 21st century economy. We should make education more affordable, ensure men and women get paid the same wage for the same work, and make it easier for women to balance work and family."