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Senator Murray Dismisses Dangerous, Unconstitutional House-Passed Attack on Women’s Health

Jun 19 2013

Murray points out that the bill is a NON-STARTER IN THE SENATE and with American women



Murray: Republicans have shown they’ll go to just about any length to limit access to care, put politics between women and their health care

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray delivered a speech on the floor of the Senate to declare that House-passed legislation that would restrict a women’s constitutionally-protected right to choose will not pass the U.S. Senate.  Murray also pointed out that Republican attempts to put politics between a woman and her doctor have continued unabated, even after women across America sent a strong message rejecting their extreme approach last year.

“Through economic peril, budget crisis, and record unemployment – the attacks on women’s health have remained constant,” Senator Murray said on the floor. “On Capitol Hill, in state houses across America,  and in courtrooms at all levels - the fight against women making their own decisions about their health rages on…But as we’ve seen with this latest effort -- the deck is stacked against them. Because the constitution isn’t going anywhere.  Because Senators like me, and Senator Boxer, aren’t going anywhere.  Because women who believe Republicans shouldn’t be making their health care decisions aren’t going anywhere.  And therefore this bill isn’t going anywhere.”

Key excerpts from Senator Murray’s speech:

“For many Republicans, it’s like its 2012 all over again. Which is to say - it’s more like 1950 all over again.”

“It’s now been 40 years since Roe V. Wade put the health care choices of women in the hands of women – and we’re not going back.”

“Just as House Republicans need a reality check that American women aren’t going to have the clock turned back on them– I also believe the American people need to know that House Republicans - and those on the far right targeting women’s health care - aren’t going away anytime soon either.”

“Republicans have shown they’ll go to just about any length to limit access to care. They’ve put politics between women and their health care. They’ve put employers between women and their health care. They’ve even threatened to shut down the government over this very issue.  They’ve shown that this isn’t about what’s best for women, men, and their family planning decisions.   Instead it’s about their political calculations.  It’s about appeasing the far right.  And it’s about their continued efforts to do whatever it takes to push their extreme agenda.”

Full text of Senator Murray’s speech below:

“Mr. President, I’ve come here to the floor to tell many House Republicans what deep down -- they have to already know.

“And that is that the anti-choice bill they passed yesterday.

“A bill the New York Times called ‘the most restrictive abortion bill to come to a vote in either chamber in a decade’ – isn’t going anywhere.

“The bill they have passed is a non-starter here in the Senate and it’s a non-starter with the overwhelming majority of American women.

“It’s an attack on women’s rights under the constitution,

“And it’s an attack on our ability to make our own health care decisions.

“It’s motivated by politics – pure and simple.

“And it amounts to little more than a charade -- designed to appeal to a dwindling base.

“But it’s a charade that will end in the Senate today.

“Mr. President, even more than reminding House Republicans that this bill has no chance of moving forward -

“I’m here today to provide a reality check.

“Because apparently, despite the one that millions of American women provided last November – House Republicans need another one.

“Despite the fact that in state’s across the country voters rejected one candidate after another who politicized rape and ran on restricting a women’s right to choose, House Republicans are back at it again.

“Despite the fact that they had to bring in a paid pollster to tell the entire Republican House caucus to stop talking about rape, the message hasn’t sunk in.

“For many Republicans, it’s like its 2012 all over again.

“Which is to say - it’s more like 1950 all over again.

“A time when an all-male House Republican Judiciary panel can join together, just like they did last Wednesday, to pass a bill that clearly ignores Roe v. Wade.

“A time when the same panel could reject efforts to protect the life and health of the mother - or even reject efforts to make exceptions for rape or incest.

“A time when one of those panel members, a Republican Representative from Arizona, can even trot out the idea that women aren’t likely to become pregnant if they’ve been raped.

“But it’s not 1950.

“And that irresponsible and shameful claim has been debunked by doctors and experts of all stripes time and again.

“It’s now been 40 years since Roe V. Wade put the health care choices of women in the hands of women – and we’re not going back.

“But Mr. President, just as House Republicans need a reality check that American women aren’t going to have the clock turned back on them.

“I also believe the American people need to know that House Republicans - and those on the far right targeting women’s health care - aren’t going away anytime soon either.

“In fact, I wish I could say that the new restrictions on women’s health care choices that the House passed yesterday were a surprise.

“Or that I thought that after last fall, Republican’s would magically see the light.

“I wish I could say I bought the rhetoric from some Republicans who’ve criticized their own because they believe we should be focused on jobs and the economy at such a difficult time.

“But the truth is that the attacks on women’s health care have not stopped and will not stop.

“And that’s because they are a core part of the party’s philosophy.

“In fact, all we need to do is look back to the moment that Republicans in the House took power.

“If you’ll remember back to 2010 after campaigning across the country on a platform of jobs and the economy,  the first three bills they introduced were each direct attacks on women’s health in America.

“The very first one, H.R. 1, would have totally eliminated Title X funding for family planning and teen pregnancy prevention.

“And it included an amendment that would have completely defunded Planned Parenthood and cut off support for the millions of women who count on it.

“Another one of their opening round of bills would have permanently codified the Hyde Amendment and the D.C. abortion ban— and the original version of their bill didn’t even include an exception for the health of the mother.

“And finally, they introduced a bill right away that would have rolled back every single one of the gains we made for women in the health care reform bill.

“The Republican bill would have removed the caps on out-of-pocket expenses that protect women from losing their homes or their life savings if they get sick.

“It would have ended the ban on lifetime limits on coverage.

“It would have allowed insurance companies to once again discriminate against women by charging them higher premiums

“And it would have rolled back the guarantee that insurance companies cover contraceptives.

“And those were just the first three bills.

“Since that time we’ve seen women targeted on everything from contraception, to VAWA protections, to stripping the new protections provided under the Affordable Care Act.

“Through economic peril, budget crisis, and record unemployment – the attacks on women’s health have remained constant.  On Capitol Hill, in state houses across America,  and in courtrooms at all levels - the fight against women making their own decisions about their health rages on.

“Mr. President, Republicans have shown they’ll go to just about any length to limit access to care.

“They’ve put politics between women and their health care.

“They’ve put employers between women and their health care.

“They’ve even threatened to shut down the government over this very issue.

“They’ve shown that this isn’t about what’s best for women, men, and their family planning decisions. 

“Instead it’s about their political calculations.

“It’s about appeasing the far right.

 “And it’s about their continued efforts to do whatever it takes to push their extreme agenda.

“But as we’ve seen with this latest effort -- the deck is stacked against them.

“Because the constitution isn’t going anywhere.

“Because Senators like me, and Senator Boxer, aren’t going anywhere.

“Because women who believe Republicans shouldn’t be making their health care decisions aren’t going anywhere.

“And therefore this bill isn’t going anywhere.”