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(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) spoke on the Senate floor against House Republicans’ recurring attacks on women’s health. In her speech, Murray discussed last week’s outpouring of support for women’s health and urged her colleagues to remain vigilant against further attacks. Murray expressed her disappointment that Republicans continue to politicize women’s health care issues, including their campaign against ensuring contraceptive coverage.

Although this reversal was a great victory for so many women across America, let’s be clear: Our fight for women’s health does not end here,” Senator Murray said in her speech on the Senate Floor. There are still many who will continue to put partisan politics ahead of women’s health— and we need to make sure the grassroots support and energy that successfully came together to right this wrong last week, continues to be there to stand firm against each and every attack that comes our way.”

Key excerpts from Senator Murray’s speech today (full text below):

“…although this reversal was a great victory for so many women across America, let’s be clear: Our fight for women’s health does not end here.”

“There are still many who will continue to put partisan politics ahead of women’s health— and we need to make sure the grassroots support and energy that successfully came together to right this wrong last week, continues to be there to stand firm against each and every attack that comes our way.”

“Contraceptive coverage shouldn’t be a controversial issue, it’s supported by the vast majority of Americans who understand how important it is for women and families.”

“House Republicans and their allies have demonstrated that they will stop at nothing to politicize this issue. And now they are trying to cut off contraceptive coverage for women across America.  Well they can keep trying to push their extreme agenda, but they should know that we are going to be fighting back just as hard right here in the Senate, and as we saw so clearly this past week, with the voices of millions of people across America who feel very strongly that politics should never come between women and their health care.”

The full text of Senator Murray’s speech follows:

“Mr. President—last week we saw something amazing happen in communities across the country.

“When the news got out that the Susan G. Komen foundation had cut off funding for breast cancer screenings at Planned Parenthood, men and women across the country were outraged.

“They didn’t understand the decision, they didn’t agree with it—and they did something about it.

“They picked up the phone. They talked to their friends. They e-mailed.  They tweeted. They called their elected officials. They made their voices heard loud and clear.

“And Mr. President—they got results.

“On Friday, Komen did the right thing and announced that they had reversed their initial decision—and I want to commend them for that.

“Because their mission— and their great work in the fight against breast cancer— is just too important to get mixed up in partisan politics.

“But Mr. President, although this reversal was a great victory for so many women across America, let’s be clear: Our fight for women’s health does not end here.

“There are still many who will continue to put partisan politics ahead of women’s health— and we need to make sure the grassroots support and energy that successfully came together to right this wrong last week, continues to stand firm against each and every attack that comes our way.

“Because Mr. President—we know the attacks are coming.

“Republicans in the House of Representatives have been waging a war on women’s health since the moment they came into power.

“After campaigning across the country on a platform of jobs and the economy, the first three bills they introduced were 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  or even denying women care because of so-called pre-existing conditions—like pregnancy.

“And Mr. President—it would have rolled back the guarantee that insurance companies cover contraceptives,  which will save the overwhelming majority of women who use them hundreds of dollars a year.

“We know ensuring access to effective birth control is directly linked to declines in maternal and infant mortality,  reduced risk of ovarian cancer, better overall health outcomes for women, and far fewer unintended pregnancies  and abortions—which is a goal we all should share.

“And Mr. President—contraceptive coverage shouldn’t be a controversial issue, it’s supported by the vast majority of Americans who understand how important it is for women and families.

“I also want to note that the affordable contraceptive policy we put in place preserves the freedoms of conscience and religion for every American: Churches and other religious institutions are exempt, and no doctor would ever have to dispense contraceptives if that’s at odds with his or her religious view.

“But it also protects the rights of the millions of Americans who do use contraceptives—who believe that family planning is the right choice for them— and who don’t deserve to have politics or an extreme minority’s ideology prevent them from getting the coverage they deserve.

“So I’m very glad we beat back this effort by House Republicans and I want to commend President Obama for moving forward with this sound policy for women across America.

“Because Mr. President—that’s what this is really about. It’s what it needs to be about: women and their health care needs.

“Not partisan politics or point-scoring.

“House Republicans and their allies have demonstrated that they will stop at nothing to politicize this issue.

“Last year they even threatened to shut down the entire federal government in a failed attempt to defund an organization that provides critical health care services for millions of women across America.

“And now they are trying to cut off contraceptive coverage for women across America.

“Well they can keep trying to push their extreme agenda— but they should know that we are going to be fighting back just as hard.

“Right here in the Senate—and and as we saw so clearly this past week, with the voices of millions of people across America who feel very strongly that politics should never come between women and their health care.

“Men and women who will be watching what is happening here in D.C—and who I am confident stand ready to act once again.

“So I am proud to stand here with my colleagues today. 

“I am proud of the victory we won last week.

“And I am determined to remain vigilant and keep up for fight for women, for men, and for families.

“Thank you Mr. President, I yield the floor.”