No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act

Floor Speech

By:  Debbie Wasserman Schultz
Date: May 4, 2011
Location: Washington, DC

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Ms. WASSERMAN SCHULTZ. Madam Speaker, I rise today to state my strong opposition to H.R. 3. This bill--ostensibly the Republican leadership's third-highest priority--is a reprehensible piece of legislation that will do nothing but put the lives of American women at risk.

It also tells us what the Republican leadership thinks of American women. When this bill was first introduced, I was outraged and horrified that the bill narrowed the long-standing exemption for rape to only ``forcible rape.'' I called this out for what it is--a violent act against women.

When this bill was marked up in the House Judiciary committee, ``forcible'' had been removed, therefore leaving the language as it has stood for decades. Without the word ``forcible,'' this exemption includes a wealth of horrifying circumstances, such as date rape, statutory rape, and rape where the woman is unconscious or mentally unable to consent.

To say that these instances are not really rape is a violent affront against women and the gravest insult to ALL victims of sexual assault.

Madam Speaker, I was absolutely incensed when I learned that although ``forcible'' does not appear in the bill language, its sponsors ensured that the report language clearly noted that the bill intends to apply to only ``forcible'' instances of rape.

So not only do the bill's sponsors not have a problem with endangering the lives of American women--but they're perfectly fine with not telling them the truth, too.

Let me be clear--no amendment, no word change could make this bill even close to acceptable. It is an insult to American women who require life-saving abortion care for health purposes, and a slap in the face to all American women who until now may have thought that their constitutional right to make their own private medical decisions about their body was safe.

Now we know that it's not-- and the anti-choice community will stop at nothing to ensure that they chip away at Roe v. Wade until it is gone forever.

Madam Speaker, I urge my colleagues to vote ``no'' on this atrocious bill. A vote against H.R. 3 is a vote for the health of American women and the sanctity of constitutional rights for us all.

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