Ms. SLAUGHTER. Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to rise today to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the landmark Roe v. Wade decision by the Supreme Court. This decision is the firewall that protects women's health and the turning point that moved women's health forward.
On this 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, we reaffirm the constitutionally protected right of every woman to safe and legal health care. Women are nurturers, but when life places a woman in the most difficult of circumstances, the choices she needs to make should be free from government interference.
Over the years, I have been proud to stand with many of my colleagues as we have beaten back repeated attempts to chip away at women's rights set forth in Roe v. Wade. Over the last 2 years, we have seen the most extreme and repeated attempts to take away a woman's right to her health care.
In the most recent Congress, we found ourselves defending a woman's right to access contraception. We opposed a bill that would have allowed women to die if the emergency room employee who came to her aid had a ``conscientious objection'' to performing an abortion that would save her life, without even being required to refer her elsewhere for help.
We have insisted that politicians not place themselves in the operating room to judge the motives of a woman seeking a constitutionally protected medical procedure if they thought her decision may have been based on the gender or race of the fetus.
Mr. Speaker, we stand on the shoulders of giants of women who went before us on this, and we take up the cudgel to keep it safe and legal.