Pro-Choice Caucus Stands United Against House GOP's Extreme Abortion Measure

Press Release

By:  Louise Slaughter Debbie Wasserman Schultz Diana DeGette
Date: June 18, 2013
Location: Washington, DC

Today, U.S. Reps. Louise M. Slaughter (D-NY) and Diana DeGette (D-CO), co-chairs of the House Pro-Choice Caucus, joined several other Members, including U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) in speaking out against the extreme legislation advancing today in the House that would ban all abortions after 20 weeks, with no exception to protect a woman's health.

"When I think about the kind of world I want our daughters to live in, it's one where their rights are sacred and their value is recognized, and that means having access to comprehensive sex education, affordable contraception, and safe, legal reproductive services," said Rep. Wasserman Schultz. "This bill doesn't work toward creating a better world for future generations of women. It erodes their future by undermining their independence and undercutting their health."

"Forty years ago, the Supreme Court affirmed that women in America have the constitutional right to make their own health care decisions without the government getting involved," said Rep. Slaughter. "Today, instead of focusing on creating jobs and improving our economy, the House Majority is once again playing doctor and trying to tell American women what they can and can't do, despite what the Constitution tells them they can do. House Republicans need to abandon their war on women and start working on the issues Americans care about."

"Here we go again. At a time when Americans want their elected officials to focus on creating jobs and building our economy, some of my more extreme colleagues on the other side of the aisle once again appear intent on focusing their efforts -- and our time -- on limiting a woman's access to a safe and legal medical procedure," said DeGette. "This bill is dangerous to women's health, interferes with the doctor-patient relationship, and is clearly unconstitutional. While women across this country remain forcefully opposed to political interference in their health care decisions, the house GOP continues to advance extreme policies that undermine women's reproductive rights."

The bill, H.R. 1797, as originally introduced, would have banned all abortions after 20 weeks with no exceptions for victims of rape and incest. After public pressure, late last week the bill's sponsors quietly maneuvered to add an exception for rape and incest victims, requiring a woman to prove she had reported the rape to authorities in order to have access to a legal medical procedure.