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Public Statements

Women's Reproductive Rights

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, D.C.

Women's Reproductive Rights

Ms. HIRONO. Mr. Speaker, reproductive self-determination is one of the most fundamental civil and human rights a woman can have. And this right is under attack in the health care reform debate. Let's be clear that the real goal of the anti-choice opposition is not to maintain the status quo. Rather, they want to extend Federal prohibitions into private pocketbooks. They hope to make abortion coverage so unattractive that insurers eventually stop offering coverage for an otherwise legal medical procedure.

Women do not plan to have unintended pregnancies or pregnancies with complications. Unfortunately, these do happen. It is deeply insulting to tell women that if you want to guard against these unplanned situations, go buy additional coverage.

Essentially, health insurance companies today already treat being a woman as a preexisting condition, and they charge us more for it. The men of this country would rise up in protest if they faced this kind of unequal treatment based on conditions particular to their gender.

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