Reproductive Rights In Health Care Reform

By:  Judy Chu
Date: Dec. 9, 2009
Location: Washington D.C.

Ms. CHU. Last night the Senate stood up for women. Last night the Senate rejected an amendment that would have hurt women all across this Nation. Though we won the battle, the fight is not over. We must oppose the Stupak language in the final health care bill. It was on this House floor that we passed the historic health care vote.

But there is one moment that night that I'll never forget. I'll never forget looking up at the vote board and seeing that our House voted for the biggest rollback of women's reproductive rights in decades. My heart sank. Thirty years ago I got into the women's movement to ensure that women would not die in a back-alley abortion with coat hangers.

Today, women finally have choice over their own bodies, but with the Stupak amendment that changes. It was not a compromise. Women will lose benefits. Plans will not offer abortion coverage. Women will be forced to buy an extra rider for abortion ahead of time. And what woman plans to have an abortion?

Let's not make women the sacrificial lamb of health care reform. Let's pass health care reform that benefits all Americans.

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