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Ms. DeGETTE. Madam Speaker, at a time when Americans want their elected officials to focus on jobs and building our economy, here we are again focusing our efforts on limiting a woman's ability to make her own health care decisions.
As I have heard time and time again from women across this Nation, women don't want politicians imposing their extreme beliefs on them when they're making tough decisions. I keep hearing about polls from my colleagues on the other side of the aisle. Well, here's a poll. We just heard about it today. Congress' popularity is at an all-time low of 10 percent, and bills like this are exactly why.
Last session we wasted a lot of the American people's time debating and voting on legislation designed solely to take a woman's health care decision out of her hands and that of her doctor and instead to allow politicians to step in and substitute their judgment. Now, this time it did take the majority 6 months of the new session, but here we go again, right back down that same rabbit hole.
Today, we're voting on another extreme policy that's dangerous to women's health, interferes with the doctor-patient relationship, and is also patently unconstitutional. As introduced, the bill provided no exceptions for victims of rape and incest; but last week, after some of us pointed that out, the bill's sponsors maneuvered to add an attempted exception for rape and incest victims. But even this latest attempt is deeply offensive.
The bill now requires a woman to prove that she had reported the rape to authorities in order to have access to a legal medical procedure. Let me say that again: a woman would now have to prove she actually reported the rape to obtain a necessary medical procedure, making her into a two-time victim.
This kind of logic demonstrates a callous, almost willful ignorance towards the health needs of women across the Nation, and it shows how the proponents have no respect for women's ability to make their own decisions.
Vote ``no'' on this ill-conceived bill.
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