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Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Ms. WASSERMAN SCHULTZ. Madam Speaker, I rise to strongly oppose the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. It has been 40 years since Roe v. Wade, and yet women still have to fight for the right to keep decisions about our bodies between us and our doctors. We shouldn't have to worry that our government will try to intercede in our personal health care decisions.

This bill is extreme, and it's an unprecedented reach into women's lives--into women's personal lives. This is a clear indication that the well-being of women in this country is not something Republicans care to protect. It is clear that the Members who approved this bill, the all-male Republican members on the House Judiciary Committee, are not only disinterested in protecting the well-being of women but are also disinterested in the professional opinion of the medical community.

We have heard a lot of offensive and downright untrue assertions by Republicans throughout the discussion of this bill, including by the previous speaker. These assertions are baseless, completely devoid of medical fact or grounding in consensus among doctors. No evidence has been presented. They just throw statistics out without any citation or reference at all. Just because you say it out loud in the House Chamber doesn't make it true.

The Republican men who brought this bill to the floor--despite the parade of our women colleagues on the House floor today--do not represent the voices of women in America. Every time we let their voices get louder than ours, we are inching back to the truly Dark Ages--where a world of barriers, from physical to legal to financial, stood between women and their constitutional rights. We have worked too hard and come too far to let it all slip away now.

As a mother, when I think about what kind of world I want my 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, yes, safe, legal reproductive services.

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. I urge a ``no'' vote on this unconstitutional piece of legislation and extreme reach into the personal health and well-being of women.


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