July 19, 2022
Rep. Pressley’s Statement Following Arrest at Peaceful Protest to Defend Abortion Rights
WASHINGTON – Today, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07)issued the following statement regarding her arrest outside the Supreme Court during a non-violent civil disobedience action in support of abortion rights.
“This Supreme Court has been relentless in stripping away our reproductive freedom and bodily autonomy, but we’re not backing down. Today, we put our bodies on the line to defend abortion rights because the stakes in this fight could not be higher. Due to the cruelty and callousness of this Court, millions of people now face insurmountable barriers to abortion care and the health of our most vulnerable—especially our Black, brown, low-income, disabled, Indigenous and LGBTQ+ siblings—is now further at risk.
“I’m grateful to all of the advocates on the frontline of this fight who led us in peaceful protest today and have been leading this movement for generations. Abortion rights are human rights, and we won’t stop fighting until our policies and budgets reflect that fundamental truth.”
Earlier today, Rep. Pressley joined her colleagues and grassroots advocates in a non-violent civil disobedience action to protest the Supreme Court’s cruel and callous decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. She, along with several of her colleagues, was arrested as part of the peaceful demonstration and was held in custody by the U.S. Capitol Police before being charged and released.
Congresswoman Pressley has been a leading advocate for abortion access throughout her time in public life and she serves as Chair of the Pro-Choice Caucus’s Abortion Rights and Access Task Force.
Last month, shortly before the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade, Rep. Pressley led a group of her Black women colleagues in writing to President Biden urging him to declare a public health emergency amid the unprecedented threats to abortion rights nationwide. She condemned the Supreme Court decision and called on the President to use every executive tool available to protect abortion access.
In her time serving in Congress, Congresswoman Pressley has fought persistently to protect fundamental reproductive and sexual health care rights.
- Last year, Congresswoman Pressley, along with U.S. Representatives Judy Chu (D-CA), Lois Frankel (D-FL), Veronica Escobar (D-TX) and Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), introduced the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA), bicameral federal legislation to guarantee equal access to abortion care, everywhere. Recently, she issued a statement condemning the Supreme Court’s leaked draft opinion to overturn Roe v. Wade., and implored the Senate to protect abortion rights and slammed the white supremacist roots of anti-abortion efforts.
- In September 2021, Rep. Pressley issued a statement condemning the Supreme Court’s inaction on SB-8, Texas’ restrictive abortion law. Later that month, she participated in a House Oversight Committee hearing to examine the threat posed by abortion bans and underscored the urgency of the Senate passing the Women’s Health Protection Act.
- In April 2021, Rep. Pressley, along with Congresswomen Barbara Lee (CA-13), Diana DeGette (CO-01) and Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), led a group of 131 Democratic members in reintroducing the Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance Act or the EACH Act, which would repeal the Hyde Amendment and ensure that all people, regardless of income, insurance or zip code, can make personal reproductive health care decisions without interference from politicians.
- As Chair of the Pro-Choice Caucus’s Abortion Rights and Access Task Force, Congresswoman Pressley has led the fight to repeal the Hyde Amendments from annual Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies appropriations bills and in July 2020 published a Medium post on the importance of doing so. The amendment was
- In May 2020, she led more than 155 Members of Congress in calling on House Democratic leadership to ensure that any future COVID-19 relief packages rejected Republican efforts to use the public health crisis to diminish abortion access.
- In May 2019, she led more than 100 colleagues in introducing H.Con.Res.40, a resolution reaffirming the House of Representative’s support for Roe v. Wade.
- In June 2019, Rep. Pressley introduced H.R. 3296, the Affordability is Access Act, to make oral contraception available without a prescription.
- In September 2016, as a member of the Boston City Council, Pressley championed a resolution calling on Congress and President Obama to repeal the Hyde Amendment and reinstate insurance coverage for abortion services.