VIDEO: Pressley Remarks on Women’s Health Protection Act
WASHINGTON – Today, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07) spoke at a press conference and delivered remarks on the House floor in which she urged her colleagues to support the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA), her legislation with Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) to establish a federally protected right to abortion access. Both the press conference and floor speech took place ahead of the House vote on the Women’s Health Protection Act today.
Full video Rep. Pressley’s remarks at the press conference is available here, and full video of her remarks on the House floor is available here. A transcript of both the presser and floor speech are available below.
Transcript: Pressley Remarks at Women’s Health Protection Act Press Conference
U.S. Capitol House Triangle
September 24, 2021
Very appropriate and surreal that that my big sister and the prior Chair of the Abortion Rights and Access Task Force [Rep. Barbara Lee], who passed that mantle to me, also just pass the microphone.
I do want to thank Diana DeGette, Barbara Lee, Judy Chu, Jan Schakowsky. They have been stalwarts in this fight for bodily autonomy and reproductive freedom, and it is an honor to do this work in partnership with them. I want to thank our Speaker as well for her vigilance and for bringing us all together this morning for this truly historic vote. I'm proud to stand alongside my colleagues today as co-lead of this critically important piece of legislation, and again, as Chair of the Abortion Rights and Access Task Force of the Pro-Choice Caucus.
This is not only the biggest pro-choice caucus in the history of Congress. This is the first pro-choice majority Congress and today we affirm that that means something. Today I want to recognize the advocates, and the grassroots organizers who for decades, have organized, mobilized and fought back against these attacks on our liberty, our humanity and our bodily autonomy. I'm so proud to be in this urgent fight alongside you.
Let's make it plain. Abortion care is a fundamental human right. Over the last decade, we have seen more than 500 abortion bans pushed through state legislatures and the catastrophic consequences have targeted our most vulnerable. We know these bans don't prevent all abortions. What they do is simply put safe, necessary medical care out of reach, specifically for our lowest income sisters, our queer trans and non-binary siblings, Black, brown, AAPI and Indigenous people.
SCOTUS had the chance to call SB-8 for what it is: a blatant violation of the constitutional rights of nearly 7 million Texans.
But from voting rights, to housing rights, to reproductive freedom, it is clear that the courts are not on the people's side. But this Congress is. So Congress has a responsibility to act.
This is our moment to make this pro-choice Democratic majority House, Senate and White House be more than a talking point.
This is our moment to step up and to urgently affirm that reproductive rights are human rights by codifying the right to abortion care.
Today, the People's House will pass the Women's Health Protection Act and we will be one step closer to doing just that.
I call on Senate Leader Schumer and President Biden to quickly advance this bill in the Senate and to sign it into law.
Every day that passes without Congressional action, more and more people are denied their constitutional right to medical care.
We must act with urgency and legislate as if lives depend on it, because as they do.
Transcript: Pressley Delivers Floor Speech on Women’s Health Protection Act
U.S. House of Representatives
September 24, 2021
Abortion care is a fundamental human right.
Texas’s unconscionable abortion ban is further evidence that lawmakers who aim to do harm will stop at nothing to attack our reproductive rights and bodily autonomy.
But not on our watch.
It’s clear the Supreme Court is no longer on the side of justice and the Pro-Choice majority of the House of Representatives has a responsibility to stand in the gap and to act.
Today, we must and we will pass the Women’s Health Protection Act. I am proud to co-lead this bill with Congresswoman Chu to codify the right to abortion care.
I urge my colleagues to stand with us to affirm reproductive justice and protect this fundamental right.
Thank you, I yield.
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