Press Release
For Immediate Release: 
September 24, 2021
Contact Info: 
Margaret Mulkerrin 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) spoke on the House Floor this morning in support of H.R. 3755, the Women’s Health Protection Act, which codifies the constitutional protections of Roe v. Wade, enshrining access to reproductive health care into law for women across America. Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery and a link to the video:
 
Click here for the full video.

“Madam Speaker, millions of women across our country – and the men who stand with them – are in shock and outrage at the new law in Texas and at the Supreme Court’s refusal to block it from taking effect. Texas Senate Bill 8 bans any abortion after six weeks – that is before most women even find out they are pregnant. It includes no exceptions for rape or incest, making it all the more cruel. As many as 90% of women seeking reproductive care in Texas do so after six weeks, meaning that this law effectively bans women in that state from accessing the full range of reproductive care that they are guaranteed under Roe v. Wade.

“Also deeply disturbing is the way in which S.B. 8 is enforced. The law gives any private individual the authority to police any of their fellow citizens whom they suspect may be providing or receiving reproductive care. This vigilante system is at odds with the values of American democracy, reminiscent of the kind of tactics previously used behind the Iron Curtain and still employed by totalitarian regimes.

“The bill before us today would enshrine in statute the rights women are guaranteed under Roe v. Wade, that the majority of Americans support, at a time when they are increasingly under attack by Republicans. Statistics released in June by the Guttmacher Institute showed that over 500 bills restricting women’s health care access had already been introduced since the start of this year in state legislatures. As of last month, nearly 100 of those have been enacted.

“The policies enacted by S.B. 8 and similar measures in other states under Republican control not only have the effect of eliminating access to reproductive choice but also to a range of life-saving health care services for women – particularly for low-income women. These range from cancer screenings to prenatal visits, from treating injuries to referring patients to counseling after a trauma like sexual assault. According to the Center for Reproductive Rights, nearly 90% of American counties do not have a single reproductive care provider. For many women, the health clinics that provide these services are their primary source of health care. Measures like S.B. 8 are forcing many of these clinics to shut down. Our country ought to be working to expand these resources for women, not make health care harder to access.

“We know that S.B. 8 and similar laws being enacted across the country will not stop women from seeking the full range of reproductive care, but these measures make it harder for them to do so safely and affordably. The Women's Health Protection Act is a necessary response to Republicans’ efforts to make it harder for women to access health care across the country. I am grateful for the leadership of Rep. Chu in authoring this legislation and championing this cause.

“Democrats are committed to taking action to secure Roe v. Wade and to protect women’s access to reproductive health care, no matter where they live. The Women’s Health Protection Act is a critical step in securing that ability for millions of American women, and I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting it today.”