On Senate Floor, Shaheen Opposes Congressional Republicans’ Latest Assault on Women’s Reproductive Freedom
**SHAHEEN: “In these difficult circumstances, a woman consults with her doctor and with other people she trusts. A woman needs the freedom to consider every medical option...”**
(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) spoke on the Senate floor today, opposing anti-choice legislation that would restrict women’s reproductive health, criminalizing abortion procedures after 20 weeks by imprisoning and/or fining physicians who don’t comply with burdensome and unnecessary documentation procedures. Senator Shaheen is a fierce advocate for women’s health and has consistently fought against attacks on women’s reproductive freedom, both as a US Senator and as the Governor of New Hampshire.
In 1997, as Governor, Shaheen enacted legislation to repeal a state law that recognized abortion as a felony. As US Senator, Shaheen has fought to increase coverage of women’s preventative care. Additionally, she has authored legislation to boost funding for international family planning and reproductive health programs, and to repeal the Global Gag Rule.
In her remarks this afternoon, Shaheen warned about the dangers of restricting women’s access to abortion and cited that prior to Roe v. Wade in 1973, an estimated 1.2 million women each year resorted to illegal abortions, which can lead to catastrophic complications, including death. She added, “I think women remember those days and we are not going back.”
Shaheen also underscored that abortions later in pregnancy are incredibly rare, and typically are done under life-threatening and heartbreaking circumstances, including the diagnosis of severe fatal abnormalities or serious risks to the life of the mother, stating, “In these difficult circumstances, a woman consults with her doctor and with other people she trusts. A woman needs the freedom to consider every medical option...”
Shaheen also rebuked Congressional Republicans for including a provision in the bill that only allows a minor who became pregnant as a result of sexual assault to seek an abortion after twenty weeks if she has reported the crime, ignoring statistics that show only a small percentage of sexual assaults and rapes are reported to police. Shaheen ended her remarks with an appeal to her colleagues to oppose the dangerous legislation and to respect women’s privacy, advising, “I urge my colleagues to respect the women of this country and their right to make their own healthcare decisions without the unwelcome involvement of politicians and law enforcement agencies.”
Shaheen is a steadfast supporter of women’s reproductive rights and has consistently opposed efforts to rollback women’s access to comprehensive reproductive healthcare, including abortion and contraception.