VIDEO RELEASE: Shaheen Condemns Republican Efforts to Roll Back Women’s Reproductive Rights

February 25, 2020

Senator Shaheen delivers her remarks

**Senator Shaheen’s remarks can be viewed in full here** 

(Washington, DC) –  Last night, in a speech on the Senate floor, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) condemned Republican efforts to pass radically restrictive anti-abortion legislation. Senator Shaheen’s remarks came in response to a nationwide campaign by state and congressional Republicans to push forward extreme anti-choice bills that would in some cases criminalize abortions and put doctors in jail. These efforts that infringe on women’s constitutionally-protected rights are part of a broader campaign to overturn Roe v. Wade.  

The following is a condensed version of her remarks. The speech can be viewed in full here

…not only would these bills interfere with a woman’s ability to make her own reproductive choices, they would threaten doctors with prison time if they perform abortion services that women have a constitutional right to receive. These bills are dangerous, they’re extreme and they’re part of an ongoing effort by this Administration to overturn Roe v. Wade… 

The legislation we are voting on would also imprison doctors for up to five years for performing abortions after a woman is 20 weeks pregnant, even though federal courts have ruled that this 20-week abortion ban as is proposed under one of these bills would violate the Constitution. The 20-week abortion ban bill would only allow for exceptions for minors who are victims of rape or incest if those young women report that rape or incest to the police. For adult women, the rape exception would only apply if she waits 48 hours and gets counseling from a health care provider that her government, not that she or her family, but the government determines is acceptable… 

Protecting pregnant women, new mothers and children is about more than scoring political points with anti-choice legislation. It’s about ensuring that women have access to maternity care. That means prenatal care. That means having access to affordable health insurance coverage. And that is why this legislation rings so hollow… 

Right now, the Trump Administration is in court backing a lawsuit that would tear down the Affordable Care Act despite the fact that there is no alternative if the ACA is struck down. If the Administration and states succeed in striking down the Affordable Care Act, we’re going to go back to the days when insurance companies can exclude maternity care from coverage and when women can be charged higher premiums than men. If they succeed, the Medicaid expansion would be gone—and states would have fewer dollars to cover more people at a time when 43 percent of childbirths in this country are covered and paid for by Medicaid… 

If my colleagues were serious about protecting mothers and children, they would join us in supporting efforts to ensure that the health care coverage that families rely upon isn’t ripped away in court...