Pallone Floor Statement on the Women’s Health Protection Act
Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) delivered the following statement on the House Floor today during consideration of H.R. 8296, the Women’s Health Protection Act, which restores the right to abortion nationwide:
Madam Speaker, I rise today in strong support of H.R. 8296, the Women’s Health Protection Act.
This bill is necessary now more than ever following the Republican-controlled Supreme Court’s extreme decision ripping away a woman’s right to abortion. The Court’s ideological decision ignored nearly 50 years of precedent and is the culmination of decades of unrelenting efforts by Republican politicians to control women and their bodies.
The consequences of last month’s decision have been swift and severe. Already, abortion bans are in effect in nine states, and more than a dozen more are expected to either ban or severely limit abortion soon.
As a result, women are being forced to travel long distances to states where abortion remains lawful, or for those who lack logistical or financial support to travel, continue pregnancies against their wishes. There have been devastating stories of patients being denied care and doctors hesitating to provide life-saving health care services out of fear of criminalization.
States have enacted dangerous laws banning abortion without any exceptions; inciting citizens to track and report women in need of an abortion, and criminalizing providers or those assisting someone obtain care.
These laws turn back the clock on the health, well-being, and equality of women across this nation. And Republicans have made it clear – this is just the beginning. Congressional Republicans are already pushing a nationwide abortion ban that would criminalize abortion in all 50 states.
That is why this House is acting today on the Women’s Health Protection Act to restore the right to abortion nationwide. This legislation ensures that no matter where you live, you have a right to comprehensive health care that is free from unnecessary restrictions that are only intended to impede access.
Madam Speaker, I urge my colleagues to support this legislation to protect the right to abortion and ensure that all Americans are entitled to make their own health care decisions. I reserve the balance of my time.