Congressmember Carolyn B. Maloney released a report card on October 15 rating four years of Republican control of the U.S. House of Representatives, which found the Republican-led House to be the most hostile to women’s health of any Congress in recent memory, she said in a statement. Rebecca Seawright, a candidate for state Assembly; Sarah Weddington, the attorney who argued Roe v. Wade before the Supreme Court; Sonia Ossorio, president of the National Organization for Women NYC; Christina Chang, vice president of public affairs for Planned Parenthood NYC and Emily Kadar, government and advocacy manager, NARAL Pro-Choice NY joined Maloney to urge women and likeminded men across the country to hold the line against the torrent of anti-choice politicians running for office this year.
“We are at a tipping point for the right to choose,” said Maloney. “Over the past four years, the Republican-controlled House has passed 13 different measures to chip away at a woman’s right to choose, but fortunately the Senate was able to block those measures from moving forward. TheSupreme Court is inching closer toward rolling back bedrock protections for women’s health care. If more anti-choice Republicans are elected to the House and Democrats fail to keep the Senate, the result could be more of these anti-choice bills landing on the president’s desk and a more conservative Supreme Court that doesn’t share our values.”
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Seawright said, “In Congress and across the country, the abortion opponents have been passing legislation to make abortions and contraceptive care more expensive and harder to access. That’s why I strongly support the Women’s Equality Act here inNew York state which would codify Roe v. Wade in New York law, ensure that women can obtain an abortion up to 24 weeks or when her life or health are endangered, and ensure that doctors do not face prosecution for performing abortions.”
The scorecard highlights nine antichoice votes taken by the 112th Congress versus four anti-choice votes taken by the 113th Congress. Only one single vote was taken on a measure to protect reproductive freedom – a procedural vote sponsored by Rep. Lois Capps to fix a provision that allows hospitals to refuse to provide emergency abortion care, even when a woman’s life is in danger. The measure was defeated.
Weddington said, “After the decision in Roe v. Wade, I thought a woman’s right to obtain an abortion was secure throughout the nation. It is horrifying to see the number of ways in which Congress and state legislatures are succeeding in eroding women’s reproductive rights, to the point where some states may soon have no facilities where women can obtain a legal abortion.”
Ossorio said, “In this increasingly hostile climate against women’s reproductive health, it’s not enough for our lawmakers to simply be pro-choice. We need lawmakers who will lead on choice, and we can count on women’s rights champions like Congresswoman Maloney and New York state Assembly candidate Rebecca Seawright to do that.”
Chang said, “All people have a right to make their own personal, private decisions about their health and medical care, which requires that they have unfettered access to sexual and reproductive health-care services. Women facing an unintended pregnancy must have access to safe, legal abortion services without interference from politicians. At a time when anti-women’s health lawmakers in New York and around the country are trying to chip away at women’s access to reproductive health services, we must elect champions like Rebecca Seawright who will go to Albany and support critical bills like the Women’s Equality Act to protect women’s right to make their own healthcare decisions.”
Andrea Miller, President, NARAL Pro- Choice NY said, “For years, congressional leadership has shown its disregard for women’s health, safety and equality. Antichoice elected officials have a demonstrable impact on the women of this nation. It’s critical that we ensure that pro-choice candidates like Congresswoman Maloney and Rebecca Seawright have more like-minded colleagues in Washingtonand Albany.”