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tv   U.S. Senate Sens. Cardin Peters on Abortion  CSPAN  May 11, 2022 8:29am-8:47am EDT

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republicans,m independents. women from all places and all religious faiths. for these women, abortion isn't about politics. it's about healthcare. mostf of them never expected to be part of this statistic, but life doesn't always go as we plan and every day women deal with situations they never imagined, and they deserve the freedom and the autonomy to decide for themselves what to do. and what is best for them. with this vote to pass the women's health protection act we are showing who we stand with and what we believe. the fundamental freedom of people to make the best decisions for their d health, their families and their futures. thank you, mr. president. i yield the floor.g se >> madam president, i rise to express the urgent need to pass the women's health protection act, to put an c end to the constant that are chipped away at women's constitutional rights in this country here now more
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than ever it is vital to codify reproductive rights and protect other hard-won civil rights as they face renewed threats. last week "politico" published supreme court associate justice alito does draft opinion in dobbs versus jackson's women's health which whileti not final would strike down roe v. wade. this would have an immediate and devastating consequence for the health and well-being of tens of millions of women of reproductive age across the nation. women and low income families who cannot overcome the financial and logical barriers to travel to states with abortion access will suffer the most, increasing existing health disparities. while thisfton draft opinion isa reminder of what is at stake, we have seen the erosion of reproductive rights for decades. despite the clear constitutional rights the supreme court
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established almost 50 years ago in a landmark roe v. wade decision, each year legislatures across the country have passed harmful abortion restrictions in an effort to impede a woman's fundamental right to make the best informed healthcare decisions for herself and her family. this goes against what i believe to be one of the fundamental responsibilities of the court, which is to expand rights, not restrict it. implementing the bill b of righs we have seen the federal courts over a period of time protect americans against the abuse of power, including the abuse of power in excess of government. should this opinion go into effect, this would be the first time in memory that the court would act to take away the constitutional rights of americans. it would also be a the first tie our country's history whenis won now would have fewer rights than their mothers. theso reasoning is this draft
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decision could also be used to undermine other dearly held civil rights in the future. justice alito's leaked draft opinion laid out a roadmap to overturn other landmark decisions and expanded rights, including the obergefell v. hodges which a firm marriage equality. justices gorsuch, kavanaugh and barrett all testified under oath before the senate judiciary committee that supreme court precedents should stand, a bedrock principle known as stare decisis. but they clearly arrived with an agenda to overturn roe, and now they are making that a reality. senate republicans and former president donald trump bear responsibility for nominating and confirming justices are outside of the legal mainstream, and damaging our confirmation process and the public faith in the supreme court as an
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impartial arbiter of our nation's laws. senate republicans deliberately stole the seek the president barack obama nominate merrick garland to fill, and the delayed even having a hearing for one year, effectively shrinking the size of the supreme court. senate republicans then turned around and rushed the confirmation of justice amy coney barrett at the death of justice ruth bader ginsburg or even the early voting has begun and the 2020 presidential elections. overturning roe goes against public opinion. a recent poll of the washington post-abc showed 70% of americans believed that the court should uphold t roe and that decision regarding abortions should be left to a woman and her doctor. now more than ever it is essential for the senate to pass the women's health protection act which i am proud to be a
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cosponsor. the legislation would protect the right to abortion free from medically unnecessarynn restrictions and create a statutory right for providers to provide and patients to receive care. this would codify roe v. wade and prevent states from continuing to act restrictions on reproductive freedoms. despite the opinion just being a draft and abortion sylvain constitutional right, states already seizing on the momentum of this draft opinion and moving to limit a woman's constitutional rights. since the leak of this draft opinion, legislatures around the country are rushing to criminalize abortion and outlaw contraception. just last week w louisiana state legislature advanced a bill that would classify abortion as homicide. thisid adds to the over half of our states that already passed lawsed to restrict or ban abortn access. there are more than one dozen
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states with antiabortion laws set to take effect immediately if the supreme court strikes down roe v. wade. the republican leader mr. mcconnell stated, and i quote, if the leaked opinion became the final opinion, legislative bodies not only at the state level but at the federal level certainly could legislate in that area, end quote. thanks to five unelected active justices on the supreme court, women are facing the prospect of a federal nationwide ban on abortion services. we go back to the states when abortions are performed illegally and back alleys. we can't let that happen in this country. while many states including how state of maryland have acted to expand abortion care we cannot rely on a patchwork of state laws to protect the basic constitutional boy. the right to choose is
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fundamental, and a decision that i women should make in consultation with a doctor or the healthcare providers three of lyrical interference from out of state or local government. i urge president biden's department of health and human services, the department of justice and other federal agencies to use their power to act swiftly to safeguard the reproductive rights of americans. there is no denyingua that thiss a bleak moment. we know about a for reproductive rights been an ongoing struggle with s previous setbacks. we saw this just a few months ago, the anti-choice pro pro vigilante law that the texas legislature passed which threatens providers with the jail time and fines for administering what is still federally constitutional protected medical care for women. we cannot wait any longer. we must do everything in our power to ensure access to reproductive services now. therefore, i urge my colleagues
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to pass the women's health protection act, and will have a chance to do that starting tomorrow. throughout my time in congress i've been a steadfast supporter of reproductive rights, and this will not change. regardless of the outcome of tomorrow's vote, or the supreme court's final decision, i will continue to do everything within my power to ensure that women can have access to the care that they need. madam president, i would yield the floor. >> madam president? >> the senator from michigan. >> madam president, i also rise to speak about the need to pass the women's health protection act. certainly the senator from maryland outlined a very strong argument as to why this fundamental protection come this fundamental right needs to be protected.
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and we know that right now we may see a supreme court come out with a decision to basically in roe v. wade and in the process a fundamental right of women in this country have that available to them for 50 years. we can hear all the arguments and my colleagues will present an awful lot of arguments tonight and tomorrow as to why we need to pass this act. for me this is personal. personal experience that i have had, and it's an experience that unfortunately many, many families havean had. as i shared the story i have really been overwhelmed by people reaching out to me and saying that they, too, had a very similar story, and how me talking about it brought out their willingness to share the experience as well. and in addition to that they understand how important it is that we protect roe v. wade and we protect the right for women to make critical decisions for themselves along with her
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doctor, and not have politics interfere with those decisions. so my story involves my first wife. when she was pregnant with a child that we very much wanted, looking forward to have a second child, and then in the fourth month towards the end of the fourth month, her water broke. clearly, a very dangerous situation. she went to go see her physician. her physician examined her and said with this water breaking, the amniotic fluid has to let the eucharist. there is no way the baby can survive in this situation. so it was a very faint heartbeat. he says there's a faint heartbeat but there's no way this baby is going to survive. he said what i think is what happened is you have miscarried alcohol tonight and you have a miscarriage and come in and see
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me tomorrow. welcome you can imagine the anguish, the horrible evening and the despair that she was in, and i was in. she was -- it was a long, long night. the next morning nothing happened. she went back to the physician. we went back p to the physician. he examined her again and said i'm really surprised, i don't know why this, you didn't miss carry because it's clear that there's no way this baby can survive in the situation. the amniotic fluid is gone, the cushion is gone. but he goes, you know, i don't think i can do anything because they're still a faint heartbeat here. i still don't know why they're still a faint heartbeat. so go head again tonight. i think tonight is like you have a miscarriage. we went back again. it didn't happen. another horrible night, horrible, the mental anguish is
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intense, and families of gone through this know exactly what i'm talking about. we went the next day. again examined her. he goes i can't understand this but this is going on. i'm really worried that is going to be an affection here. there isn't protection there, that you could go into septic shock and your health is deathly endangered here. again the baby can survive in fact, without the amniotic fluid and the cushion, the baby could lose its limbs and the horrible, horrible thoughts and my. he says this is a medical necessity that we have two antiabortion or to protect your health and potentially your life if we don't take care of this. sot go home and i'll call you d let you know when i can bring you in. well, he called and c i'll never forget the voicemail that was left.
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he said, he goes, i'm really sorry to say this. i went to the hospital board. i think the medical necessity here. it could clearly be a serious situation if you go into septic shock. and the board said no as long as her a faint heartbeat you can't perform this procedure. anthony said, he goes, there is no reason for this decision from hospital board. it is not based on sound medicine. it's not based on medical practice. it's not based on what's bestra for your health. this is based on politics, plain and simple this is politics. and he goes, i'm ashamed that this happened and i'm embarrassed i had to call you and tell you i can't do it because the hospital will not grant me privileges to do. soai he says my advice to you is find a doctor now, immediately that can take care of this procedure. you can imagine how scary that
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is, how frightening thatan is ad what were going through. my food recall in that situation? now, wetu were fortunate in the fact that we had a friend who is a hospital administered at another hospital, and he got us into c the gynecologist, ob/gyn at the hospital to examine her. we went in there and he examined her and he said oh, my gosh, i have to do this procedure now. there is no more time. this is getting incredibly dangerous point went to do this, the abortion that he says e about to go, this infection is starting. it's going to go worse if i don't do this quickly you're going to lose your uterus and if we don't do it quickly you could very well lose your life with an infection that can occur here. so he immediately performed the procedure. just think of that. if we didn't have the opportunity to see another doctor who is able to perform
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it, understood the severity of it, my wife at the time, my former wife could have easily lost her uterus, had significant health impacts and could have lost her life. it just kept ringing in my mind what the doctor said, this is about politics. this is not what's good medical practice. this is now not caring about someone's health and caring about their life. it was about politics. and that is why we have to protect roe v. wade. we have to protect the right for women to control their bodies come to control their reproductive health. it cannot be a decision made by politicians here in this body or other places. and this is a real actuation the families face it as i mentioned the outpouring of folks that have come to benefit from her situation. i think about right now. michigan has a law on the books that was written in 1931 that
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says all abortion is prohibited in our state. doesn't matter whether or not it involves the health of the mother. doesn't matter if it's in the life of another. doesn't matter if a woman is a victim of rape or incest. it is simply not allowed. i think that's unconscionable and that's what happened. it's a real life situation that could happen if the court decides to go forward and reverse roe v. wade. situations like what my former wife went through, and families all across america will be able to notav have a kind of option. and you think about the no exception for rape or incest that you have a 17-year-old girl in michigan who is raped. she will have no options. i know a majority of people in the united states believe that is unacceptable. i know a majority of people in the united states believe that women have the right to make these most personal, these most
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intimate decisions themselves with the advice of their physician, whoever else that they want to consult. this is not about politics. this is not about the opinions of folks who think that they knowr. better. let's preserve the right of women to do what they think is best. that's why we have to pass the united states and why i would urge all my colleagues to search their heart and listen to the stories that people will tell them and understand that the right thing to do is to protect reproductive freedoms and rights in america. madam president, i yield the floor. >> eight days ago our country received a terrible wake-up call, a a leaked draft o


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