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Congresswoman Suzan DelBene

Representing the 1st District of Washington

DelBene Statement on House Passage of Divisive Anti-Abortion Bill

Jun 18, 2013
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Suzan DelBene released the following statement after the House of Representatives passed a bill today that would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, with no exceptions for the health of the woman:

“I’m deeply frustrated and disappointed by the House’s vote to pass this unconscionable and unconstitutional legislation. 

“H.R. 1797 is an extreme piece of legislation that places ideology over women’s health.

“Not once in this flawed legislation is there any mention of Congress’ role in protecting the health and lives of women. Rather than passing this dangerous legislation, Congress should be protecting and investing in programs that will help reduce unintended pregnancies, expand access to contraception, and ensure that all women, regardless of income or background, can access the healthcare they need.

“Instead, this bill is a direct challenge to the protection of women’s health and reproductive rights that the Supreme Court provided in Roe v Wade. It unilaterally takes away a woman’s ability to make what is a deeply personal decision, and it says that Congress, instead of doctors, should set medical protocol.

“It’s very troubling that women’s health and medical safety needs are being ignored by this bill. All too often, women’s voices are not heard and we must not forget that this legislation will impact the lives of real women across the country. It fails women and their families, which is why I strongly opposed this legislation.”  

During the Judiciary committee mark-up last week, DelBene co-sponsored an amendment to help ensure that women's health and medical safety are not disregarded in this conversation.  The amendment included the constitutionally-required exception to the ban where necessary to protect women’s health, reaffirming the basic premise of Roe v. Wade and longstanding, Supreme Court precedent regarding access to safe and legal abortion.  Unfortunately this amendment was rejected on a party-line vote.