DelBene: Sweeping Abortion Ban Punishes Women, Cruelly Burdens Survivors of Sexual Assault
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (WA-01) opposed legislation that would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. It lacks any meaningful exemptions to protect a woman’s health and imposes cruel barriers on survivors of sexual assault. The bill (H.R. 36) passed the House and now heads to the Senate for further consideration.
DelBene’s floor speech follows and video can be found HERE:
“Today I rise for Stephanie from my district. This is her story.
“Stephanie and her husband were building their family. They had one beautiful daughter when she got pregnant for the second time — a planned and wanted pregnancy. But at 19 weeks, Stephanie got heartbreaking news. Her fetus had a devastating, fatal birth defect. Based on her age, medical history and test results, she was strongly advised to terminate the pregnancy. Stephanie ultimately decided not to carry the pregnancy to term. She told me – through tears – that her daughter needed her mother, and it ‘wasn’t worth the risk.’
“It’s a profoundly difficult situation for any family. But it was their decision.
“H.R. 36 punishes women like Stephanie. It takes personal medical decisions out of families’ hands and lets politicians decide. It also places a cruel burden on survivors of sexual assault and child abuse. It’s unacceptable.
“On behalf of Stephanie, I urge my colleagues to vote ‘NO.’ We must stop the bans.”
As one of the leaders of the Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus, DelBene works to protect and advance women’s access to reproductive healthcare and their constitutionally protected rights.