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Public Statements

Women's Access to Essential Healthcare Services

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Ms. OMAR. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to defy the horrifying attacks happening against women's reproductive rights all across this country.

Religious fundamentalists are currently trying to manipulate the State laws in order to impose their beliefs on an entire society, all with complete disregard for voices and the rights of American women.

The recent efforts like those in Alabama and Georgia are only the latest in a long history of efforts to criminalize women for simply existing and to punish us when we don't conform to their attempts to control us. And a new proposal in Texas would go as far as to threaten women who obtain an abortion with capital punishment.

If that were being proposed by any other country, we would be calling it a dangerous violation of human rights. But because it is happening here with the support of the ultraconservative religious right, we call it religious freedom. It is simply unthinkable.

But this anti-choice movement isn't only unjust, it is dangerous because history has proven that when abortion is criminalized, the number of abortions do not simply go down. The number of deaths and injuries to women increase.

Let's just be honest. For the religious right, this isn't simply about their care or concern for life. If they cared about or were concerned about children, then they would be concerned about the children who are being detained and those who are dying in camps across our borders or the children who are languishing in hunger and facing homelessness.

This isn't about religious morality or conviction, because we have seen time and time again those who talk about their faith and want to push policies because of their faith are the ones who simply are caught with the hypocrisy of not living it out in their personal lives.

I just remember recently, not too long ago, a Republican Congressman who had to retire, Tim Murphy, because he asked his mistress to abort their baby while pushing for a ban on abortion. Or I remember the anti- LGBT rights Republican, Larry Craig, who was found soliciting sex in a bathroom in a Minneapolis airport.

I am frustrated every single time I hear people speaking about their faith and pushing that on to other people, because we know those so- called religious politicians, when it comes to their life and their choices, they want to talk about freedom, but when it comes to other people's lives and other people's choices, then they want to talk about religion.

I feel that we must point out how ironic it is that women now are facing these challenges to their freedom in the week that we are marking the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment.

How can it be that an entire century has passed, and we are still forced to fight for our rights as women, as human beings, and as Americans?

This should outrage every single person. It certainly outrages me, and we can no longer stand for it.

So today I ask every woman in this country no matter her age, her race, or her political affiliation to stand with me--to stand with us-- to stand up and tell those who challenge our voice, our place, and our right to decide for ourselves to not be silent, to speak up and to reclaim their right to choose.


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