The Power is Now

Congressional Black Caucus Issues Statement on Dobbs Anniversary

Today, Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Steven Horsford (NV-04) and members of the Congressional Black Caucus issued the following statement regarding the one-year anniversary of the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision.

“One year since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, abortion in our country has become less accessible and less safe for millions of women. Extremist MAGA Republicans in state legislatures and the federal judiciary have been working overtime to push their anti-choice agenda. As a result, more than 14 states have banned or restricted access to abortion – robbing women of a fundamental freedom that they have held for nearly 50 years.

“A year later, the majority of Americans oppose the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade because the American people know that extremists in our government have no business standing in the way of women’s right to choose. The harm this decision has caused in the past year has disproportionately affected Black women who are at increased risk of maternal mortality and morbidity, women of color, people with low incomes, those in rural areas and those who already face significant obstacles to quality, affordable health care.

“We are at an inflection point in our country and the Congressional Black Caucuswill continue our work to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act to enshrine a woman’s right to choose into law and ensure access to abortion throughout the country.”

Representative Ayanna Pressley (MA-07) offered the following quote:

“One year ago, the extremist Supreme Court ripped away the fundamental right to abortion care across our nation, and the fallout has been nothing short of devastating. Since this decision, dozens of states have enacted bans or restrictions that have exacerbated many of the inequities and disparities that harm our most vulnerable communities: Black, brown, Indigenous, AAPI, immigrant, disabled, LGBTQ folks, and so many more. This is unconscionable.

“We have fought hard—through legislation and executive action—to restore the rights that have been taken away, but with our right to bodily autonomy under relentless, escalating attack, we need bold, affirmative policies like my Abortion Justice Act that expand and strengthen abortion access in our laws and budgets. We need a north star to affirm what is possible in a just America where everyone is free to make decisions about their lives, their bodies, and their futures with dignity – including the decision to pursue abortion care without fear, shame, or systemic barriers.

“Abortion care is health care and a fundamental human right, and we must legislate like it. I am grateful to my colleagues and the broad coalition of reproductive justice organizers and abortion funds across the nation for their ongoing partnership and for standing in the gap. Every person in America who demands and deserves abortion care should know that abortion justice is possible, the state of our movement is strong, and this fight is far from over.”

Representative Robin Kelly (IL-02) offered the following quote: 

“I am saddened and outraged looking back on the past year. Without the protections guaranteed by Roe v. Wade, millions of women have faced pain, trauma, and even death as they are prevented from receiving safe, necessary abortion care. This ill-fated decision has already proven to have a grave and detrimental impact on women’s healthcare, exacerbating the already alarming crisis of maternal mortality. Tragically, more mothers will lose their lives. The burden of this ruling has fallen disproportionately on Black women, marginalized women, those with low incomes, and those residing in rural areas. Black women are three times more likely to die from prenatal and postpartum complications as their white counterparts, these restrictions have only made these disparities more dire,” said CBC Health Braintrust Chair Rep. Robin Kelly.  “This is an assault on our basic freedoms. In places that already lack proper access to reproductive healthcare, bans that were allowed by Dobbs have discouraged or driven away providers from areas that desperately need them. I have spent my career fighting for mothers and babies, and I will continue to do so despite extremist attacks on the right to choose. This is not the end of our fight.”

Representative Gwen Moore (WI-04) offered the following quote: 

“Since the Supreme Court’s radical decision to repeal Roe v. Wade, we have seen women and girls in dire situations because of this ruling. We have seen young girls, who were victims of rape, forced to travel across state lines to access abortion care. We have seen women near death, experiencing sepsis with doctors in legal limbo afraid to care for their patients.

We have seen women hustle up money to fly across the country to receive the abortion care they need. Before Roe, I was one of those women who relied on a network of middle-class women to receive an abortion in New York. I never imagined that reproductive rights would be rolled back more than 50 years.

This decision is both extreme and dangerous.

What happened to the notion of freedom in America? What happened to protecting individual liberties?

These are rights fundamental to our nation’s values. This decision is in complete conflict with these values.

I am committed to restoring a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions.

Reproductive rights are human rights.”

Representative Barbara Lee (CA-12) offered the following quote:

“One year ago today, the Dobbs decision overturning Roe v. Wade triggered an avalanche of harm, chaos, and confusion, leaving millions of Americans without abortion access. By leaving abortion rights in the hands of individual states, the GOP is harming America’s most marginalized groups. One in three women—plus trans and nonbinary people—have lost access to abortion. And those people are disproportionately Black, Latino, and Indigenous communities, LGBTQ+, people with low incomes, people with disabilities, and those in rural communities.

“But make no mistake: eight in ten Americans support legal abortion in some form. The people are on our side.

“The Pro-Choice Caucus has been working tirelessly to restore this fundamental freedom. This week, Reps. DeGette, Chu and I filed a discharge petition to force Speaker McCarthy to bring the Women’s Health Protection Act up for a vote so we can restore every American’s fundamental right to abortion care. We’re putting every member of the House on record: either they support a person’s right to reproductive care by signing this petition, or they do not.

“People—not politicians—should have the freedom to make their own health care decisions. Until this is reflected in law, I will not give up.”

Rep. Barbara Lee and Rep. Diana DeGette: The Hill: Looking back at the Dobbs ruling: Where were you the moment your world changed?

 

Representative Lauren Underwood’s (IL-14) reintroduction of the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act appeared on MSNBC’s Alex Wagner Tonight: 

 

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