Congresswoman: “I Have a Responsibility to Push Back Against the Politicians Working to Strip Away Our Rights”
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Rep. Abigail Spanberger today released the following statement ahead of June 24, 2023 — one year since the Supreme Court ruled in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization to overturn Roe v. Wade.
“One year ago, mothers, daughters, fathers, husbands, and Americans across the country watched — stunned and shaken — as the highest court in the land set women’s reproductive rights back to 1973. In an instant, the Supreme Court erased a woman’s right to choose and the right to privacy afforded to millions of Americans.
“We have witnessed devastating consequences in the wake of this decision. We have witnessed women forced to carry nonviable pregnancies, physicians prevented from providing care as their patients suffer, and local providers overwhelmed with fearful patients traveling from out of state to seek reproductive healthcare — including to Virginia. But we have also witnessed remarkable resolve from elected officials, community leaders, healthcare providers, and neighbors who have refused to be complacent.
“This week, I joined my colleagues in moving to force a vote on legislation to restore the rights previously guaranteed under Roe v. Wade — to codify these rights as the law of the land. As lawmakers, we have a foundational responsibility to protect the basic rights of the people we represent. And on behalf of the Virginians I serve, I believe that I have a responsibility to push back against the politicians working to strip away our rights.
“I grew up in an America where women and their doctors were trusted to make their own healthcare decisions. As my three daughters grow up, I want their generation to have the right to choose, the freedom to make their own decisions, and the protections in place to keep them safe.”
This week, Spanberger joined an effort — known as a “discharge petition” — to force a U.S. House floor vote on the Women’s Health Protection Act. This legislation would codify the protections previously granted under Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. Spanberger helped reintroduce the Women’s Health Protection Act earlier this year.
Following the Supreme Court’sdecision, Spanberger has worked to protect and retore the rights undermined by Dobbs, including by:
- Working to codify Roe v. Wade. Spanberger first cosponsored the Women’s Health Protection Act in 2021 and has voted twice to pass the legislation. Specifically, this bill would create a statutory right for providers to provide and patients to receive an abortion — without facing medically unnecessary restrictions.
- Protecting women seeking reproductive healthcare across state lines. In the immediate wake of the Dobbs decision, Spanberger cosponsored the Ensuring Access to Abortion Act — legislation to protect American women from being criminalized for interstate travel to seek abortions.
- Defending access to contraception. Spanberger also cosponsored the Right to Contraception Act in July 2022 after Justice Clarence Thomas’ concurrence in Dobbs explicitly called for the reconsideration of the right to contraception. The legislation — which a majority of the U.S. House voted to pass — would codify the right for Americans to access and use birth control into federal law. Spanberger helped lead the bill’s reintroduction in the U.S. House earlier this month.