Doggett Decries Republican Attack on Reproductive Freedoms in Ways & Means Committee Amendment

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Doggett Decries Republican Attack on Reproductive Freedoms in Ways & Means Committee Amendment

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Representative Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), Chair of the House Ways & Means Health Subcommittee, spoke forcefully in the Ways and Means Build Back Better markup to decry the Republican, draconian, abortion ban in Texas and an anti-choice amendment Texas Republican Rep. Kevin Brady offered last night in Committee to eliminate reproductive freedom in federal health programs. Watch the full speech here.

“One would think that the new vigilante law would be enough for those who want to interfere with the right to choose. Governor Abbott is unleashing vigilantes on pregnant Texans. Apparently the Republican concept of freedom only extends as far as the fundamental right to infect your neighbors by not wearing a mask or refusing to be immunized,” said Congressman Doggett. “When public health is at risk, only the individual’s vanity and comfort matter, but not fundamental rights. They object to mandatory masks but they don’t seem to have any objection to mandatory motherhood—even in the event of rape or incest. I think that this is a deeply personal and complex medical decision, and we don’t need Republicans in Texas or in Washington entrapping someone into a permanent, life-altering future that she may not want. Complete disregard for what her doctor may advise and an absolute indifference to her basic constitutional right to privacy and reproductive freedom.”

“This unconscionable mandate for motherhood cannot stand,” said Congressman Doggett. “That’s why the Biden Administration is defending Texas women in the courtroom, and we must defend them here in Congress. First, it’s by rejecting this amendment, but then it’s by following Congresswoman Chu’s lead—I hope next week—and pass the Women’s Health Protection Act. It is essential legislation that would make unlawful many of the types of politically-motivated restrictions, such as the outrageous Texas ban, which would remove the ability to choose quality reproductive care.”

“The horrid Supreme Court action that let the Texas law stand shows the impact of Trump-appointed Justices. Justice Sotomayor offered an eloquent and powerful dissent: ‘The Texas State Legislature has deputized the state’s citizens as bounty hunters, offering them cash prizes for civilly prosecuting their neighbors’ medical procedures…It cannot be the case that a State can evade federal judicial scrutiny by outsourcing the enforcement of unconstitutional laws to its citizenry.’”

“We will not deputize government agencies as bounty hunters. We should reject this amendment and all the extremism associated with it.”


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