WASHINGTON — Democratic Caucus leaders on Wednesday condemned House Republicans’ recent attacks on reproductive rights, saying the three bills they have brought to the floor so far demonstrate the party’s “extreme” anti-abortion stances.
“That’s who Kevin McCarthy has enabled.” Democratic Caucus Chair Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.) said. “He had to make all these promises to attack women’s rights in order to secure the votes for the speakership. It’s an unfortunate state of play.”
Days after what would have been the 50th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, Aguilar and other leaders slammed conservatives for having “stripped away” reproductive rights in the past several months.
Rep. Sydney Kamlager-Dove (D-Calif.) added that Republicans “are putting all of our lives at risk” as a result.
“Republicans across the country are trying to bring us back to the days of back alley coat hanger abortions with deadly consequences,” Kamlager-Dove said.
During the first two weeks of the new Congress, the GOP-led House has prioritized several pieces of partisan abortion-related legislation. Only three Democrats voted in favor H.C.R. 3, a resolution that condemned attacks on anti-abortion facilities and organizations.
While some Republicans have used this vote to highlight Democrats’ stance on abortion, the caucus members all defended their decision, calling the resolution a GOP “red herring.” They criticized the recent House resolution for being one sided — for example, it did not address attacks on abortion providers.
Democratic Caucus Vice Chair Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) also said Republicans should be “ashamed” for falsely accusing Democrats of failing to take action against these attacks.
“At the heart of that resolution was a lie,” Lieu said. “The whole point of this resolution was to blame the Biden administration for these acts of violence – that is a lie.”
Rep. Yadira Caraveo (D-Colo.), who worked as a doctor before serving in Congress, said her experience in the medical field has demonstrated to her that a woman’s decision to get an abortion is “never, never made lightly.”
Rep. Hillary Scholten (D-Mich.) also talked about her personal experience with reproductive rights. She said that when her first pregnancy received a terminal diagnosis, it was critical that she and her husband could make a choice for their family. Previously, she told The Detroit News she ended up having a miscarriage.
“What I remember most distinctly was the absence of government intervention and the freedom my husband and I had to make the choice that was best for us,” Scholten said. “But today, we live in a country where women have less freedom and fewer rights than half a century ago.”