Minutes Before Vote, Duckworth Pushes Senate to Reject Latest Anti-Choice, Anti-Doctor GOP Bill
[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) delivered a speech on the Senate floor this afternoon urging her colleagues to vote against the latest Republican attempt to criminalize reproductive care no matter the cost. The misleadingly-named Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act aims to scare doctors into performing ineffective, inappropriate procedures on fetuses born with fatal abnormalities, even if such treatment goes against recommended standards of care and is against the best interests of the child and expectant mother. Video of the speech is available here.
“I can’t begin to conceive of the pain of the mom-to-be who learns that the baby she already loves isn’t viable, or that the child whose name she’s already chosen and whose life she’s already imagined will never open her eyes,” Duckworth said. “All this bill would do is sharpen those families’ suffering and make it harder for the next woman to get the care that could save her life.
“I’ve said this a thousand times before, and I’ll keep saying it until I go hoarse: A woman’s medical decisions should be between her and her physician, not dictated by some politician in DC. I strongly urge my colleagues to vote against this bill that’s as heartless as it is dangerous.”
Duckworth’s remarks as prepared for delivery are below:
Imagine the joy and the emotion and anticipation that comes with being in the third trimester of your pregnancy.
Imagine choosing the crib and the mobiles that will hang above it.
Imagine telling your toddler that he was getting a little sister to play with.
Then imagine the heartbreak of going to the doctor one day and learning that there’s no chance your baby will survive… that there’s no hope your baby girl will ever speak her first word or take her first step…
Or that delivering her would put your own life at risk, leaving your firstborn to grow up without a mother.
These are the types of scenarios that lead to the heart-wrenching decision to terminate a pregnancy later on.
As the mom of two little girls, I can’t begin to fathom that kind of pain.
And yet today, some on the other side of the aisle are trying to use those parents' suffering for political advantage… making worst-case scenarios like these all the more difficult by pushing a bill aimed to criminalize reproductive care no matter the cost.
If it becomes law, this bill would force doctors to perform ineffective, invasive procedures on fetuses born with fatal abnormalities… even if it’s against the best interests of the child.
Even if it goes against recommended standards of care and they know it wouldn’t extend or improve the baby’s life.
Even if it would prolong the suffering of the families… forcing women to endure added lasting trauma... making one of the worst moments in their lives somehow even more painful.
If physicians refuse, they’d be punished... sentenced to up to five years in prison.
Look, we’ve seen this kind of political stunt before.
We know the partisan, extremist playbook it comes out of: one based not in fact, but in fiction… steeped in ignorance and misogyny.
The goal here is obvious: to bully doctors out of giving reproductive care… to scare them out of business, one potential lawsuit or jail sentence at a time… making it even harder for women to get the care they need when they need it most, as the number of physicians available shrinks.
This is just the latest step in the far right’s long march to strip away women’s rights—a march whose pace has quickened under our current President:
A man who once argued that women should be punished for taking up their right to choose… who’s taken pride in trying to put the government between women and their doctors… and who just 72 hours ago issued a gag rule that could gut family-planning clinics.
I’ve said this a thousand times before, and I’ll keep saying it until I go hoarse:
A woman’s medical decisions should be between her and her physician, not dictated by some politician in D.C.
And when lives are on the line, the folks with MDs are the ones who should be deciding what care is appropriate, not those with partisan agendas.
Mothers and doctors know that every pregnancy is different—both of mine certainly were. And physicians are trained with exactly this in mind.
It’s offensive and just plain ignorant for my colleagues to claim they know better than a doctor or an expectant mom.
It shows an alarming disrespect for a woman’s moral compass and her ability to make sound decisions.
I can’t begin to conceive of the pain of the mom-to-be who learns that the baby she already loves isn’t viable… that the child whose name she’s already chosen and whose life she’s already imagined will never open her eyes.
All this bill would do is sharpen those families’ suffering. All it would do is make it harder for the next woman to get the care that could save her life.
How dare we think of passing legislation like that.
How dare we put extremist politics over empathy… over science … over women’s health and families’ pain.
I strongly urge my colleagues to vote against S. 311: a bill that’s as heartless as it is dangerous. Thank you.
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