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tv   State Lawmakers Testify on Impact of Roe v. Wade Overturned  CSPAN  July 27, 2022 11:17pm-1:40am EDT

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common ground, surely you would agree with me that in this country we should never prosecute criminally women if they choose to get an abortion. do you agree with that? >> absolutely, women should never be prosecuted. >> thank you, i yield back my time. >> the gentleman yields back. both have been called to accommodate members voting. the committee is going to take a short recess and we will reconvene in ten minutes, following the beginning of the last vote in the series. the committee stands in recess.
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hearing testimony on abortion access issues after the supreme court's recent decision to overturn roe v. wade. live coverage here on c-span. >> the gentleman from texas is recognized. >> thank you, madam chair. thank you for staying around and working with us on our road schedule today. our declaration of independence was unique in that it introduced into the world a profound set of ideals to be protected in 6 to 20 generations. and, that was that there were certain inalienable rights that
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were given to mankind. and they were not a grant from government but a gift from god, the declaration of independence went on to state that among these were life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. and, it is notable that those ideals upon which the rest of the rule of law on which we live is all based on that first essential right. that is the right to life. with the dobbs decision, in a single day, millions gained that right. the right that have been taken away previously. if we look at the development of science over the last 50 years, i was born and 75 and just a couple of years after row. ultrasounds were very rare, i asked my mom for my ultrasound and there was not one to be found. there is not one, when roe was
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being argued the dialogue at the time was that it was a blob of tissue that was in development, we know so much more now than we did before. we know that a child at six weeks, we can even detect a heart rate, we know that science is isn't showing us that a child can feel the pain of an abortion. so, there is a lot of misinformation that has happened since the dobbs information that i thought we would need to address. it's a matter of fact, the chair said that the dobbs decision was, and i quote, undemocratic. could you speak to the jobs reporting, and if it was undemocratic or not. >> certainly, it is not anti democratic it is an act of judicial modesty.
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it shows the top structure and history are actually silent on the right to the abortion. as justice alito explains that means it way the people get to debate this issue inside this issue. the supreme court out of the business of a legislating abortion. >> if anything, it restore the democratic process to the discussion of abortion. >> absolutely, justice alito's opinion leaves it to the people. >> that is my understanding as well. it was also said that this was pro-life, people who embrace this are extremists, draconian, is how the decision was we've heard about, it's threats to democracy and all of those sorts of things. when we talk about extremism and draconian, can you compare where the united states stands in relation to other countries when it comes to abortion? >> absolutely, under roe v. wade united states was one of the most extreme and progressive nations on abortion in the entire world.
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we are one of only seven countries in the world, including countries like china and north or north korea, you have horrible human rights records, to allow abortion up until the moment of perth. for any reason at all. >> so that is very rare, we are not on the right side of that. are there any state laws that would prosecute women for an abortion? >> there are, not there are no state abortion laws that would prosecute women for abortions. >> any federal? >> no. >> we have heard a lot about that. can you speak to ectopic pregnancies and abortions, we keep hearing that is an issue as well. >> thank you so much about that, i think ectopic pregnancies are an issue. misinformation, there have been social media posts suggesting that women will not get treated for an ectopic pregnancy because doctors might be afraid of performing the procedure. that is absolutely false, and ectopic pregnancy treatment is
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not an abortion, and abortion is the intentional taking of a human life. and ectopic pregnancy is a tragic situation in which the baby is developing outside of the womb, and, treatment for that, as planned parenthood has recognized, is simply not an abortion. >> you speak to what is the norms in the world, both you and i believe that life begins at conception, this is a question of life, ultimately. that is what makes it so difficult. and why the views are so divided, especially when it comes to this. when it comes to what is normal, the democrats have proposed two bills that will be voting on friday. hr 80 to 96 and h are 80 to 97. these bills would, among other things, allow for abortion because of disability, what's
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sexy child's, but raise the child as, potentially. there are provisions and parents being involved in their child's life, there is ambiguous language that could potentially forced pro-life doctors, many of whom their fate would dictate to them that this is not a proper thing to perform. what is troubling for me is we have gone from the left to wanting it to be rare, now we want taxpayers to fund it. not only in our country, to pay for other peoples abortions, but, also for abortions overseas. >> the gentleman's time has expired. >> thank you for your statement, thank you for being here. >> the gentleman from california, miss porter, is recognized for five minutes. >> madam chair, i say unanimous account consent to recognize in the record of finding from the turn away study from women who sought abortions. >> without objection. >> before jobs, even under roe,
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americans who wanted an abortion were denied. they turn away study examined the lives of hundreds of people who were denied abortion, and compared their experiences to people who got abortions. miss -- are you familiar with these runaway study? >> yes, i am. >> i want to use my white board to help americans understand what this study found. let's start with health. which women were more likely to suffer from physical health problems, women who had an abortion or women who were denied an abortion? >> women who are denied an abortion. >> women who are denied an abortion. and, which women were denying abortion does not correlate with worst physical, it also is to financial problems. which group of women, those who received an abortion or were denied an abortion were more likely to be unemployed?
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>> for sure those who are denied an abortion. >> denied an abortion, which group of women was more likely to live in poverty? >> definitely those who are denied abortion. >> and, which group of women more more likely to have low credit scores, to have no applications for housing or car loans? >> those who are denied an abortion. >> so, to summarize, women, when they decision to have an abortion was not, was taken out of the hands of anybody not able to have an abortion to make their own decision, they had worse health outcomes, we're more likely to be unemployed, we're more likely to face financial problems like poverty and having low credit scores. women who are denied abortions are four times more likely to live below the poverty line, they are less likely to be able to afford food and housing for themselves and children, miss
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goss graves can you explain why people denied abortion were more likely to have these worth outcomes than people who have an abortion? >> if you are denied abortion you are not having a child based on when you actually want to. what we know is that there is a wide range of reasons people determined that it is not the right time to have a child. it could be that their health is not the reason that they want to have a child at that time, but, it could also be that they are not financially sub here. they're in a relationship where it does not make sense, there are a range of reasons, that is why it is so important that that decision be the decision of the people who were absolutely pregnant. the person who is actually going to have that child but whether or not they do that. >> mess goss graves i completely agree. we should let people who are pregnant make the decision on to whether or not they want to carry that child, to deliver
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that child, and to raise that child. i am a mom, i love my three children, i know firsthand the joys and hardships of carrying, birthing, raising and providing for children. including doing it alone as millions of women do. that is why i believe so strongly that extremist politicians should not have the power to force anyone to become a parent. the choice to give birth is not just a major health decision, it is an economic decision for an entire family, including other children that that person, that mother or parent may have. many women experience a significant decrease and find that there and plum declines after each additional child. many parents are forced to leave the workforce altogether to care for their kids. when extremist politicians prevent americans from making their own decisions, they force patients to give birth to children, but they may not be
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able to care for, may not be able to protect and race safely. they may be forced to grow up in poverty. we live, we could live in a free society. americans should have the freedom, the liberty, to grow their families when they are ready to do so. not birth babies because of government mandates. i am here at home, sick with covid, and caring for my two children alone, i do not need an american women do not need any politicians telling them when, and if they should make the decisions to raise children. i thank you miss goss graves for your testimony, and everybody on this panel, and i yield back. >> the gentlelady yields back and the gentleman from arizona is now recognized for five minutes. >> i think the chairwoman, i appreciate the opportunity to
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be here today in this incredibly, politically-charged hearing. i know we get to have another one tomorrow, in fact, the democrats are going five for five hearings in five days, effectively, on this topic. democrats really are the abortion extremists, relying on a strategy of fear, that is what it is. i associate myself with a video that was put in and i will say one thing, when mr. jordan was asking questions he forgot to ask questions about bounties put out by shutdown d.c. on supreme court justices, that is absolutely outrageous and i have not heard any of my colleagues across the aisle, not one, say, maybe we should not do that. it is an incredible, incredible strategy of fear that they are perpetuating, governor northam there stream us. governor northam said that third trimester abortions are down where there may be extreme deformities, a fetus that is not viable. in this example, if another is
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in labor i can tell you exactly what happened. the infant will be delivered, the infant will be kept comfortable, the intent will be resuscitated if that is what the mother and the family desired and then it will be discussion between the physicians and the mother about the outcome for that baby. i talked to senator rubio who never thought he would see the day in america where america had government officials where they sport legal infanticide. elizabeth warren, what did she say? she said in massachusetts right now crisis pregnancy centers are full in people who are looking for pregnancy termination, they help out number clinics 3 to 1, we need to shut them down all around the country. wow! that is from the liberal left, i will ask a question of miss hawley. miss hawley did the job decisions that down abortion completely nationwide? >> they'd observation return to
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the states the authority, finally, to be able to protect life in 1973 a majority of man on the supreme court declared that no matter how compelling a states interest was in protecting life, no matter what we learned about a baby's development, states could not protect that life until 22 weeks. with the dobbs decision, a decision of judicial modesty, the people and their elected representatives get to make that choice. >> i am looking now at a recent article in the new york times, when it comes to abortion rights democrats need to lead into the politics of fear. the party needs to scare voters and show that they are also scared of the voters and of themselves. that is the politics of fear that happens. let's just think for a session, gestational limits compared to international norms.
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i have a series of articles on that and i'm going to go through them very quickly. i want to give you some european countries. austria, limits to the first three months, the rest of these are in weeks. belgium 12, bulgaria 12, croatia, ten czech republic 12, denmark 12, estonia 11, latvia, 12 italy 12, greece 12, france 14. americas laws pre jobs where some of the most radical on this planet. right up until the exit of the birth canal, what has happened since then? they left is okay with this strategy of fear and violence. ohio right to life says officers targeted, democrats have launched ads in lifestyle magazines. summer of rage, i appreciate that some said 32 or 40. i have one gated june 9th, 56 attacks, including one in bethesda over the weekend. tax on churches pro-life
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pregnancy centers continue, this one is in hutchinson, kansas. the next one i will submit is from bull head city in my state. the justice department is announcing that it has the reproductive rights task force. and, the threat from the left is that the abortion bans could lose, that is what the new york times reports, nothing is further from the truth. this is a strategy of fear, it is a strategy of threats and intimidation against members of the supreme court. it is a clinic on disinformation by asserting that this law prevents abortion throughout the country, last question for you. can men become pregnant? >> biological women may become pregnant. >> the gentleman yields back, gentleman from missouri is now recognized. >> chair wilson, i thank you, chairwoman maloney for convene
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in this urgent hearing. within minutes of the far-right supreme court's decision to overturn roe and casey, my home state of missouri it was a first state to enact its trigger law and ban abortion care. despite the wrong information provided by my colleagues on the other side, there are state laws to prosecute people who are performing their own abortions, which includes trans man. so, trans men. more than women, trans men and bought nonbinary people do become pregnant. the criminalization of abortion has health care and legal systems. the majority of states where abortion care has now banned has threatened to enforce criminal laws that target health care providers for administering medication and providing abortion care to those who need it.
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it was very any provider spectrum inducing and abortion could have a sentence of up to 15 years. in other states like texas the penalty includes the possibility of a life sentence. i have heard from people in st. louis, they tell me that they are afraid to cross the state lines to access abortion care, which they need, because they fear being investigated and prosecuted at home. >> though many of these laws extent pregnant people we know that pregnant outcomes have long been politicized, which is happening in this moment in criminal lives. people have been punished for experiencing pregnancy loss, for struggling with substance use during a pregnancy, or self managing abortion care. if states where abortion care is banned and in states where abortion care is legal and protected. a local prosecutor in california charged two women with murder because of their pregnancy loss.
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i am concerned that far-right extremist antiabortion lawmakers in my own state, like our state attorney general, may move to further politicized our rights and criminalize abortion care and pregnancy outcomes, unless we speak up more, unless we act and push harder. and, until we organize to block extremist anti human rights laws and fully protect reproductive freedom. so, representative shane, can you please describe what measures are being taken to protect people from being criminalized for seeking abortion care and georgia? >> thank you for the question and thank you for your work on this issue, yes, we have had t.a.s in georgia as well as local municipalities come out and say that they will not use government funds to prosecute folks or to investigate folks from having had abortions, should george's for 81 law go into effect. that would effectively outlaw
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abortion. so, i am glad that you have mentioned what is going on with criminalization because we also, at the same time, have da's across the country who are hyper aggressive about finding ways, bending and twisting the law, using other laws to criminalize folks, and we do know there has been an uptick of criminalization of miscarriages across the country. >> thank you, thank you so much for those insight, thank you for what you do. miss goss graves can you please explain how the criminalization of abortion creates a public health emergency? >> so, abortion care is both effective and safe, what is really deeply concerning is if people are either afraid to seek medical care if they need it, or, if providers are chilled, if they are afraid to provide medical care. not knowing the state of the law. so, it is those things that
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stand to worsen the health of people seeking abortion care. the other thing that we know is that carrying a pregnancy to term and childbirth is inherently risky, especially for black women. they maternal mortality rates are extremely high, so, none of these laws will do anything to aid that and will only worsen those outcomes. >> thank you for that clarity, i appreciate that. as our witnesses have extensively described, the impact of this devastating supreme court ruling will fall hardest on black, brown, and adjust communities. people with disabilities, undocumented people, queer and trans folks, you, and the most marginalized members of our society. federal legislators have an obligation, all of us, who chose and signed up to take care of the full, to represent the fall, whether it is regards of what you look like, where you come from, how much money you have. we signed up to work for
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everyone, we need to work in lockstep with our state and protect access to reproductive health care for everyone regardless of where they live. >> the gentlelady's time has expired, thank you. >> the gentleman from kansas, mr. lieu turn. >> thank you, this was a monumental decision. it signifies a victory for pro-life americans across this country but, most importantly, the innocent unborn. make no mistake, the dobbs ruling is not just a victory for the pro-life movement, it is a victory for a constitution and for the principle of federalism. if you want to have abortion laws in this country to your liking elected officials who agree with you, and pass it in the legislative body and states throughout this country. that is the way to achieve it, let's not pretend that the right to abortion existed in our constitution.
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contrary to what some of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle say, this decision in no way endangers lifesaving medical care for pregnant mothers, in fact, mississippi statute in question explicitly excludes procedures to treat ectopic pregnancies, miscarriages from the definition of abortion. there are nearly identical exceptions in every state that has acted pro-life laws. this protection of both unborn children and their mothers is what a consistent and compassionate ethics of life looks like. in the home state of kansas citizens will have the opportunity to vote for the value of both constitutional amendment, which reserves the right to pass laws regulating abortion to the people through their elected representatives. i am a firm supporter of this change and hope that the momentum from the historic dobbs decision compels cans to restore authority to decisions to have abortion laws.
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i celebrate the impact of the decision and the sanctity for human life, both for mothers and their unborn children. miss, hawley thank you for being here today. in your opinion, why is the regulation of abortion better suited for state legislatures than the unelected supreme court or even us here in congress? >> well, the state legislatures are very close to the people, i think justice alito's opinion laid out that 55% of the voters in mississippi are women, those voters in mississippi now have a voice and a vote. able to tackle these issues and we can allow women to express opinions on this issue. >> been a lot of conversations, warned women that the government is tracking their activity about health apps and their search history, we do any of the road trigger laws include criminal enforcement mechanisms against women who
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seek abortions? >> no, they do not? >> what would you say to people who are scared they will face criminal pregnancies four miscarriages, pregnancy loss, or ectopic pregnancies. this is a real issue and real anxiety, even among those who continue themselves but want pro-life exceptions, there is a lot of fearmongering going on and i would like you to address it. as you mentioned, congressman, every state's law has an exception for life of the mother and that means that doctors and physicians will be able to treat the mother when her life is in danger, similarly, a treatment or an up topic pregnancy is an abortion is false. that is fearmongering, it is untrue. it is a tragedy that one in 50 pregnancies are ectopic pregnancies. women find out about this between six and eight weeks and it is terrible, there is no
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intent to take a child's life, it is not an abortion, there is no reason to be worried either as a doctor or physician, or, as a woman. >> what damage do you think is caused by this fearmongering? >> i think discovering your pregnant whether it is something you have longed and hope for or something unexpected can be overwhelming, to have this fearmongering over top of that adds to uncertainty for women. we need to come alongside women and support them, provide them with the resources that are necessary for them and their children to survive. they dobbs decision is not only a legal victory, it is a rallying cry. we must become a culture that values life, and provides them with the resources they need throughout their pregnancy and beyond. >> and, if i could get you to comment on this, it was reference earlier says the vandalism that is being done, the intimidation that is being attempted in my home state of kansas, as i mentioned, we are trying to pass the vote because
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our supreme court wrongly decided that the 1859 constitution had a right to abortion and it. that is absurd. we are trying to write that, we have instances in kansas right now where churches are being vandalized, would you comment on that, briefly? >> you are right, the roe v. wade decision misled not only the people but also the supreme courts. as far as they vandalism -- >> the gentleman's time has expired. >> thank you, madam chair, i yield back. >> the gentlewoman from california, jackie spears recognized for five minutes. >> madam chair, thank you so much for holding this hearing. let me say at the outset, to my good friend, mr. jordan, two others on the republican side, yes, we deplore violence against crisis pregnancy centers. we deplore violence against justices and judges, we deplore
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violence against the institution we call the u.s. capital. we also deplore violence against abortion clinics and you have said nothing about the fact that 11 people have been murdered at those clinics. for doctors, to clinic employees, once the qcard, one police officer at one clinic escort. last, year there were 186 arson's targeted at abortion centers. 123 acts of vandalism, 123 incidents of assault and battery. stalking increased by 600% last year, over 2020. invasions of abortion facilities increased by 100 29%. assault and batteries increased by 100 28%. and suspicious packages by 100 and 63%. i did not hear one word from any of you deploying and
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denouncing those acts of violence. so, you have very selective memories. let me start, madam chair, by speaking about mothers i'm a mother who had an abortion. 59% of women in this country who have abortions are mothers, they love their children, they want to provide for their children. across this country, women are asking themselves, is it even safe to get pregnant? this is not hyperbolic. as states criminalize abortion, they are also making it illegal to treat many pregnancy related complications. i have had two miscarriages. miscarriages happen a lot. one in five pregnancies. it is often indistinguishable from an induced abortion, it is the same procedure. a dnc or a d and e.
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the treatment for miscarriage is the same as a treatment to reduce medical abortion. if a miscarriage doesn't progress naturally, which could take up to three or four weeks, a woman may need medication, abortion or a dnc, especially if there are signs of infection. when i had my first miscarriage, i was told i was going to have to wait a period of days before they could give me a dnc. i can't begin to tell you what it's like, having wanted that fetus to become a baby and know that it was dead in my body and i had to walk around with that. i had a mother in a church one say to me, i had to carry a dead fetus to term for nine months. we are now living in a country where well-known women will be denied treatment because doctors are rightly worried whether or not they're going to be thrown in jail for 99 years. same goes for those treating
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women who are seriously ill. if a woman has a 50% chance of dying, is that sufficient to provide an abortion? how about 20% for 10%? at one point dewey value the life of the woman? miss goss graves, how will criminalizing abortion impact patients who are experiencing miscarriage or other pregnancy related complications? >> you, know we are already hearing reports on the ground from providers being uncertain about the care they can actually provide when faced with somebody who has an ectopic pregnancy. and, to go back to the point that you raised around miscarriage what is likely to happen is an acceleration in miscarriages being investigated. and that might not be everyone's experience, but i am telling you, it will be the experience of people who are more likely to be low income, black and brown people. this is a population that already has too much unfair
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contact with the criminal justice system and so what we will see is going through a miscarriage lost turning into a criminal event. nothing about that helps the life or health of the person who is pregnant and all of it affects the effective safe care people need. >> thank you. we're not just talking about miscarriages. that's mike mauro, you spoke about needing an iud after your uterus was punctured. can you talk about your experience and what it would've meant for you if abortion had been illegal? >> yes, after having my daughter i had an iud placed in that i.d. ruptured through my uterus. it's a very rare instance that required me scheduled for a lab purse copy and a dnc to have it removed. the impact is that i could have died if i had not been able to have the procedure to have that removed. we're already hearing -- >> the gentle lady's time is
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expired, very moving though. the gentleman from georgia, mr. clyde, you're now recognized for five minutes. >> thank, you madam chair. as we all, know we are here today because of the lifesaving decision that the supreme court made on june 22nd, in the dobbs versus jackson women's health care organization case. this historic decision simply restored the rights of voters in each state to allow voting citizens to have a say in protecting life. i'd like to ask unanimous consent to submit, for the record, this article that states that 71% of americans support limits on abortion. it is a fox news article, dated january 20th, 2022. >> without objection. >> thank you. the impact of the supreme court decision in dobbs will now let the american people decide on the issue of abortion. american voters are able to elect representatives that they believe best represent their beliefs and i believe they will do exactly that. but democrats have brought us
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here today to talk about the impact of the dobbs decision. but the impact is exactly what i just said. so, we should do away with this hearing and change the focus to think the citizens really care about. like rising, inflation rising crime and open borders that are putting the safety and security of our families at risk. all around the country and in every state. let me remind you, again, the impact of jobs. it allows american voters to have a say on abortion, that's all it does. that's why democrats are terrified and that is why we are here today. which leads me to my first question. miss hawley, democrats seem to think it is a bad thing to let american voters have to say on abortion as opposed to having the courts say it. americans wanted to legalize abortion, wouldn't they simply vote for a majority of candidates and office that would do that? is it a bad thing to return it to the states? it's not a federal issue, right?
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>> well, i think we can see the extremists of the democratic pro abortion positions when we look at the women's health protection act. if we look at that act, it permits abortion up until the moment of birth for any reason. this is a more extreme policy that all by seven countries in the world, including china and north korea, countries that have horrendous human rights records yeah -- in addition, it allows abortions for any reason including sex, race. it supersedes every state law. so, comments has provisions that might require parental notification or that might say there is a safety and health regulations that apply to abortions, those two are gone under this nationally mandated abortion on demand through all nine months of pregnancy bill. >> thank you. so, i think it's much better it goes back to the states, for the people to decide.
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musgraves, you are the president and ceo of the national women's law center. is the word abortion -- i mean, you're a lawyer, obviously. probably a very good one. >> i hope. so >> i would hope so too. is the word abortion anywhere in the constitution? >> well, there is lots of where that are actually in the constitution. >> i just asked a question, i just need a yes or no answer please. if the word abortion anywhere in the constitution? >> the word abortion is not in the constitution. >> it is not, thank you very much. okay, earlier this year our newest supreme court justice, ketanji brown jackson, was asked what a woman is and she had a difficult time defining that. so here the president of the national women's law center, i was hoping that you can define when a woman is for us in this committee hearing. >> well, as the president of the national women's law center you can imagine i say woman a lot in my day job. >> okay, understaffing for the definition. >> so, what i'll tell you is i
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am a woman, that's how i identify. but i wonder, however, if, in part, the reason you're asking the question is you're trying to suggest that people who don't identify as women can't be pregnant. and so, i think it's actually really important to be very clear here that there are people who identify as non binary, i think about 5% of young people do. >> i was hoping that you would maybe say something that maybe we learned in high school biology that has to do with x and y chromosomes. which define male and female. but i guess we're not going to get there. >> i don't think that's the legal question. i'm a lawyer, maybe a good one. >> i saw that in her annual report you previously received money from groups like planned parenthood action fund. are you still receiving funding from planned parenthood action fund or any other planned parenthood affiliate? >> well, i certainly support the leadership and work of planned parenthood, the work
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they're doing right now is hero work. we don't have any grant from them. >> are you receiving any money from them or not? >> we don't have grants from planned parenthood. but i support the work they do, the work they do around this country every day. >> out of, chair i would has to submit for the record with unanimous consent the report that indicates a contribution from planned parenthood action fund. >> without objection, the gentleman's time has expired. >> the gentlewoman from illinois, miss kelly, is now recognized. >> thank, you madam chair. even before the dobbs ruling, the united states was -- with the highest maternal mortality rate that -- equally felt. more than -- >> we're having trouble with the connection, representative. >> now we can hear you better,
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okay. >> as we know, black women are 3 to 4 times more likely than white women to experience fatal pregnancy complications. miss goss graves, can you speak to why black women are more likely to die during pregnancy and how will dobbs make this even worse? >> well, so, one of the reasons the maternal mortality rate is higher for black women is that they have less access to health care, more broadly. they're less likely to have access to insurance. but one of the other things that we know is that the discrimination and bias that they receive in health care makes the pregnancies that black women have even more serious. so, when they raised about their health, they're not always taken as seriously. and i commend the work this congress has done to try to deal with the maternal mortality crisis in this country. i have such deep, deep worries
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that we will be accelerating on the wrong track, especially in states that have ran to ban abortion, living people with options to decide whether they want to have children themselves. >> and we should be especially alarmed and concerned that the states with the highest rates of maternal mortality, is your related to, have also banned or are about to ban abortion. more women will die as a result. representative shannon, georgia has one of the worst maternal mortality crises in the country. at the anti choice politicians who advocate for forced pregnancy taking steps to -- maternal mortality crisis in your state? >> could you repeat the question, it cut out. >> i'm sorry, the anti choice politicians who advocate for forced pregnancy, are they
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taking any steps to address the maternal mortality crisis in your state? >> you know, some of these folks once pressured were told they are not living their values and want to ensure that everyone access to health care. which is what they claim. they did support the left hurt that i lead to expand postpartum medicaid. but one thing i'd like to correct on the record, because i've heard this many times, the disinformation of how the united states is radical compared to other countries. most countries don't legislate abortion. they don't. you know why? because they know that abortion is health care. so, this is not even something that's legislated in most countries. so, that's why you don't see that this is something else regularly talked about. because they know that this is not a political issue. and it was not a political issue until the 19 80s, when republicans used it to coalesce their base. so, all the talk about how radical the u.s. was in protecting abortion rights is just completely false. >> thank you for clearing that up. maternal mortality rates of black women increased during
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the pandemic. and i am alarmed and enraged -- making that disparity worse. mortality is a public health crisis and we need to address it -- forcing -- carry. i just want to say that my constituents and others in illinois care about this issue. they care about inflation, but they care -- that their rights and their privacy. i yield back. >> gentlelady outback. the gentleman from south carolina, mr. norman, is recognized for five minutes. >> thank, you madam chair. you, know i find it amazing that the statement abortion's health care. that's totally unbelievable, that you are uttering abortion's health care. is it health care for the child? is it health care for that person? to make that statement is
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completely -- it baffles me. let me ask the three of you, i think i know miss hawley position. starting with miss lopez, i assume we agree with infanticide, the killing of a perfectly healthy child at birth? >> i don't think that the basis of that question, but i do believe abortion is health care. >> i'm talking about -- i get that. but do you agree, do you support infanticide? killing a child after he's born? >> i do not agree with the basis of that question. but i do believe that abortion is health care. >> okay, i'll take that as a, as you do agree with infanticide. miss shannon, do you agree with infanticide? >> i think you're using inflammatory language to basically describe a situation that does not happen. we don't have infanticide happening, doctors would not do that and either with folks who have carried pregnancies. >> do you agree, if a healthy child is born that it is that woman's right to decide if it lives or dies? >> when i think, is based on
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your question, you have a very low vinnie to pregnant people. excuse me. i'm answering it. you want to keep talking over witnesses. when i'm telling you is, nobody would carry a pregnancy and then decide on a monday, because they are bored, that they want to have an abortion. that is ridiculous. and it is inflammatory, what you're saying, you're talking about families or in tough situations. where folks have been excited by carey pregnancy. most of the abortions that happen, later in pregnancy, are really tragedies. where it's really a disappointment for everyone involved. >> but you agree, i take it with all those words, you do agree with, basically, murdering a child after they're born? musgraves, could you answer that, yes or no? >> i have to say, congressman, how you just characterized the representative statement is extremely inflammatory and the type of thing that is dangerous.
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you guys have been talking today about the threats against crisis pregnancy centers, which i assume are serious and are terrible. the threats that people who work on abortion access take every single day and part of it is because of this sort of inflammatory, and outrageous language. it is not okay. >> gentleman's time -- is reclaiming his time. >> i'll say, because it's inflammatory when she says health care, abortion is health care. >> health care actually is abortion. >> i'm reclaiming my time. this being said, to the three of y'all favorite doing away with the laws on the books of a mothers carrying a child and his shot? is that homicide or should that be abolished to? >> i don't even, but law? >> homicide? >> if a mother is carrying a child and gets murdered, they're charged now in most every state that i know of
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double homicide. they kill the mother and they killed the child. is that right? do you favor that erdogan to abolish that? >> well, i'll go first, i'm glad you brought it up. >> i'm asking miss graves first. >> i have no idea. i am a lawyer, i used to think i was a good one. i have no idea what law you are talking about. >> do you understand that if a mother is carrying a child and gets shot, it happened in charlotte, north carolina, where a mother was carrying a child. when she was killed, she was charged with double homicide, killing two people. should that be abolished or not? >> one of the most dangerous times is being pregnant and that is in part because of the sort of violence that pregnant people sometimes experience. >> -- the dobbs decision was the greatest fish in the supreme court made. federalism versus states rights.
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the untruth you're putting out, they're the left is putting out there about doing away with abortion, the states decide it. -- state abortions would not allow a physician to care for a woman if it poses a serious threat to her life, totally false. state abortion restrictions mean a woman with an ectopic pregnancy must choose between jail or death. that is totally absurd. the supreme court got it right, i hope each state will ban abortions, infanticide, which the three of you are in agreement with the. >> i object with that, i am not in agreement with infanticide. i'm sorry but this is dangerous. >> the gentleman's time has expired. the gentlelady from michigan, miss lawrence, is recognized for five minutes. >> thank, you madam chair. i find it ironic that my colleagues on the other side keep talking about and giving the states a right to choose
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about abortion but you want to take the right to choose away from a woman. who is carrying that child, who has all of the responsibilities, health care and all of that. i find that ironic, that choice only works for you in certain scenarios. i will continue my comments that, when you talk about the fact of health care, obviously, you're a man, you are either totally close clueless or you don't give a darn. when a woman is pregnant, that is a unique health situation that requires interventions, it requires special treatments. that is why doctors, obviously, specialize in care for pregnant women. it is a health care issue. my question goes to senator mcmorrow. we know that state officials, as we keep hearing about the choice, the choice, going to the states.
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like yourself. a majority of people in states like michigan push back against the effort to take our constituents back in time. my question is, what are we doing and what can states do? because this conversation about just the mere fact that having the ability to have health care during a pregnancy, to make a choice, is not health care shows that we are dealing with a population that we cannot educate. please comment on that. >> thank you, congresswoman. first of, all i am so grateful to hear from my republican federal colleagues that they planned to pass legislation prohibiting partisan gerrymandering. because, if we are returning this issue to the states and state legislatures, we must ensure that people have a fair right to elect their choice of elected officials that represent their values. because right now, in michigan, and courts have ruled as such, that is not the case.
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we are one of the most badly gerrymandered states in the country and all you have to look at is the effort behind the ballot initiative, the number of people volunteers who have stood up, collected signatures to challenge the vocal, extreme minority that are passing legislation against the will of the majority. so, we need the federal government, our colleagues in congress, to ensure that, on the local level, every single voter is able to elect their candidate of choice that aligns with their values. >> thank you. i want to ask a similar question to representative shannon. i understand that georgia previously passed a six-week abortion ban. now, what steps are officials in your state taking to help ensure that georgian residents are able to access abortion care if the six-week ban goes into effect? >> so, da's across the state
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are saying that they will not use funds nor prosecute folks for getting access to health, care which is abortion. local municipalities are also saying that they will not allow funds to be used to detract folks are stopping anyone from getting access to care. >> thank you. i want to use the remainder of my time, as a woman, when i gave birth to my second child, from my second pregnancy, i began hemorrhaging and i remember all of the doctors and nurses running in. because my life is in danger. you know what my doctor, who is trained in pregnancy and care for pregnant women did? he told me i should not have another child, because my risk level of a pregnancy would be very, very destructive on my body. my husband and i, i was a married woman, and to say i
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should not have another child, that left me with two, beautiful healthy children from two pregnancies. but i was told from a battle professional, do not have any more children, brenda, we almost lost you today. so, for the ignorance and a lack of compassion for women who have the amazing opportunity to give birth, to say that abortion is not a part of health care. because, as a married woman, if, for some chance, i became pregnant again, would be my options? my husband would have to say, let's start planning your funeral. i yield back and i wish to god that, when we get in our arrogant position of dictating through government, that we have respect for women and the respect for our ability to make choices on our lives. thank you. >> the gentlelady's time is
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expired. the gentlewoman from south carolina, miss mace, is recognized. >> thank you, madam chair. i want to thank everyone for their time, being here today. i am from south carolina, that recently implemented a fetal heart beat bill that had exceptions for rape, incest and life of the mother because i put them in there. one of the few states in the nation that has a fetal heartbeat bill, with a few exceptions, because i tell my story first being raped when we are debating the issue just a few years ago. i hope that the state of south carolina, the legislature and governor keep those provisions in their. also, do not legislate whether women can go to other states or other locations if they so choose, from the state of south carolina. but in all honesty, i'm a constitutional conservative, i take the constitution in my oath of office very seriously. even justice ruth bader ginsburg talked about and discussed the concerns she had,
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from a constitutional perspective, on roe v. wade for decades. even joe biden, 40 plus years ago, was talking about overturning roe v. wade. there are a number of folks, it was under president obama, when he had a super majority in the house, the senate and had the white house. he said that they would codify roe v. wade and then chose not to, because the left had used it as a fundraising juggernaut for decades rather than taking the issue seriously. now, we have supreme court justices, we have protests and riots in folks that are showing up armed on the lines of our supreme court justices. whether your left or right, it is the third branch of government and we should not be encouraging these kinds of activities. the united states, i don't want to forget, it's a statement out the core side of the true laboratories of democracy. and leaders at the federal, state and local level are elected to represent the people in their states. what roe does is it necessarily with the media center even some of my colleagues have said on
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the overturning of roe v. wade. it is not going to eliminate windows care for ectopic pregnancies, as i have heard. i had a miscarriage when i was first having my children, it is not going to eliminate health care for women who have ectopic pregnancies or who have miscarriages. and i don't know of one state, if you can mention one, stay that's going to eliminate health care for women whose lives are in danger. one state, does anyone have one state that is trying to say that we are not going to allow any health care for a woman whose life is in danger? is there one state that is making that a law? go for, it missed shannon. >> i'd like to weigh in on that. and it's going to tell you what providers told me. when this issue came up in georgia, providers told me that they were worried, even when you make an exception for the life of the pregnant person, that they would be -- >> pregnant mother. >> the pregnant person.
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that they would be challenged as to when it's appropriate to make a decision for abortion. this put fear in doctor. is a tell you that, as you live in south carolina, i don't know your provider situation looks like. but we already have a shortage of specialist in georgia. over half of georgia's counties do not have access to an ob/gyn. we can't afford to lose doctors because they feel like they are going to be criminalized or sued, civilly, because they -- >> will therein lies the debate, you bring up a great point. there lies the debate as to why it's so many women don't have access to birth, the children of access to medical care or health care, don't have access to understand if they want to keep the, child had to put it up to adoption. why are so many women having abortions when they don't have access to care? that's really the debate i feel, where it should be like. i'd be remiss today if i did mention that some of our most important constitutional decisions have overruled other, prior precedents. so there's been some mentioned by folks across the aisle that the supreme court is not legitimate. i want to mention a few here.
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and brown versus board of education three for seven u.s. 3:43 in 1954, the court court repudiated the separate but equal doctrine that allowed states to maintain racially segregated schools and other facilities. by happenstance, earlier this, week i visited the federal courthouse in downtown charleston, where in 1950 thurgood marshall brought briggs versus elliott. arguing about school segregation in south carolina was unconstitutional. this was the first case, nationwide, to challenge school segregation is a violation of the u.s. constitution. that case would eventually become brown versus board. the court found then, as i found, now about roe v. wade, it was right unconstitutional to overturn that particular precedent. i appreciate, madam chair, for the time today and i yield back. >> the gentlelady yields. the chair now recognizes the distinguished men from vermont, mr. welch, for five minutes. >> i thank the witnesses and i think the chair and my colleagues. in vermont, we have a
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constitutional amendment that we will be voting on that wood in trying the right of a woman to make her decision about reproductive choice. we have passed a law find a republican governor that would protect a woman's right to make that decision. now, i want to say two things. number one. i'm not aware of our u.s. supreme court ever passing a law where making a decision that took away a right that had existed. in this case, reproductive freedom under roe for 50 years. i am aware of the court making decisions, as they didn't brown v. board of education, to expand rights that are in the spirit of the constitution. and equality, under the law. which has been the aspirational
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goal of our constitution and our declaration. but it's always been about reaching beyond where we wear, as opposed to taking back what had been acknowledged. second. when i returned to burlington, vermont on the day of the court decision, there were demonstrations across vermont. there have been other times when i have appeared at demonstrations, when an action taken by a branch of government was very upsetting to people in vermont. oftentimes, i've experienced peoples anger at the actions that were taken. but this one was different. it was fear. it was fear. and it was fear about what this meant for a woman's right to make her decision about her own reproductive choices.
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it was also fear about the erosion of privacy and what the implications were for contraception, same-sex marriage and a whole range of cases that have essentially respected the individuals right and the sanctity of his or her privacy protection. and that awaits us. the second point is that you know abortion is a very, very important topic for everyone, with our witnesses, there is some disagreement there. he's a passionately held position. but what we've had since roe was an opportunity for people to make their own decisions. and not impose their decision on someone whose decision was different. and what i've seen since the dobbs decision is, in our
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divided society, and escalation in the division that is, really, very dangerous for our country, because you're seeing legislatures now pass was that take away a right that is animated by people who not only have made a decision that they never want to have an abortion but then want, through politics, to impose that decision that is theirs unto others. i think we should all be concerned about that division. i am hearing from medical practitioners and immense amount of apprehension that there will be second guessed. miss hawley, i'll ask you, you're asked whether a woman should ever be prosecuted and of course you answered no, i really appreciate that. do you think a doctor who performed an abortion, based on
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her medical judgment that that was necessary to protect the health of the woman, should ever be prosecuted? >> absolutely not. i think there's two issues here. women should never be prosecuted for having an abortion women are so often harmed by abortion. they suffer emotional, physical consequences. and many, well, every state allows for emergency exception to save the life of the mother. mississippi allows that in the physicians best judgment. >> thank you. miss graves, professor graves, you had mentioned that the court had never taken away a right. could you just elaborate a little bit on that in my remaining time? >> this is the first time in our history where we have had a court take away and individual right. and i think that's exactly why we are seeing this level of legal chaos. we have shaped our other laws in systems around the idea that abortion was illegal in this
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country. so, what that means is that the personal freedom people had to make those decisions, to plan a determine whether they have a child, are no longer guaranteed to be there's. the fundamental floors are not state-by-state ideas. we are one nation with one constitution, with a fundamental floor. >> the gentleman's time has expired. >> thank you very much, i yield back. >> the gentleman from kentucky, mr. comer, his recognized. >> thank, you madam chair. miss hawley, there were no women on the supreme court when roe was decided. one woman when casey was decided in three women went to hobbes was decided. additionally, there are 2295 women in state legislatures today across the country. women are more represented in government today than at any time in our history. members of state legislatures are voted and office by their constituents, to represent their constituents.
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is that correct? >> that is correct. >> supreme court justices are expected to judge the law, not public opinion. correct? >> absolutely. >> so, would you agree that state legislatures are the best equipped to regulate abortion based on the beliefs and opinions of their constituents. >> so, the dobbs decision says that, because abortion is nowhere within the constitutional tech structure or our nation's history, then the people in their elected representatives are allowed to make that choice. >> some websites such as need abortion dot org are cautioning women to avoid crisis pregnancy centers, telling them that they are unregulated and unlicensed. this hawley, our pregnancy centers regulated and unlicensed? >> absolutely not. and that makes me sad that were steering away people from places that would help them. >> to that gives apart services to women? >> absolutely not. we heard testimony yesterday the senate hearing that san francisco's planned parenthood her furs refers to the
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pregnancy care center for others or services aside from abortion. >> i agree with that. with your assessment on the pregnancy centers. did you elaborate, what services do pregnancy crisis centers offered to women and babies after the birth of the child? >> absolutely. so, pregnancy care center strive to come alongside a woman as she's pregnant and beyond. they provide diapers and formula, those sorts of things after birth. they provide educational training. sometimes we'll have great fatherhood initiatives. we haven't talked much about that, but abortion has made pride at the end childhood a woman's issue. we need the fathers to step up as well. they continue a job training services, and times to help with housing in those sorts of things. often, these workers become lifelong friends and mentors, they have the pictures of these children up on their refrigerator. it can be a great relationship. >> that's been what i've gathered, we have several really impressive crisis
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pregnancy centers and kentucky. and in my congressional district, especially in henderson, kentucky. they do magnificent work, i appreciate everything they do. let me ask you my last question, miss hawley. radical groups like jeans revenge and ruth centers have taken credit for vandalizing church and pregnancy crisis centers across the nation. the group has also tweeted locations of where supreme court justices reside, where they're having dinner. a protested outside of justices homes and even disrupted church services. in closing, can you tell us what impact this political violence has on the function of our nations institutions and on our rule of law? >> well, i think intimidation and political violence is intended to disrupt the rule of law. we see this with the attacks on pregnancy care centers, with
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the threats on justice's lives, on their families. the name ruth is so ironic because justice ruth bader ginsburg was herself a critic of roe v. wade, for the reason she said it was a heavy-handed judicial intervention that was unnecessary and short-circuited the democratic process. in addition, she and justice scalia were famously good friends. there is a great picture of them riding an elephant together. they demonstrate for us that is possible to disagree and yet be civil. >> i think that's a great example, i think i've seen pictures of them playing cards together many times. so, i appreciate you being, here appreciate all or witnesses being here. madam chair, i yield back. >> the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from massachusetts, mr. lynch is recognized. >> thank you, madam chair. i want to thank you and representative color for holding this important hearing. as one of thinker distinguished panel of witnesses for your willingness to appear in person
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and also for willing to testify remotely and help the committee with its work. as a lawmaker, i'd like to turn to explore the wider legal framework ramifications that this decision didn't dobbs versus jackson's woman's health and the broader impact on the right to privacy. so court had previously held was supported by the u.s. constitution in roe v. wade. since it was decided in 1973, roe v. wade has been cited in more than 4000, 500 cases. including more than 300 supreme court cases, more than 2600 lower federal court cases a nearly 2000 state court cases. for nearly 50 years, row and it's prodigy have stood as the law of the land, reflecting a delicately determined a legal balance between the fundamental right of a woman to make a
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decision a better reproductive health, free from unnecessary governmental interference, and illegitimate interests of the state. but, importantly, roe also affirmed and underpinned and solidified the individual right to privacy of every american. as derived from the due process clause of the 14th amendment. according to the court, this constitutional guarantee of personal privacy includes, and i quote, only personal rights that could be deemed fundamental are in place in the concept of ordered liberty, close quote. it also extends to activities related to marriage, procreation, contraception, family relationships and child rearing and education. in overruling roe and disregarding five decades of carefully deliberated precedent, justice alito's majority opinion asserts, nonetheless, that nothing in this opinion should be understood to cast doubt on other presidents that
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do not concern abortion. but, given the indispensable role of roe and it's lined her rights of privacy for a mark, i'm not so sure about that. miss goss graves, justice alito's majority opinion takes great pains to distinguish the right to abortion from other privacy-related rights. in stark contrast, the national women's law center, your institution, has warned that dobbs, quote, lays out a roadmap for eviscerate-ing other important rights. i'd like you to talk about that, about the wider impacts that this decision impacts -- it was wider, writes those privacy rights. >> our first major concern is that it up and the idea of the right to privacy, as you named. the right to privacy had been articulated before roe and has been built upon following row.
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but you're talking about contraception or intimate relationships or same sex marriage, more recently. but the other thing that is deeply concerning about justice alito's opinion is he, basically, says that, if it was not a right that with well grounded in our nation's history at the time of the 14th amendment, it's not one that should be afforded respect. well, women at the time of the 14th amendment could not practiced law, could not have lines of credit, couldn't own property separate from their husbands. you know? so, if we have to go back to the race that women had in terms of controlling our lives and feature and destiny, we are all in trouble at that time. and then, the last thing i will just say is that totally missing from a lot of the conversation today but certainly justice alito's opinion is the right to control your own body and make decisions about your own body. that is not a small idea. it is a giant idea.
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it is not a small idea to just stay pregnant or be forced to give birth, that is a traumatic idea for people in this country. >> yeah, one would think that, if there is a right to privacy -- and also, justice alito and his opinion on page nine says that abortion was not recognized in the constitution. but he adds, neither was privacy. it just causes me to wonder that if the relationship between a woman and her doctor about her house, if that is not within the right to privacy, i'm not track imagine anything that is. and that causes me great concern as well. well, my time has expired. i want to thank you all for your attendance here and your willingness to help the committee with its work. thank you, i yield back. >> the gentleman from ohio, miss brown, is now recognized for questions.
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>> thank, you chairwoman maloney and ranking member coleman for holding this hearing. it is important to acknowledge that abortion bans and restrictions do not affect all people equally. miss graves, can you explain how abortion bans and restrictions impact women of color in particular? >> so, women of color disproportionately residing in the states that are banning abortions, so that's the first thing to think about. but even if you go beyond their, right now you are going to have some two different situations. it is either that people are going to be able to get access to medication abortion, or they are going to be able to travel. each of those things put additional hurdles that are going to come down on people very, very differently. it's not a small idea to just pick up and travel to get your own health care. which requires you to take time off, which women of color are less likely to have. it might require you to arrange child care for the children you
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already have, but the last point is we should not be confused about the criminal penalties that are going to come to not just providers, but two people who are seeking care and anyone who helps them. the states around the country are not saying the things that i've heard today in this hearing room about how there won't be any criminal punishment. they are saying the exact opposite and passing laws with many, many years of criminal punishment attachment. >> thank you. as you explained when we discuss the health impacts of abortion restrictions, we must also address the structural racism faced by people with of color in our medical system. across the united states, communities of color experience systemic health disparities including higher rates of an insurance and stigma, maternal health outcomes are also directly correlated with race. as we've heard a number of times in this hearing, black women are greeted four times more likely to die in childbirth then --
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if you are in mississippi, that's exponentially higher. miss but goss graves, how through laws that force people to continue their pregnancies present unique health threats to people of color? >> well, you have to start with the fact that as you named, the access that people of color have to health care just full stop. right now, health care is not readily available in every community. people are not always covered in terms of insurance. not every state has expanded medicaid to meet the needs of the lowest income folks, so we already are in a situation where health care access is worse. and so, if you are choosing, if you don't have an ability to decide whether or not you can terminate a pregnancy on your own terms, what we know from this study is that it is likely to have a worse health and potentially life outcomes for that person. that's going to disproportionately affects
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people of color who already have less access to health care. >> and i think it's also important to note that many minimum wage workers are women and especially specifically women of color. -- this committee has taken on as it is working to address for people with less income, the cost associated with abortion care, which you touched on, includes the costs of the procedure itself, transportation costs, childcare, and taking care days off from work. those already -- state restrictions that forced pregnant people to travel long distances to see a provider make abortion care even more unaffordable. representative shannon, how would the ripple effect of abortions ban on access to other reproductive health services, particularly impact people of color? >> well, as i mentioned before in my initial testimony, outline abortion would basically amount to folks who have resources would be able to get access to care, which we know that black and brown folks
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are disproportionately represented in the number of folks who make minimum wage throughout the country. so it's going to boil down to, do you have financial resources? do you have childcare? do you have the wherewithal to be able to travel to another state to get care? potentially have to stay, you know, for a period of time. and so, all these things are things that folks of color would be less likely to be able to access. >> thank you. so, i think it's pretty clear people of color already face racial and ethnic disparities related to other health outcomes, from diabetes to cardiovascular disease and breast cancer. draconian abortion bans and restrictions that forced people to remain pregnant further entrenched the health disparities faced by communities of color. so, it is my feeling, it is our moral obligation to do whatever we can to lift up historically marginalized communities that look like me and this includes protecting and expanding abortion access. so with that, every person
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deserves an opportunity to make their own decisions about their body and their future. with that, i yield back. >> yields back. the gentleman for virginia, mr. conley, is recognized. >> i think the chair and i thank you so much for holding this hearing. i welcome our panel. professor goodman, you there? all right, mitt goss graves, do you remember your constitutional history? so, miss hawley tells us citing justice alito, there is no provision in the constitution that says there's a right to an abortion. show me in the constitution where the founders in writing the constitution granted the right to the supreme court to review and nullify legislation passed by that congress or in the other legislative body in america. does that language exist in the constitution? >> that's not how our constitution -- >> no, it does not exist at
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all. so what by mr. alito and mr. hawley's logic, this opinion is questionable. based on the constitution. in fact, do you remember when the first time the right to review legislation or the legislative actions of a legislative body was ever asserted by the supreme court? 1804, marjory v. madison and it was made up by john marshall. made up on the -- he said it was an implied power. no, ma'am, do you remember the first time in fact the use that power they asserted in 1804? because i think it is relevant. dred scott, 1857. that is the first time in american history the supreme court overruled, nullified legislation passed by the congress of the united states. how did that work out for us? it led directly to the civil war, directly because it overturned the compromise of
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1850 and it asserted that no black man or woman, freed or otherwise, had the same rights as a white person. they could never be a full citizen of the united states. a wretched and reprehensible decision, and the court sadly, along with brown v. board of education, which was a good decision, has a long history, plessy v. ferguson, -- lots of other decisions that tragically discriminated in some cases almost violently against groups of americans. now in this case, it's half the population. and despite what miss hawley said, ruth bader ginsburg, miss hawley such he questioned roe v. wade. she did, but she questioned the basis of it. she thought viability was an inferior argument compared to equality. equality. that men and women had the same control of their own body and
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should. and oh, by the way, for the record, it may be true that ruth bader ginsburg played cards with, dined with, and went to the opera with anthony scalia, but she got up in the morning and voted against him in every single case involving the rights of women to have choice. as she upheld roe v. wade during the entirety of her time in the supreme court. is that correct, miss graves? >> that is absolutely correct. >> so what about this equality thing? so, do men have restrictions? as the supreme court said, man, here are some limitations on what control you have over your own body. any of them? i can't recall. >> i don't know of any. >> you don't know of any. so, let's just for the sake of argument say there are none. with respect to women, with this decision, it's a pretty fundamental restriction on their bodies and what they can do with them. is that correct? >> for sure. >> now, we've heard a lot of interesting talk about states rights and when life begins,
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and so forth, and so on. is it possible, now that we are going to revert to pre roe and the chaos that rained, by the, way that led to miss blackmon, a republican appointment conservative justice decided we had to have a universal standard and a basic standard that was a right. in 1973. is it now possible that women could be criminalized and or medical providers criminalized by some states, maybe even miss hawley's on state of missouri? >> we've already had women who have been investigated and charged for their own miscarriages. and so, -- >> i'm sorry, did you say miscarriage? somebody could be charged with a crime for a miscarriage? >> well, that has already happened, right? so, we have already had that happen. the way that these laws are written in the states that have rapidly passed them, they would
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open up individuals providers and others who helped them seek abortion care to criminal and civil penalties. >> astounding. i yield back. >> well, the gentleman from florida, mr. donald, is recognized for five minutes. is he here? on the screen, okay. mr. donaldson. we can't hear you. you've got to unmute. can't hear you. can't hear you. [noise] >> thank, you madam chair. my apologies for the technical difficulties. my question is actually quite simple. in fact, it's not really a question. miss hawley, of easily
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considering -- as much time as you need, for 4 to 6 seconds, whatever you choose to use to respond to some of the previous testimony in this hearing. >> thank you, congressman. a few points. the dobbs decision was a decision of judicial humidity. it's a humble decision to realize that the supreme court aired in 1973 when it invented out of whole cloth right to an abortion. justice alito's opinion is meticulous. it explores every right that has been suggested, including the equal protection right suggested by justice ginsburg. there are literally law review articles, law review books devoted to saying what roe should have said. and no one has been able to come up with an answer that satisfactory because there simply is no right to an abortion in the united states constitution. and when the constitution says nothing about abortion, as justice alito said, then that is an issue for the democratic
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process. it's an issue for the states, and for the people. in addition, this is something that protects us as american people. we don't want a system of government in which five justices who are an elected, however well meaning they may be, are able to make up things out of whole cloth, out of the constitution. and in the last thing i would like to say is that there is no state law in the country, none, zero, that criminalizes women for having an abortion. we realize that this is a tough spot that a lot of women may be in. we want to come alongside them and support them, and zero states criminalize the women for that decision. in addition, zero states criminalize a physician who in his or her determination believes that a woman needs an abortion in order to have life. >> thank you for that response. quick question, miss biggs.
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you mentioned briefly that there was an example of someone who is charged, or potentially was charged over a miscarriage. what are the specifics around that example that you cited? >> well, you may have seen recently in california and local prosecutors had filed charges against women who were investigated for their miscarriages. you know, this is even before the fall of roe and the dobbs decision. the thing is, you know, in this hearing room, there has been -- with medical terms. >> just a point of clarity. so, the example of -- >> so, there have been over 1000 people who have been charged. >> before the dobbs decision? >> even before the dobbs decision, the question of miscarriage and the
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investigation into miscarriage is a thing that women and anyone who's pregnant would have to deal with. there have been over 1000 people who have been criminally investigated for their pregnancy outcomes. the thing that i think is important for people to understand here is that the medical procedure of abortion applies to multiple types of situations. i'm not sure why in this room people are suggesting that abortion isn't health care. it is. abortion's health care, it's on the range of reproductive health care that people receive in this country. the only question is, will it continue to be safe and effective? and will we be investigated and criminalized for it? either patients or their providers to provide that care. and the laws that -- >> miss graves, is there a state in the country right now that is seeking to criminalize,
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from having legislation raised to criminalize people who seek an abortion? women who seek an abortion? >> so, people will also be self managing their own abortions. and they will fall under the statutes which can provide penalties. >> is there a state in the union that is drafting legislation -- >> there are states in the union that already have this legislation, that is already been triggered into effect right now. >> -- >> i may be misunderstanding the point. some people will travel to other providers as how people will self manage their own care. each of those people and that people who help them will find themselves in a web of criminal and civil penalties for doing what was perfectly legal. for five decades. >> if i may -- >> the gentleman's time is expired. okay, the gentleman from georgia, mr. johnson, is now
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recognized. >> thank, you madam chair. make no mistake about it, this is not about states rights. the dobbs decision is not about states rights. it is about taking away peoples reproductive freedom. while, at the same time, denying poor women access to health care. representative shannon, what have you seen on the ground across georgia, with respect to the availability of and accessibility to providers who can prescribe family planning services such as birth control and long acting contraceptives? and how will an abortion ban on georgia affect the availability of the services? >> thank you for the question. as i mentioned before in the testimony, and i know you know that, is because you represent georgia, that most of the resources are located at the metro area.
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the atlanta area, which gets most of the attention in the country. people think that that is what georgia is all about, and it's not. most of the state does not have access to health care and so that's an issue when you're thinking about having access to family planning. family planning tools. but also let me state this. contraception is not the same as abortion, contraception is used to prevent a pregnancy and abortion is used to terminate a pregnancy. so, we can't pretend that, if we just make sure that birth control is over the counter and free, we will not have a need for an abortion. the to-do two totally different things. but they did for the question. >> but it's a data fact that dispensers of contraceptives also provide abortion services? so, without the availability of abortion services, you're going to be even more constrained in the ability to get access to
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contraceptives? >> for some clinics, that is absolutely true. thank you for bringing that up. >> thank you. senator mcmorrow, what would be the impact of a ban on abortion in michigan? but when a ban on abortion in michigan, what impact would it have on the ability of michigan zero and poor women in particular to have access to nearby reproductive health services? >> that's a great question. right now, it's already a challenge. i mentioned in my opening testimony, there are only four providers in metro detroit, that's where the majority of the population lives, that could provide the care that my constituents needed. it is nearly impossible already to be able to find that emergency medical care in the state of michigan. that will only become worse if our 1931 law goes into effect it will be impossible for women and families and anybody who needs access to care to be able to find that near them.
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>> thank you. mrs. graves, in 2019, georgia's republican governor, brian kemp, signed a law effectively outlawing abortion after six weeks of pregnancy. a federal judge struck down the law last summer but, after the supreme court overturned roe, georgia's republican attorney general chris car has asked a federal appeals court to let that georgia law take effect. how will ending access to abortion in georgia impact the entire southeast, not just georgia? >> one of the challenges that we have is that we are all ready in a situation where most of the south has banned abortion. and so, people who are traveling are already having to travel hundreds if not thousands of miles to access care.
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that is mostly and disproportionately people of color, because people of color are more likely to live in the south. so, what is happening in georgia is not just a problem for georgia, it is a problem throughout that region. and also puts an additional strain on the places that have continued to provide the freedom to decide whether or not you are going to parent. so, places like maryland, places like d.c. that are now having a disproportionate amount of people who are coming to seek care here. >> thank you. admits graves, between 1998 in 2013, restrictions on abortion caused the national maternal mortality rate to increase by 136%. should we expect to see high increases like this in maternal mortality once again, now that roe v. wade has been overruled? >> i think that is where we are heading and we should all be
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worried about it. >> thank, you i yield back. >> the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from illinois, mr. davis, is now recognized. >> thank you, madam chairman. i also want to thank all of the witnesses who have been here for much of the day. for more than 40 years, the hyde amendment has restricted federal funds from being used to pay for abortion services. states can choose to allow their own medicaid funds to be used for abortion, but only 16 states currently do so. meaning that in 34 states in the district of columbia, people with medicaid coverage have to pay for their own abortion care. miss goss graves, how does having to pay for your own abortion care actually affect
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these women? >> well, prism people, it means they're not going to get care at all. because they can't afford it. now we're in a situation where on top of the actual medical services, we have to take into account the cost of travel, the cost of taking time off of work, the cost for supporting families who are involved with making this all possible. >> and so these states realize, then, the difficulty, the lack of funds, lack of resources and lack of services have denied, are in fact denying, their residents and their citizens a a basic health service. >> if you matchup the states
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that raced to ban abortion first, you find they're also the states, many of which have not expanded medicaid. they are also the states that do not have paid leave programs. this is not an agenda that is about supporting women or supporting families at all. >> representative shannon, what would it mean for the people in georgia to be able to use federal medicaid funds to pay for abortion services? >> did you ask me what would be the effect if they're able to use federal funds to pay for abortion services? >> yes. >> simply put, it would allow folks to have access to health care. as miss graves just mentioned, right now, most people, depending on the state you live in, if you cannot sell for cash
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pay for an abortion, you will not be receiving access to health care. which i would add, because we know abortion is health care, you're not able to get that initial abortion. forcing people to carry an unwanted pregnancy, regardless of the reasons they're going to have to continue, contributes to morbidity and also poor health outcomes. so, you're actually creating a larger medical bills down the road, potentially. >> yeah, i would think it would be like bringing light to darkness. i can recall living in rural america for the rea and, when things lit up, it was totally different. well, as we've heard hyde amendment is an unnecessary barrier to abortion care for people across the country. and repealing hide is a critical step in achieving economic and reproductive justice. i'm a proud original sponsor of
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representative -- each act, which would repeal this discriminatory policy. last year, the house passed the first spending package in more than 40 years that did not include the hyde amendment. of course, we compliment ourselves for that. and i would urge the senate to follow our example and repeal this outdated amendment once and for all. i thank you for your presence and your answers, i yield back, madam chairman. >> the gentleman yields back. the gentlelady from florida, this wasserman schultz, is recognized for five minutes. >> thank, you madam chair. i would thank all of you, again, for your testimony. i want to focus my line of questioning on so-called crisis pregnancy centers on the outsized role they may play as the dobbs decision pushes
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abortion care farther average for many people. for anyone unfamiliar with crisis pregnancy centers or ccpcs, their systems of fake health clinics that are heavily clustered in southern states. my question, miss goss graves, can you just explain what these fake health clinics are and how they promote an anti-abortion agenda? >> so, someone may show up at a crisis pregnancy center believing they are going to a place that can help facilitate access to abortion and be totally fooled. one of the reasons they've gotten the moniker of, sort of, fake clinics is that some of them have purported to actually provide health services that they do not provide. so, if you are someone who is trying to access abortion, you're on the clock. more so on states that have restricted abortion care earlier and earlier. so, one of the ways is by convincing people to, sort of, be with them and stay in their
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system. what ends up happening is people miss out on the care that they actually are seeking. i have to say, though, about these clinics, there is nothing that prevented them from providing the services that they provide consistent with roe being around. they didn't have to wait until dobbs struck down roe v. wade to provide access to diapers or whatever other small support they were providing for someone a pawn a transition into parenthood. that is true more broadly. we will now be facing a much more giant crisis, where accurate information is going to be so very critical. and so, i'm hoping that this body and others will look really clearly at what sort of information people are providing in the name of health care at this time, where there is so much deep confusion. >> thank you. i want to discuss the portion,
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because there is an estimated 2500 crisis pregnancy centers in the united states and they are number abortion providers by a ratio 3 to 1. my home state of florida at the second highest number in the country, just trailing texas at 150 cpc's, compared to just 65 abortion clinics. miss goss graves, florida remains, for now, one of the last safe havens for abortion access in the south. how do all of these cpc's in florida make it even harder to travel for abortion care? i know, during last year's committee hearing on texas's six weeks abortion ban, we heard a firsthand account from the woman who unknowingly walked into a crisis pregnancy center when she was seeking abortion care. >> what it means is there will be people traveling to florida to seek care who don't know florida as well. they may find themselves stumbling into a credit crisis pregnancy center when they've had to go to someone who could provide them with abortion services. and that would be unfortunate.
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again, we are on a clock here for someone to be forced to remain pregnant, given bad information about their own health, the state of their pregnancies floor about abortion services. what we need in this time of chaos is accurate, medically accurate and legally accurate information. that's why people need the most. that's exactly what i wanted to hit on. cpc has advertised those as legitimate health clinics, but staff often have no medical training and they make scientifically baseless claims to pregnant people to scare them out of getting an abortion. as representative shannon still with us? >> i am here. >> great. i want to ask you, is it possible that residents in states like yours, texas, who have to travel longer distances for abortion care are more likely to end up at a cpc closer to their home? >> absolutely and this is one of the reasons that i sponsored legislation my second year in office to get rid of our cpc program, because to your point,
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these are misleading centers. we are not using hyperbole here. and our enabling legislation in georgia, it literally said that the cpc program, which gives $2 million annually to cpc's, would only go to places that their stated purpose was to dissuade people from having abortions. so yes, cpc centers have gotten better overtime as far as providing some services, but it is still the case that they literally only exist just to talk people out of having abortions that they know they want to have. i had an abortion 20 years ago, actually lived in florida when that happened. it's a decision i don't regret. and i think it's really important that people know that they want to have an abortion, that they be, you know, able to get that care without being distracted and as miss graves mentioned before, basically running out the clock, which will make it difficult for them to get the care that they know that they already want. >> the gentlelady's time is expired. >> -- but antiabortion this from this information act that crackdown
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on false advertising related to abortion services. the last thing that pregnant people need now are additional forces actively trying to suppress the right to care. i yield back, mr. donald, on my time and. -- >> the gentleman from california, vice chair gomez, is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, madam chair. first, before i start on my more formal remarks, i want to kind of address. i was here for the opening statements by the ranking member and he made some comments that the democrats are trying to destroy democratic institutions. and that we don't respect the process. this is coming from the same side of the aisle where when it came to january 6th, that they did not speak up, they did not vote to impeach the former president, they have not held them accountable. they didn't even want to put anybody on the january 6th commission. this is the same group of folks that don't believe in the
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institution. they didn't believe in the peaceful transfer of power. even one person on the other side of the aisle on this committee said it was a normal tourist visit. as my colleagues and i were laying on the floor on the gallery with cops above us with guns drawn. we were sitting there. but no, they don't want to call out that violence. that almost overthrew our democracy and our country. they are okay with that. they even wanted to provide a different site of electors, but they are okay with that. so, i think it's very disingenuous when they say that we are the ones that don't respect our institutions. we respect our institutions. we also recognize that our institutions and the individuals that are placed there have a responsibility to live up to the constitution, not to their political party. they also make a claim that
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it's about life and freedom. well, these are the same folks that if you really kind of dig down, it's not about life or freedom, it is about control, right? if it were about life, they would take a look at a lot of their own states. what about their states? well, if you really look at it, the metro -- is highest in what top ten states? louisiana, georgia, indiana, jersey, arkansas, alabama, missouri, texas, south carolina, and arizona. we have one blue state out of ten. but then when they get a chance to support life of mothers, they always vote no. when they had a chance to increase the child tax credit that reduce poverty from 46% of this country, that brought kids out of poverty, they voted no. when it comes to paid family leave, they vote no. when it comes to expanding the aca, they vote no. and if you look at the same states, that are pulling back
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on abortion rights and the right to privacy, that's what it's really about, the right to control your own body, are the same 12 states, roughly, that are also refused to expand affordable care act, medicaid. so, it is for them, they are claiming it's about life. no, it's not about life. but it's about controlling women, lgbtq individuals, it's about controlling individuals that don't look like them, don't agree with them, and don't have the same values as them. that's what it is about. and when they say, we are using fear to mobilize the public, it's not fear, it is a fact. thomas in future cases, before the courts are reconsider -- basically dealing with contraception, same sex relationships, and same sex marriage. if they kept the majority in the house and the senate, they will pass laws that will outlaw
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abortion rights throughout this country. no doubt about it. it's not fear, it's fact. this is what we are dealing with. and the people that are most likely to suffer our black, brown, indigenous, lgbtq individuals, and undocumented individuals throughout the country. so, for the panel, what do you say when these my colleagues on the other side of the aisle claim that they are pro-life, to miss gross? >> you know, i think there are a lot of things you can do in support of life. the gun reforms that would actually make it safe for my children to be in school, that's in support of life. paid leave, doing things to
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increase the maternal outcomes, there is a long agenda. many of it was in build back better, which not many of the folks in -- supported. so, there are a lot of things that would be in support of the well-being and security of all people in this country that don't -- >> the gentleman's time is expired. >> madam chair, may i respond to what the gentleman just said about the opening remarks? >> we will give you time at the end. we are almost at the end. let's get through the panelists, the members that are still waiting all day to ask their questions. the gentleman from california, mr. dishonest, is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, madam chairwoman and thank you to the panel and everybody who's stuck with it. so, i will get right to the questions because i know we are anxious to wrap up this hearing. i want to talk about the
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disability community and how disproportionately they are affected. those impacted include a lot of people, like robin wilson beattie, who now lives in the bay area, from my district. made the difficult decision to terminate a pregnancy in 2007. had she not terminated her pregnancy complications would have been endangered her ability to care for her young son. the stigma and draconian laws that robin faced in georgia were traumatizing and efforts for anti abortion extremists will further harm people like robin. who face tough and deeply personal decisions about the reproductive health care. partly because many people live with disabilities rely on medicaid for their central health care needs. state and federal restrictions on medicaid coverage for abortion or particularly harmful to this community. miss mcmorrow, how can those of
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us working to expand access, health care access, ensure that people living with disabilities are not overlooked, as they currently fear there will be? >> thank you, congressman. i really appreciate the question because as i said in my opening remarks, it's really challenging for many people to get pregnant and to stay pregnant safely, that's especially true for those in the disability community. it ultimately comes down to this is a health care decision between an individual and a family, and their medical provider. every single situation is different. right now, the way that michigan's 1931 law is written in our attorney general has mentioned this, there is an exception for imminent danger of death to the mother, but that is not defined. so it goes back to that issue, is it 50%, is it 80%, is it 20%? it doesn't factor in mental health, it doesn't factor in -- putting at risk either the ability to conceive again or to care for existing family. so ultimately, i think all of us in the most compassionate
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way need to work as hard as possible to ensure that this care is safe and accessible, and it's a decision that medical providers can make without arbitrary hurdles with their patients. >> may i follow up with this population having been involved -- they had so many challenges. california, where i live, since pat brown was governor, really has been at the forefront of mainstream people with disabilities. but the impact, they are very sophisticated about dealing with the health care system, both medical and health and their families and support groups. this is just one more thing. could you respond to that? >> it is and it just comes down to, we've talked a lot about the constitution and everybody's constitutional right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. we have to consider the additional hurdles and challenges for those in the disability community and respond in kind by assuring that our laws do not add
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additional hurdles to ensure that everybody has that right to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. >> just a follow-up with both you and miss lopez on the pay of your health implications. for communities that are unique like the disabled community, people who are disproportionately lower income, people of color are living with stress and trauma. again, one more thing, but a significant life transforming event for multiple people in this decision process. so they can get the behavior health they need by being tugged by the rest of society in this political atmosphere. >> absolutely, it brings up a broader conversation of how do we expand access to health care and mental health care, and wraparound supports so that everybody has the fundamental right to decide if and when to become pregnant, knowing that that impacts the family as well. families take many different
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forms. >> miss luke, as you have any observations, comments? >> i'm just grateful to lift up the disability community, especially rural folks, lgbtq folks, and black and indigenous people of color. these are all the communities that are already disproportionately impacted by abortion bans and restrictions. and what i've seen in helping people over the year is that over the last few years as i've been working an abortion funds, is that people are so desperate. they will do anything they can to get this care, whether that's, you know, give up their rent money or, like, shuffle around to make sure they have childcare. these are things that are dire and they all play into if and when abortion is accessible. >> thank you so much. i yield back. >> gentleman's time is expired. the gentlewoman from massachusetts, miss pressley, is recognized for five minutes. >> thank, you madam chair. miss but hawley, please state for the record, one an ectopic pregnancy ruptures, what are the chances that it can be
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carried to term? >> my understanding is that when an ectopic pregnancy ruptures is a life-threatening condition. that is why the treatment for an ectopic pregnancy is not an abortion. >> i'm so sorry, i'm getting to the end of my time here, again, could you just answer the question. when an ectopic pregnancy ruptures, what are the chances that it can be safely carried to term? and, you know what? just to make this even clearer, i'm looking for a number between zero to 100. can you give me a percentage? >> sure, i believe zero ectopic pregnancies, even those that do not rupture, have a chance of successfully being carried to term. that's why the treatment for them is not an abortion. >> i'm coming to the end of my time. it seems that there is a deficit in your understanding of reproductive health. in fact, i want the record to reflect that according to the american college of obstetricians and gynecologists, treatment for ectopic pregnancies requires ending a
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non viable pregnancy. now, let's turn -- >> with respect, ma'am, that's not an abortion. >> this is my time. i ask you the question, you answered, and i'm now providing you with the accurate information from medical experts. my question was, when an ectopic pregnancy ruptures, what are the chances it can be safely carried to term? the answer is 0%. >> i answered that correctly. >> further, when it comes to one accurate understanding of reproductive health, and abortion care, with an ectopic pregnancy, the american college of obstetricians and gynecologists says, quote, treatment for ectopic pregnancy requires ending a non viable
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pregnancy. this is my time. and quote. so now, i'm going to turn to the real experts -- >> that's not an abortion because it does not have the intent to end the life of the child. >> reclaiming my time, i'm not going to turn over to the real experts. so, despite the active misinformation campaign that is endangering the lives of pregnant people, including much of the testimony heard here today, endangering the lives of pregnant people, their families, and entire communities. this hearing is an opportunity for quality public health education that prioritizes equity and justice in reproductive health care. representative shannon, i would like to ask you about medication abortion. now, this is a topic that many are hearing about for the first time in the news. since first being approved by the fda more than 20 years ago, medication abortion is now the most common form of abortion
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health care. it is discreet and credibly safe, and highly effective. in my home state, commonwealth of massachusetts, nearly half of pregnancies are terminated by medication abortion. last year, terry maloney and i lead calls to improve access to the medication abortion drug. mifepristone. and in arbitrary and burdensome restrictions, the experts agree medically unnecessary. and thankfully, the fda revised its regulations so that patients can receive what many of us referred to as mifepristone by mail. representative shannon, what's having access to abortion medication by mail means for your state, particularly people of color? >> yes, thank you. as i mentioned before, most of our, state the resources are located in atlanta. around the state, a lot of folks don't have access to providers. being able to have access to medication abortion means that
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people can get access to care after they've made their decision, regardless of what's that code they live in. we all know that forcing someone to carry a pregnancy, and unwanted pregnancy, leads to poor health outcomes. so, having access to abortion medications right thing to do. >> thank you. miss, lopez based on your work connected people texas to abortion care, would increase government support abortion access, including medication abortion, benefit the clients that you work with? >> absolutely. especially now that we've seen most clinics in texas shutter. and especially because of hp to, which was passed in 2013, that shuttered over half the clinics in texas. >> thank you very much. i think the point here is that pregnant people in multiple states have had emergency surgery delayed and their lives put at risk. while lawyers to be cared caused by comedian caused by the far-right in the supreme
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court. this is a matter of life and death, thank you. >> madam chair, i would request on behalf of our side of the aisle that, in the future, our membership treat our witnesses with a little more respect and not be as hostile and confrontational. i believe we have a witness today that has been very honest and very polite in trying to answer the questions. i just feel like the last questions were a little over the line especially, i wanted to state that for the record. very disappointing. >> mr. sarbanes, you are now recognized, mr. sarbanes. take you very much, madam chair. thank you to the panelists, you've been here for a long time but your testimony has been of great consequence. so, we thank you for taking the
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time and those joining remotely as well. in the wake of the dobbs decision as you know many states already have bans on abortion in place, we know the conservatives around the country are pushing policies to further limit women's fundamental rights in many, many states. given the three audi, it is all the more essential for individuals and other states to redouble their efforts to protect and expand abortion access. in a sense, to be an anchor in the midst of the storm. in my home state of maryland which, thankfully, is one where access to abortion is still protected, a new law allows certain on physician practitioners with qualified training to provide abortions. other states such as delaware, washington, connecticut, have also recently taken steps to strength and access to abortion care. but even when state legislatures passed laws protecting abortion care, we
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must continue to be vigilant. in maryland we've seen, for example, where the governor recently refused to release funds that were appropriated to support portions of the state's new abortion access law. miss goss graves, i want to ask you to kind of speak to the emerging two americas that we've seen now. in this case, to why it is critical that there be actions to expand abortion access in places like maryland and other states, where the right is protected. and just speak a little bit to what you see as that dynamic. it's that we are headed, in the near term, towards that reality and understanding how we manage that, it's going to be extremely important. >> a little over two weeks ago, we woke up to a reality that about half of the country would be hurling into a place where you weren't free to decide
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whether you are going to be pregnant. what that means is that wanted for people, one of four women in this country who get abortion care, or going have to figure out how to do that safely and without criminal penalties. some will be traveling to other parts of the country, some will be seeking medication abortion and seeking to self manage. all of them are going to be doing it at a time of legal and health chaos. so, four states that have an opportunity to expand access, that's exactly what they should be doing. protecting providers, patients and anyone who is trying to help them. in those states where they are finding that they are suddenly waking up in a place that is hostile, i just want to say that i see you and there are people who are fighting for you. the idea that we can stand as a nation with half more free than the other is not one that we
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will be able to stand very long on. i believe we are hurling towards a time that feels very unsafe. >> and i think you are right to describe a kind of situation of chaos across the country. we're seeing that with each passing day. i think it's contributing to a heightened sense of instability, generally, in the country. this is the consequence of a decision like dobbs. maryland is one of the states that has an opportunity to be a safe haven for women who live in other states, where these restrictions and bans are in place. but we've got to do what we can to expand and model what kind of support and capacity can look for look like. i also think there's an opportunity in states like maryland to gather data in a responsible way, that can inform the broader conversation
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across the country. because we know, we've had some debates here today, over mitt sand disinformation around this topic. and being able to gather data in a way that is having integrity to it and diligence to, it i think will be important. and states like maryland, i think, can play a role in that effort. so, thank you all, again, for your testimony today. the reality is that the democrats on this committee believe that a woman should make her own health care decisions. and unfortunately, it seems that the republicans that we serve with here have a different view. they want to take that agency away. we must, we will continue to do all we can to protect abortion access and ensure that all americans, no matter where they live, can exercise the reproductive freedom.
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every american. and we know it's a great majority of americans. must raise their voices in this critical moment. with that, i yield back my time. >> the gentleman yields back. before we close, i want to offer the ranking member an opportunity to offer any closing remarks that he may have. and ranking member comer, you are now recognized. >> thank, you madam chair. again, i want to thank our witnesses for being here today. matt hawley, i want to publicly apologize for us pressley. i feel like that was unnecessary, her tone. appreciate your honesty and all the witnesses willingness to voluntarily testify today. a couple things, madam chair, that i wanted to point out. that i disagreed with, statements. nice wasserman schultz continued to disparage crisis pregnancy centers.
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they're providing a valuable service all over america. and she mentioned the word fake pregnancy centers. if there are any fake pregnancy centers that are unlicensed, then she should report them to the authorities. because it's not allowed to have in any state a pregnancy center that's not properly licensed. mr. gomez referred to my opening statement and i would like to remind mr. gomez that, unlike nancy pelosi, i have never voted to object an electoral college confirmation vote. i was also on the floor on january 6th, i've always condemned the violence that occurred on that day. so, i don't know where he was referencing bath, with respect to me. i'm going to conclude by reminding everybody on this committee with the purpose of this committee is. the purpose of the house oversight committee is to identify fraud and
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mismanagement in the federal government. we are talking about a supreme court case here, something that we honestly have zero jurisdiction over. this hearing, madam chair, with all due respect, was a political hearing in my opinion. to try to fire up the moralized far left wing of the democratic party. because of disparaging poll numbers with the president and the party. i hope, that in the future, we can focus on hearings that actually identify the core mission of this committee, that's to try to provide oversight for this biden administration and their many policies. like their energy policy, their border control policy, that are failing. and try to identify wasteful spending but we can hopefully rivers and try to tame inflation. again, madam chair, thank you for allowing me a closing
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statement. and i yield back. >> i thank all of the witnesses for an incredible testimony. and i first of all want to say that this pressley was perfectly within a right to reclaim her time. that is the way this body works, you have your time, the time belongs to the member. and the member can reclaim their time. and the aid fully within her rights as a member of this committee. i want to compliment her, also, for her foresight of beginning and investigation with me on mifepristone well over a year and a half ago. trying to remove the restrictions that the fda had placed on it, to have access to it. which resulted in the ability, now, to mail it into areas of the country. that was extraordinary work, and i want to publicly thank her for this.
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i just, it's absolutely within the realm of the oversight committee to look at the rights of half the population of our country. this devastating decision is taking away a fundamental right that we felt was settled law. with 50 years of precedent. where supreme court justices, they testified before the senate saying they would respect president. so, this is a shocking, devastating opinion. and i would say that we heard testimony today from any of our panelists of the dire threat too the health of people. i think we heard that we said abortions are going to occur. the question is, are they going to be legal and safe? are they going to be illegal and increase the deaths of women? this is literally life and death to many women, we've heard that over an over again.
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and we all know that. we've had hearings on the high incidents of deaths for particularly african american women with the birth of their children, he times more likely in my great city of new york than the national average. that is a huge problem. so, it is not unusual to look at the health challenges that americans face. i would say that most women and like-minded men in this country would be grateful for the testimony, the knowledge and the experience that they had of listening to our panelists. and i would say that today, we heard testimony about the chaos and confusion, very beautifully explained by miss graves, caused by the supreme court's extreme decision to eliminate americans constitutional right to an abortion. to all of our witnesses who shared their expertise and
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personal stories of abortion, i want to thank you. and many did not share their stories, but i know their stories and it's very brave to come forward and tell them. today's hearing makes clear that the loss of abortion rights is devastating. absolutely devastating for women across the country, but particularly people of color, people with low incomes, and others who already face barriers to their health care. anyone trying to downplay the damage from the supreme court's decision is flat out lying. and here are the facts. we heard them today. abortion is now illegal in 16 states, with more on the way. more than 33 million women are at risk of losing abortion rights in these states. that's half of the women --
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that are of reproductive age. providers are scared to offer essential reproductive health care. we could not even get a provider to come in. they were afraid to come in, they felt they would be hurt in some way if they publicly talked about their work. and this is in america. people are being denied care for miscarriages and other emergencies because of these extreme state laws. when you have many miscarriages, that we heard today are very health threatening, and sometimes you can't reach your doctor. sometimes you can't even get in the hospital and it's going to cause the death of more women in this country. and republicans are not done. they are simply not done with taking away our rights. next, they want to pass a national abortion ban.
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major leaders of the party have said that. just ask the republican members of this committee, who are cosponsoring a bill to make performing an abortion a crime. punishable by five years in federal prison. i asked at the beginning of this hearing if this is the america we want to live in. we heard today a resounding no. the vast majority of americans support abortion rights and want to make their own decisions about their own bodies. this is why democrats are fighting to protect abortion rights. we feel we are fighting for democracies itself. if you can't make decisions about your own body, including reproductive health, it's not a democracy. it's not a free society. you are in the house, you are taking up legislation to
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intervene abortion rights in federal law. and i urge the senate to act as well. president biden has also taken decisive action. he issued an executive order to protect reproductive care, including access to medication abortion and to protect the privacy and security of patients and providers. the administration is also acting to ensure access to contraception. and i have introduced a bill with many members of this committee that would prevent pharmacies from refusing to dispense contraception based on their personal beliefs. as we have heard today, the fight for reproductive rights is also taking place in cities and states all over our country. and i am proud to stand with my democratic colleagues in that fight. and i'm especially proud that this committee has led the way in expanding access to medication abortion and
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contraception. this is a fight we will never, ever, ever give up. before i close, i want to enter into the record letters, statements from neera, pro-choice america, physicians for reproductive health, the american academy of family physicians, and professor carrie baker of smith college regarding the urgent need to protect abortion access. i would like to just say in closing, i want to thank all of our panelists for their remarks. i apologize that we have a five minute time limit. many of you had much more you wanted to say. you can put that into the official record and i want to commend my colleagues, all of them, for participating in this very, very important conversation. with that, and without objection, all members will have five legislative days within which to submit these trainees materials and to submit additional written
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questions for the witnesses to the chair, which will be forwarded to the witnesses for their response. i ask our witnesses to please respond as promptly as you are able. this hearing is adjourned.
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