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Senator urges passing of act to protect abortion rights 

‘Abundantly clear that Congress must pass the Women’s Health Protection Act and codify the right to an abortion into federal law’ says senator

– U.S. Senator Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, spoke on the Senate floor Tuesday to urge his colleagues to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act to codify the right to abortion into federal law. The speech comes ahead of the Senate voting on the legislation and follows the release of a leaked draft Supreme Court opinion that threatens to overturn Roe v. Wade.

“It is abundantly clear that Congress must pass the Women’s Health Protection Act and codify the right to an abortion into federal law. All across America, a strong majority support a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions,” said Senator Padilla. “We can’t stand by and watch while right-wing politicians and judges roll back the clock on women’s rights. We must protect the fundamental rights of women across the country.”

A downloadable version of Padilla’s remarks can be found here.

Padilla’s full remarks, as prepared for delivery, are below:

In the past week, following the leaked Supreme Court opinion that threatens to overturn Roe v. Wade, thousands of Californians have reached out to my office, by way of phone calls, letters, and emails, to voice their support for the right to choose.

It is abundantly clear that Congress must pass the Women’s Health Protection Act and codify the right to an abortion into federal law.

Countless Californians and other Americans have spoken up, in public or in private, to share their own abortion stories.

The students who wanted to finish high school before starting a family.

Survivors of sexual assault, whose abortion reaffirmed their right to choose for their own bodies.

Parents who desperately wanted a child, but learned devastating news about dangerous health risks.

Women whose lives were saved by their abortion—because abortion is often critical medical care.

And women who remember a time, half a century ago, before Roe v. Wade secured this right.

A time when abortions still happened, but they were unsafe secrets, and women risked their lives for the choice they needed.

Madam President, the right to abortion is a fundamental right.

And I am proud to represent a state that fiercely defends abortion access.

California is committed to safe, respectful abortion care for all who need it.

That’s why Californians stepped up this year, with some even traveling to aid women who were threatened by SB 8, the Texas law that prohibits abortion at six weeks.

That’s why so many Californians are speaking up now.

We know that your right to choose shouldn’t end at a state border.

It shouldn’t rely on your income. Your transportation options. Or whether you can afford to take time off from work.

All across America, a strong majority support a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions.

We can’t stand by and watch while right-wing politicians and judges roll back the clock on women’s rights.

That’s why I’m voting for the Women’s Health Protection Act, and that’s why I urge each of you to do the same.

We must secure the right to abortion nationwide.

We must protect the fundamental rights of women across the country.

Congress can and must do this by passing the Women’s Health Protection Act.

Thank you, Madam President; I yield the floor.

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