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Durbin: Overturning Roe has Unleashed a Health Care Crisis in this Country

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, detailed the unfolding health care crisis across the United States in the wake of the conservative Supreme Court’s majority opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.  In a speech on the Senate floor, Durbin also continued to call on his colleagues to support enshrining into law a statutory right to an abortion.

“In the weeks since the Alito-Thomas Supreme Court majority erased the constitutional right to abortion, the right-wing disinformation machine has kicked into high gear.  Again and again, we hear the same empty words of reassurance from the Republican side—they claim that overturning Roe simply handed the question of abortion back to the people’s representatives, back to the States.  Just that simple.  This is false and they know it.  The reality is overturning Roe has unleashed a health care crisis in this country. It’s ripped a right to make essential health care decisions away from the people and their doctors and handed it to the politicians in individual states.  As soon as Roe was overturned by the Alito Supreme Court, nearly a dozen states outlawed abortion.  In Ohio, abortion access is so restricted that we’ve heard this horrible, bone-chilling story of a 10-year-old rape victim who was denied care,” Durbin said.  “Here’s the truth: Republican anti-choice policies will force children—children who are still not old enough to cross the street on their own—to give birth.  Ten years old.  And Republicans are not content with simply banning all abortions.  They want to prosecute the health care professionals who have to make the life and death decisions in the practice of medicine—health care professionals like the one who treated this little girl from Ohio.”

Durbin continued, “The radical right-wing majority on the Supreme Court has given these lawmakers a green-light to enact the most unreasonable and outrageous abortion bans imaginable.  And as cruel as these bans may be, they cannot change the reality that reproductive health care is health care.  In some cases, abortion can mean the difference between life and death.  The moment politicians start meddling in life or death health decisions, the moment we turn over these life and death decisions to a legislator rather than to a doctor and patient, we are headed down a dark, dangerous, and deadly road.”

Durbin concluded, “This, the world we have entered after the fall of Roe, it is a wakeup call for every member of this Senate. Don't turn your eyes away from it.  This is the reality of the Supreme Court decision.  Our constitutional rights cannot differ state by state.  For 50 years, this was a fundamentally constitutional guaranteed freedom.  And it needs to be protected again by federal law.”

Video of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here.

Audio of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here.

Footage of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here for TV Stations.