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Transcript of Pelosi Remarks at Press Event on Capitol Steps on the Supreme Court Draft Decision on Roe v. Wade

Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi joined House Democrats and pro-choice advocates on the House East Front Steps at the United States Capitol for a press event on the Supreme Court’s draft decision overturning Roe v. Wade.  Below are the Speaker’s remarks:

Speaker Pelosi.  Good morning.  House Democrats are here on the steps of the United States Capitol, across from the Supreme Court, to say to the Supreme Court and to the Senate: hands off women’s reproductive health care.


Last week, Americans saw a draft showing the GOP-appointed Court is poised to strike down Roe v. Wade, a 50-year precedent held up again by Casey.  Already, Republicans across the nation are mobilizing around a dangerous and extreme agenda to criminalize all forms of reproductive health care, including IVF, contraception and post-miscarriage care.  Think of that. 

Just last week, Senate Republicans lined up in lockstep behind Mitch McConnell and Trump to vote to rip away the Constitutional right to health freedom for American women.  They want a nationwide ban on abortion.  They have said that.  Make no mistake: once Republicans shred long-standing precedent and privacy rights, they intend to wage an all out assault on more of our rights, including access to contraception and marriage equality.  

As Republicans seek to control and criminalize women’s reproductive health freedoms, Democrats are fighting to enshrine Roe v. Wade into law.  Thank you to the Pro-Choice Caucus, led by Representative Diana DeGette and Congresswoman Barbara Lee, and for Representative Judy Chu, the author of the Women’s Health Protection Act for making – we were ready.  When Texas did what it did – to cause vigilantes to go after people who want to be healthy – Judy Chu was ready.  We could take up the bill right away.  That was last fall.  

Americans are marching and making their voices heard.  Public sentiment is everything.  We will never stop fighting for patients and their health care providers to defend the rights of women and all Americans.  And now I am pleased to yield to a champion for women’s reproductive freedom, Congresswoman Barbara Lee of California.


Speaker Pelosi.  Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.  I thank our distinguished leaders on this subject – and so many more in – gathered on the steps of the Capitol.  When the Republican Senators say that Judy Chu legislation goes too far, what they are doing is rejecting the precedent of the Supreme Court, the precedent of the Supreme Court.  The Judy Chu enshrines Roe v. Wade, a decision of the Court – and Casey into the law.  So that isn’t going too far.  So Judy Chu, thank you for your courageous leadership.  And to our colleagues, thank you.

Now as we go into vote – and we’re so happy that the weather cooperated.  This is a start for this weekend across the country.  People will be gathering in their communities and some of them are here today.  All Above All, American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Catholics for Choice, Center for Reproductive Rights, NARAL Pro-Choice America, National [Asian] Pacific American Women’s Forum, National Council of Jewish Women, National Partnership for Women and Families, National Women’s Law Center, Physicians for Reproductive Health, Planned Parenthood, Population Action, Sister Song and URGE: Unite for Reproductive and Gender [Equity].

To the Supreme Court, to the Republicans in Congress, to state governments across the country, we want you to know: we fully intend to protect Roe v Wade.  And we will be doing it every single day to protect those who seek care and those who provide care.  Are we ready for this fight?


I thought so.  Now we have to go vote.  Thank you all very much.

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