The fight to safeguard reproductive health care access for women across the country, intensified by the new threat this week of a nationwide abortion ban, continues to galvanize Democrats in their bid to retain control of Congress at the polls this November and energize voters to condemn Republicans’ mounting reversal of civil rights, U.S. House Assistant Speaker Katherine Clark signaled Friday.
Clark, joined by U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley during a virtual Boston Globe Summit discussion, warned that Sen. Lindsey Graham’s abortion proposal could eventually mean “no safety in Massachusetts” — despite abortion access codified into state law and Beacon Hill’s recent legislation to shield abortion providers and patients from other states that have outlawed the procedure.
Graham unveiled his 15-week federal abortion ban — which includes exceptions for rape, incest and the health of the pregnant person — on Tuesday, though he acknowledged its passage is unlikely, according to NPR. Graham faces an uphill battle to garner support, including with Republican colleagues who have framed abortion rights as a state-level decision in the aftermath of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade, CNBC reported.
“Let’s be clear: As I travel my district, Massachusetts (and) around the country talking to Americans, they understand what’s at stake, and what the Dobbs decision means to them — and it is a denial of freedom,” said Clark, referencing the Supreme Court’s controversial June ruling.
“They are looking at laws and prosecutions that are going forward criminalizing women who are choosing health care for themselves,” Clark continued. “They are criminalizing doctors who are helping people access health care. That is not an America that American families support.”
Clark and Pressley were arrested earlier this summer as they participated in a peaceful abortion demonstration outside the U.S. Supreme Court.
Clark on Friday condemned MAGA Republicans in the mold of former President Donald Trump for restricting people’s access to abortion — even in traumatic circumstances, including violent rape or incest. The congresswoman also reflected on her own experience receiving abortion care after she miscarried and didn’t shed all tissue, which can lead to lethal infections.
While it is a routine procedure, women in Texas are now told to wait until they spike a fever to seek abortion care, Clark said. Providers there are worried they’ll be accused and prosecuted for providing abortion services.
“This is the United States in 2022 — these are the choices,” Clark said, as she framed the issues around freedom and liberty. “And let’s be very clear: The Republicans are not stopping at abortion care. It is the same approach they take to marriage equality, to birth control. It is the attacks we’ve seen on transgender people. It is what we’re seeing on immigrants and the demonizing of people.”
Both Clark and Pressley rebuked the division spurred on by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who claimed responsibility for sending Venezuelan migrants to Martha’s Vineyard this week.
While Democrats are focused on saving lives, Pressley said Republicans are “playing with people’s lives” from vulnerable and marginalized communities. Red states are marred by some of the “most draconian” legislation surrounding the LGBTQ community and voter suppression, she said.
“This is a coordinated, legislated, intersectional attack, which is why when I say that the work that we must do in this moment as Democrats is not just for members of Congress — this is about a broader Democratic movement,” Pressley said during the Globe summit. “We have to be inclusive, bold, intentional in our organizing. And you see there’s a resurgence in unionizing throughout the country as well, which I think is reflective and emblematic of the progress of this movement, and also of this administration and of this Democratic-majority-led Congress.”
Original story HERE.