WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Democratic Whip Katherine Clark (MA-5) appeared on MSNBC’s Morning Joe to announce that OB/GYN and reproductive justice advocate Dr. Cheryl Hamlin will be her guest at President Biden’s State of the Union Address. Whip Clark invited Dr. Hamlin to highlight the Democrats' commitment to reproductive freedom and stopping the MAGA Majority's assault on women's health and rights. Below are excerpts from the interview.
Whip Clark on Defending Reproductive Freedom:
“Part of having a robust democracy is freedom for all. And what we have seen is a Republican attack on women and making us second class citizens by denying the fundamentals of who gets to choose when and if to have children and taking politicians' opinions and putting them in the place of our doctors, our faith, and our families' needs.”
Whip Clark on the American People’s Support for Access to Abortion Care:
“There is such broad support with the American people. They understand that reproductive rights are tied to their basic freedoms. And that's why we saw ballot questions in Kansas, Montana, Kentucky fail.
“But it hasn't stopped House Republicans. One of the first bills they put on the Floor was further restrictions on women's right to reproductive justice. And now that 14 states have denied abortion care – that is 18 million women who can't receive the care they need – we are seeing those effects and very real life and death situations. This has huge implications for women's health and for women's place in our economy.”
Dr. Hamlin on the Impact of the Dobbs Decision:
“It is all encompassing. It's not just a lack of access to legal abortion, but it's also, it affects the obstetricians there and how they can provide care to their patients. It affects how you manage a miscarriage. It really affects all of women's health care.”
Whip Clark on the State of the Union:
“We are on Team American People. And I think you can see from the chaos that was around the Speaker’s race that we are going to be there. We are going to continue to fight for women, for reproductive justice, for an economy that works for everyone.
“And we are going to conduct ourselves with the seriousness of the challenges and opportunities facing the American people … I think you can see from the first five weeks of that Majority that we have been seeing bills that are political stunts and not helping move the agenda forward.
“So tonight with my guest, Dr. Hamlin, we are reminding people that this is the Republican House Majority that voted against codifying Roe, that voted against access to birth control, that voted against the right to safely travel across state lines to receive health care.”
For 30 years, Dr. Hamlin worked as an OB/GYN in Cambridge, Massachusetts, providing women patients with the essential health care services they need. In 2017, after the election of Donald Trump, she began providing care at Jackson Women's Health Organization. Following the Dobbs decision, she is now barred from caring for patients in Mississippi – one of 14 states that have banned abortion care.
Since the overturning of Roe v. Wade, Whip Clark has joined House Democrats in supporting legislation to protect reproductive freedom, including bills to safeguard access to birth control, codify abortion access, and uphold Americans' right to seek health care across state lines. In July, Whip Clark was arrested while peacefully demonstrating in protest of Republican anti-abortion attacks. This January, Whip Clark shared her thoughts about the struggle for freedom in a post-Roe world and her commitment to the fight in The Hill.
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