Washington, DC — Today, Representative Lucy McBath (D-Georgia) voted to pass both The Women’s Health Protection Act and The Ensuring Women’s Right to Reproductive Freedom Act, critical bills to protect reproductive rights for Americans. This is the second time the House of Representatives has passed The Women’s Health Protection Act, strong, focused legislation to once again make the protections of Roe v. Wade the law of the land. The Ensuring Women’s Right to Reproductive Freedom Act stops the criminalization of those who exercise their constitutional right to travel across state lines to obtain an abortion.

McBath spoke yesterday about attacks on reproductive health in the House Judiciary Committee hearing on threats to individual freedoms in a post-Roe world. The video is available to view here and below. The transcript of her full remarks can be found below.

Click here to view Rep. McBath’s remarks

We have spent countless years listening to questions about women’s personal freedoms from individuals with extreme views. Questions from individuals in this body, who have already expressed by their actions and rhetoric that the will of the American people should just be ignored.  

And, after all the years of attacks on Roe V Wade. After years of disingenuous questions and deceitful politics, I believe it is time that those who have advocated for the overturning of a woman’s right to choose answer some questions of their own. 

Does a 12 year old young girl, a middle-schooler who attends after school programs because her parents work late; who is viciously raped on her walk home from school,

Should she have access to an abortion? 

Or, must she be forced to carry that fetus to term for 9 months? To wake up every morning to bouts of morning sickness, to shake in fear every time she is touched, the growing bump in her belly a reminder each day of the unimaginable trauma she has suffered, memories she cannot escape, and a feeling she may never feel clean or whole again? 

Does the mother who has struggled to get pregnant; who has just gone in for a prenatal checkup and has been told the heartbreaking truth, that her child will be stillborn upon delivery, and that no matter what she does, no matter how hard she prays, her desire for motherhood will once again be denied. 

Should her doctors be allowed to treat her miscarriage?

Or, must she be forced to carry her fetus to term? To grapple with the pain, the anguish, the devastation she feels, being asked by passersby in public how far along she is, or enduring comments on how beautiful she looks as an expectant mother, and how excited she must be for the arrival of her newborn child.

Does the sophomore who plays varsity soccer and hopes to play in college one day; who is excited to go to prom in a few months and just had sex for the first time; who can’t seem to understand why her shirts keep getting tighter; she finds herself with her head in the toilet one night, vomiting for seemingly no reason at all. And, as her father comes to check on her he startles her, and she looks into his eyes which are filled with tears, they both recognize that she is pregnant. And that she, no more than a mere child, will be forced to give birth to one. 

Does she have the right to an abortion?

Or, will she be forced to feel the guilt and shame she believes she has caused her parents and loved ones?  For realizing that college may no longer be an option for her,  or that the future she dreamed of may be a dream deferred.

In other words, I would like to ask my Republican colleagues: 

Do you support abortion in the first trimester?

Do you support abortion in the case of rape or incest? 

Do you support abortion if it risks the life of the mother?

Do you support abortion in the case of fetal abnormality?

Do you believe all abortion is murder, and if so, do you believe miscarriage is manslaughter?

Do you believe women should face criminal penalties for even seeking an abortion? Do you think doctors should be put in jail for providing them?

Do you support a woman’s right to make her own healthcare decisions?

And, the reason we will never hear a response to these simple questions, is that they know the answers they give – Americans will find extreme and disturbing. 

They know that forcing women to have children without their consent is not a position the American people find palatable.

They know that forcing women to carry a dead fetus to term will not win them the support they desire. 

Because, what this decision takes from us, women, is our freedom - the freedom to choose our own destinies – the freedom to pursue the happiness we envision for ourselves.   

There are legislators across America telling women that for 9 months, they are mere subjects of their State. That their bodies belong to the whims of an all mighty government.  That the liberty our Creator endowed us with is no longer a self-evident truth. That the autonomy and independence God has given us, has been stripped away by mere men. 

There is no freedom for a woman, unless she has freedom over her own body.

So, as America looks to a more bleak future for women, a future that some on the other side seem intent on ushering in, I think the American people deserve answers to these questions. 

I certainly look forward to the response.