Senator Elizabeth Warren took to the Senate floor on Thursday after the Republicans released their so-called Better Care Reconciliation Act, which jeopardizes the lives of millions of Americans who rely on healthcare and have benefitted from the Affordable Care Act in order to give tax cuts to wealthy corporations and citizens. In a scathing speech, she slammed Republicans for putting women’s lives on the line with the BCRA, and for using it as a platform to continue their crusade against Planned Parenthood.
One of the measures of the BCRA includes banning federal funding for Planned Parenthood for one year, robbing millions of women across the country of the opportunity to access critical health services. “Frankly, I am sick of coming down to the Senate floor to explain to Republicans what Planned Parenthood does,” Warren began. She went on to point out the vast array of reproductive health services that Planned Parenthood provides for their clients—including cancer screenings, STI tests and birth control.
She also reminded her colleagues that “federal dollars do not fund abortion services at Planned Parenthood or anywhere else,” touching on the anti-abortion movement’s erroneous claim that Planned Parenthood conducts abortions using federal funds, which has been illegal since the passage of the Hyde Amendment in 1976.
Warren went on to criticize Speaker Paul Ryan’s description of the BCRA as a “pro-life” policy. “Calling something pro-life won’t keep women from dying in back-alley abortions,” she said. “It won’t help women pay for the cancer screenings that could save their lives. It won’t help them take care of their families, have safe sex, or afford their medical bills. The pro-life label is the Republicans playing politics with women’s lives.”
“The Republican bill will make it more likely, not less likely,” Warren said at the end of her speech, “that women and their children will die. American women deserve better than this mean Republican bill—and American women are here to fight back.”
Thank you, Senator Warren, for setting the record straight—and hearing the rallying cries of millions of women who will not stop fighting for their lives.