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Adams' Floor Remarks on the Women’s Health Protection Act

Sep 24, 2021
Press Release
"No person should be forced to carry a pregnancy to term during a global pandemic, or any other time.”

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Alma Adams (NC-12) gave floor remarks in support of H.R. 3755, the Women’s Health Protection Act. Amid a dangerous assault on women’s basic health freedoms – from state houses across the country to the U.S. Supreme Court – this landmark legislation enshrines into law the vital protections of Roe v. Wade and secures the right to reproductive care for all women across America. Additionally, she entered the testimony of a Charlotte mother who is an abortion care provider into the Congressional Record.

Video of the remarks is available on YouTube.

“A woman who does not have control over her own body is not free,” said Congresswoman Adams. “So I want you to close your eyes and imagine being forced to give birth during a global pandemic. There are fewer in-person visits and more telehealth visits. New parents are having children alone without their families, worrying if their baby will catch the virus. If something goes wrong, there may not be space in the ICU. Now let’s open our eyes to the truth: no woman should have to yield control over her own choices, and her own body. Let’s pass the Women’s Health Protection Act.”

Rep Adams’ Statement for the Congressional Record

I want to amplify the voice of Calla Hales, a woman in my district who is both an abortion care provider, and a mother: 

“Last year, I made the choice to have a child with my husband.

What I didn’t choose was prenatal checkups with COVID precautions. I didn’t choose the complications I had during my pregnancy. I didn’t choose delivering my amazing baby girl without my family because the pandemic limited the visitors in the maternity ward. 

I didn’t choose worrying every day if she would be safe from the coronavirus, despite her pulmonary issues.

I am proud of the choice that I made, in spite of everything that’s gone wrong over the past two years.

But no one should ever be forced to make that choice. No person should be forced to carry a pregnancy to term during a global pandemic, or any other time.”

Background

For years, radical state legislatures have waged an all-out assault on women’s reproductive rights. 2021 is on track to be the worst legislative year for women’s health rights ever, with 90 measures restricting reproductive rights enacted since July – more than in any year since the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973. On May 19th, Texas enacted SB 8, which is now the most extreme abortion law in effect in the United States. This catastrophic legislation outlaws nearly all abortions after six weeks, with no exceptions for rape and incest, while also creating a chilling bounty system that deputizes private citizens to sue health care providers or anyone else they believe has helped a woman get an abortion after six weeks of pregnancy.

Shamefully, the Supreme Court voted to permit this law to go into effect, despite its flagrant violation of the Constitution, by effectively denying Texas women the ability to exercise their constitutional rights guaranteed by Roe. The Supreme Court could take further action to gut Roe’s essential protections when it considers Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization on December 1st.

The Women’s Health Protections Act codifies the constitutional right to abortion care as found in Roe and reaffirmed in many subsequent decisions for nearly half a century. It establishes the federal statutory right for health care providers to offer abortion care and the federal right for patients to receive that care, free from state restrictions. Enshrining these essential rights is also an issue of racial and economic justice, as restrictions on reproductive care disproportionately harm women of color and women from low-income communities and perpetuate long-standing inequities.

About Alma Adams

Congresswoman Alma S. Adams, Ph.D. represents North Carolina’s 12th Congressional District (Charlotte) and serves as Vice Chair of the House Committee on Agriculture. Additionally, she serves on the House Financial Services Committee and the House Education & Labor Committee, where she serves as Chair of the Workforce Protections Subcommittee. She is the co-founder and co-chair of the Black Maternal Health Caucus.

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