Transcript of Speaker Pelosi’s Remarks at Press Conference Ahead of Vote on Women’s Health Protection Act

September 24, 2021
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi joined Congresswomen Judy Chu, Diana DeGette, Barbara Lee, Ayanna Pressley and Sylvia Garcia at the House Triangle for a press conference ahead of the House passing the Women’s Health Protection Act.  Below are the Speaker’s remarks:

Speaker Pelosi.  Thank you very much, Judy Chu, for your kind introduction, which I accept on behalf of our pro-choice Democratic Caucus in the Congress, who has made today so possible.  I associate myself with the remarks, of course, of Diana DeGette and Barbara Lee and Ayanna Pressley and of course from Texas, two Members from Texas.  Congresswoman Castro – I am saying Castro – Garcia.

Now when we – when this law – I was with Dianna DeGette the night the Court spoke.  We were in Colorado together.  That night – that morning, I went to Texas, I was with the Congresswoman from Texas, in Texas, when the word of the Court’s decision came out.  And Congresswoman Trahan, thank you for joining this group of illustrious leaders on this subject.  I associate myself with the recognition of Jan Schakowsky.

So anyway, in Colorado, that morning that we learned of the decision, Diana DeGette had the collective wisdom of the Co-Chairs of this Caucus, and she gave me chapter and verse.  Now, Diana DeGette has fought this issue in the court and won, in the courts and won.  She has fought in the Congress.  She is fighting in the court of public opinion.  And that leadership is what we all do.  Barbara Lee talked about the injustice of it all – Congresswoman Pressley as well – talked about the injustice of it all for poorer women in our country.  If that isn’t shameful – if that isn’t shameful. 

So anyway, this happens, because of Judy Chu, we are ready.  We are ready.  So, today is a day of mixed emotions.  Really happy that at long last, we have a pro-choice House Democratic Caucus, which is a majority of the House and a Democratic President to sign the bill.  This is the first Congress that can make that claim.  Even though Judy Chu has introduced this bill over and over and over again.  Pro-choice House Democrats, President of the United States to sign the bill, Democratic Senate hopefully to pass it was well.

This is about freedom of women to have choice about the size and timing of their families.  Not the business of people on the Court or Members of Congress, about themselves.  But it’s also about freedom from the danger of vigilantes.  So, when this Court embraced this shameful Texas law, they brought shame to the United States Supreme Court.  Because they were not embracing something, which was counter to the precedent of the Court, which has upheld Roe v. Wade as constitutional.  They also embraced vigilante activities, dangerous to women’s health in the substance, dangerous to our communities.  And the encouragement that they gave to something so un-American – what were they thinking?  Or were they thinking?  Or were they just rubberstamping what they were sent to the Court to do, which is to harm the health and well-being of America’s women?  It’s a sign of such great disrespect.  A sign of such great disregard for our system and our country, that you do not put – hoist people onto each other, prying into their privacy, acting upon what they don’t even know the facts to be.  And even if they did, it’s none of their business.  It’s none of their business.

So, sad that we have to be here because of the shameful Supreme Court decision.  Eager, we have filed an amicus brief on the Mississippi case.  We’ll see what comes of that, but at the same time, again, sad for the message it sends to women, especially poor women, who do not have the same ability to travel from one place to another – and neither should they.  The rights that are guaranteed in our Constitution should not depend on geography.  They should depend on justice, and that’s what we will have on the Floor of the House today.

So, it’s with joy that we accept the readiness that Judy Chu has given us with her relentless, relentless, relentless leadership on the subject, knowing that one day it would be urgent.  And on that day, we would be ready.  So, let’s go in there and win this vote.  The debate has already begun.  We should have a vote in an hour.  And that should be a very positive message to the women of our country.  But not just the women – to the women and their families, to everyone who values freedom, honors our Constitution and respects women.

I yield back, I yield back to Judy Chu.  Diana DeGette?  I yield back to whoever wants to be there, with gratitude to all.