September 14, 2022

Wyden Speaks Out Against Republican Proposal for Nationwide Abortion Ban

As prepared for delivery

M. President, there’s a lot to say about the latest radical proposal restricting the right to an abortion for every woman in this country. I’m going to focus on a few key points. 

First of all, Senator Graham and the Republicans want the American people to believe this is a “moderate” proposal. 

Wrong, wrong, wrong. 

This is a national abortion ban. This is exactly what Republicans had in mind when they hand-picked Supreme Court nominees to overturn Roe versus Wade. Senator Graham’s bill restricts abortion rights even earlier than my Senate Republican colleagues have proposed in the past. Even earlier in pregnancy than many of the most life-threatening complications are discovered. This bill puts women’s lives in danger. There’s nothing moderate about it. 

A moderate bill would not institute criminal penalties for doctors providing life-saving medical care. This bill does. 

A moderate bill would not take rights away from American women, no matter where they live. This bill does.

A moderate bill would not create a presumption of women’s guilt by requiring them to report a rape or seek counseling before they can get an abortion. This bill does. 

Think about that. Under Senator Graham’s new restrictions, a 12 year old rape victim -- regardless of the terror she feels or the danger she faces -- could have to find a way to report her assault to police before she could get the care she needs. That is a shocking and unconscionable overreach. 

Colleagues, the reality is, this is an extreme proposal that is WAY out of step with the overwhelming opinion of the American people on women’s rights and abortion. 

Let’s remember, most of my Republican colleagues used to talk about the importance of states’ rights -- leaving the decisions on abortion to the states. 

Well, Senator Graham has shown that all that talk about states rights was every bit as disingenuous as Democrats warned. 

His bill tramples on the rights of Oregonians, and people in many other states, women and men, who have voted to protect abortion, women’s health care and women’s individual freedoms. 

Senator Graham’s bill is about government having control over women’s bodies.

It’s also clear that what comes next is a nationwide ban on all abortions, criminalization, and women and doctors locked behind bars.  

It’s election season, and Senator McConnell wants everybody to forget that Republicans' top priorities include passing these extreme restrictions through Congress and the courts. 

The American people know better. When it comes to Republican legislation on abortion rights, the far right calls the shots. They want a total ban, they want criminalization, and they want women’s freedoms curtailed.

Senator Graham’s bill is the next step in that direction for Republicans. Introducing his proposal, Senator Graham said:

“If we take back the House and Senate, I can assure you that we’ll have a vote on our bill.”

On that issue, people ought to take him at his word. And that means the American people must vote in November to guarantee that this bill never sees the light of day. 

I yield the floor.