Washington, D.C. - Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi spoke on the House floor today in opposition to H.R. 3, which restricts women's access to a full range of health care services. Below are the Leader's remarks as prepared for delivery.
“Madam Speaker, I rise today to urge Republicans in Congress to work in a bipartisan way to address the number one priority of the American people - creating jobs - instead of pursuing an extreme and divisive legislative agenda that will undermine women's health.
“I rise today to urge Republicans to work with Democrats to strengthen middle class families, not raise taxes on women and small business.
“And I rise today to urge Republicans to bring bills to the floor that will end giveaways for Big Oil, instead of legislation that harms women health.
“Madam Speaker, I rise today to oppose this legislation.
“Let us begin this debate with a clear understanding of the facts. The federal funding of abortions is already prohibited, under the Hyde Amendment, except in the cases of rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother.
“This bill is a radical departure from the Hyde Amendment. It represents an unprecedented and radical assault on women's access to the full range of health care services. For the first time, this bill places restrictions on how women with private insurance can spend private dollars in purchasing health insurance.
“This bill will deny tax credits for women who buy the type of health insurance that they currently have - health insurance that covers a full range of reproductive care.
“As a result of this bill, millions of women would no longer have access to insurance policies that cover all reproductive services.
“The practical result of this legislation for many will be a tax increase: a tax increase on small business and a tax increase on women, based on how they choose to spend their private dollars - simply for keeping the coverage they have right now.
“Even more of a problem, this legislation allows hospitals to deny life-saving care to women in moments of the direst emergency. This bill would permit medical professionals to turn their back on women dying from treatable conditions.
“As the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists wrote in opposition to this effort, we oppose ‘legislative proposals to limit women's access to any needed medical care; these proposals can jeopardize the health and safety of our patients, and put government between a physician and a patient.'
“Madam Speaker, let's not work to limit access to care, let's expand it. Let's not raise taxes on small businesses and women, let's strengthen our middle class. Let us never attack the health of American women; let us create jobs.
“And that is why I urge my colleagues to oppose this divisive and radical legislation.”