At Reproductive Equity Now 2022 Gala, Senator Hassan Lays Out the Threat Posed by Mitch McConnell’s Push for a Nationwide Abortion Ban

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

In remarks delivered tonight at the Reproductive Equity Now 2022 Gala, Senator Maggie Hassan laid out the urgent need to prevent Mitch McConnell from achieving his decades-long goal to ban abortion nationwide — and made clear that all of her opponents would be a yes vote to outlaw abortion in the U.S. Senate.

At the event, Senator Hassan was honored as a Champion for Reproductive Freedom. Reproductive Equity Now is dedicated to protecting reproductive rights across New England.

“I am deeply honored to receive this award by Reproductive Equity Now – particularly now when this work could not be more urgent,” Senator Hassan said. “We know that Mitch McConnell and anti-choice extremists’ ultimate goal is to ban abortion nationwide with no exceptions. We must stop these extremists, including my opponents who would vote with McConnell to outlaw abortion in every state and rip away a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions.”

In the immediate aftermath of the Supreme Court overturning Roe, Senator Hassan is making clear that her opponents would be yes votes for Mitch McConnell’s push to ban abortion nationwide. Just hours after the ruling, Senator Hassan attended a rally for reproductive rights in Portsmouth’s Market Square. The Senator also kicked off OrganizeNH’s Reproductive Rights Weekend of Action in Exeter on Saturday and held a press call yesterday where she laid out the grave danger her opponents pose to the fundamental rights of women in New Hampshire and across the country.

To read Senator Hassan’s full remarks as prepared, see below: 

I am deeply honored to be one of your honorees this year — and I would like to offer my appreciation for the incredible work of the other honorees and of Reproductive Equity Now.

Right now, that work could not be more urgent.

This has been a challenging time for everyone in this room — and for American democracy itself. Last Friday, the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe took away a woman’s fundamental freedom — and sent our country backward fifty years to a time where women were second class citizens.

We know that Mitch McConnell and anti-choice extremists’ will not stop at overturning Roe. Their ultimate goal has always been to ban abortion nationwide with no exceptions.

But we have the power to stop them this November. In my own race, my opponents’ records make clear that they would be yes votes for McConnell’s extreme anti-choice agenda. My opponents support overturning Roe.

If elected, they would vote to outlaw abortion nationwide and defund Planned Parenthood.

In the world’s greatest democracy, they would make women second class citizens. Let me be very, very clear: you cannot claim to represent the people if you are willing, and actively working, to tear away the most fundamental freedom from half of them.

In my race and in races across the country we are fighting for a woman’s right to be a free and equal citizen in our democracy — and it is a fight we have to win.

We are in a grave moment for women, our country, and our democracy. For years, each successive generation of women in America has enjoyed more freedom and opportunity. I have seen that story in my own family, across four generations of women named Margaret.

My grandmother, Margaret Cooke Byers, was born in 1897 and turned 22 on June 4, 1919 — the day Congress passed the 19th Amendment that would secure women the right to vote. My grandmother never saw herself as a “political person” — but for the rest of her life, she always voted.

Her daughter, Margaret Byers, married my father in 1952, at a time when women often required their husband’s permission to access contraception. A few years later, when credit cards were invented, she could not hold one in her own name. My experience has been different.

Over the course of my lifetime, I have seen women make steady gains towards equality. I was born in a year where there were no women governors in the entire country; now, because of the people of New Hampshire, I am the second woman in American history elected as both Governor and Senator. What will the future hold for women like my daughter, Margaret number four in our family? That is the question now — we owe it to the next generation to keep fighting. Not only because of our belief in the right of every individual to be free, but also because of our understanding of what will happen to our democracy if women do not have the same fundamental freedom as men do. We must reject the callous and cruel disregard for individual freedom that is at the heart of the Supreme Court’s radical decision in Dobbs.

Our democracy will wither if we don’t. Because the promise of our democracy is that everyone deserves to be free and be included as a full and equal citizen. Extending that promise to women has only made our country stronger.

We cannot despair. We cannot give up. We have to organize and we have to vote this November.  We cannot let this decision be the final say on a woman’s freedom or on the right of all Americans to reach their full potential in our democracy. We need to stay in this fight — and win.


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