Diana DeGette

Stand Up for Women's Health Care Rally - April 7, 2011

Diana DeGette
April 07, 2011— Washington, D.C.
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Hi, everybody. Are you fired up? I am Diana DeGette. Rosa DeLauro is on her way. Louise Slaughter, my co-chair of the pro-choice caucus, is on her way. We are in a fighting mood. I hope you are in a fighting mood because we’ve got a fight on our hands, in case you haven’t noticed. What the fight we have is the perennial fight for women’s health. We cannot let this 112th Congress take away our rights to health care. Do you agree?

You might have heard that we have 9% unemployment in this country, but apparently this is not the agenda of the new leadership in Congress. Apparently the agenda of the new leadership of Congress is to systematically take away women’s health. You know this, and we are not going to let it happen.

The very first bill they passed was the bill to de-fund the health care bill, which gave so many health care services to women and eliminated discrimination in health care plans on the basis of gender. We think that’s wrong, and we are going to fight to make sure that doesn’t happen.

The second thing they did in my committee, they passed a bill that said you can’t buy an insurance policy and get a tax credit if you offer full reproductive services. We are not going to let that happen either. You might have heard, as well as a few other far right social issues, that the thing that is holding up the budget negotiations right now is their desire to deny women in the District of Columbia the right to full reproductive services. We are not going to let that happen either.

Make no mistake about it—there is as systematic assault on women’s health care: health care, prevention, birth control, and full reproductive rights. It is happening right now, right down the hill, and there is only one way to stop it because we do not have a pro-choice majority in the U.S. House of Representatives. The first thing is—next election cycle, will you please help me fix that? The second thing is—we need to call them out on this. We need to say to them—you know, it is not just about abortion, although abortion rights are important, it’s about birth control. It’s about preventing unwanted pregnancies. It’s about cancer screenings. It’s about women’s health care. You cannot take your right-wing assault out on women. We are not going to allow it to happen.

I am so glad that you are here supporting me and the pro-choice caucus, which is by the way, 170 strong in the house. I am so glad you are here supporting each other. What I really need you to do is march down the street right here and tell every member of Congress, House and Senate, Democrat and Republican, man and woman—we are not going to stand for it. We are going to fight for women’s health, and we are going to fight until we win. Thank you very much.

Speech from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U5NRXin72Lg.