Standing up for reproductive freedom

Rep. Jamie Raskin
2 min readOct 23, 2017

On Oct. 3, 2017, Rep. Raskin joined his Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus colleagues on the House floor to speak against H.R. 36, another cynical assault on personal health decision-making. We should not be playing politics with women’s health choices.

Rep. Raskin’s remarks:

Congressman Raskin: Mr. Speaker, today I rise for my constituent, Allie, because we should not be playing politics in Congress with women’s health choices and with the family decision-making rights of all Americans.

Last spring, Allie and her husband were thrilled to learn that she was pregnant with their second child. A few months later, they found themselves heartbroken in a doctor’s office in order to terminate a pregnancy that they had so badly wanted.

Everything had gone smoothly until about 12 weeks, when a routine test returned with extremely abnormal results. Allie and her husband hoped for the best and waited several more weeks until they could perform an amnio.

Sadly, the results of the amnio were unbearable. They found that the fetus had grown from a compromised cell line. There were multiple genetic anomalies that would result if the pregnancy continued to term in a child with extraordinarily grave and untreatable physical, cognitive, and developmental problems.

The news was crushing and the decision was agonizing, but Allie knew the path forward for her family was clear. She would become part of the tiny group of women having abortions after 20 weeks, less than 2 percent of all abortions.

But Allie’s story doesn’t end with the decision that she and her husband made. Because she is a Federal employee, the Hyde amendment prevented her insurance from covering her abortion services.

Fortunately, Maryland is a State where we respect women’s choices, and Allie was able to go to a clinic and she paid $900 out of pocket.

Allie recovered quickly from the procedure and she was able to get pregnant shortly thereafter. This summer, Allie and her husband were thrilled to welcome a beloved second child into their family.

Mr. Speaker, Allie has one thing to say to lawmakers here today: We made the choices that are best for our family, and I trust all women to do the same.

Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to vote “no.’’

Watch the video of his remarks here.

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Rep. Jamie Raskin

Proudly serving Maryland's beautiful Eighth Congressional District and leading Democrats on the House Oversight Committee in Congress.