Leader Jeffries, Wasserman Schultz, Kildee Lead Democratic Steering & Policy Committee Field Hearing on Reproductive Freedom with HHS Secretary Becerra, Affected Floridians

oday’s stories were profound and moving, and we all had a chance to understand and learn firsthand how people in this state and across the nation are suffering under anti-abortion policies.

Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. – Yesterday, U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-25), House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries and Rep. Dan Kildee (MI-08) co-led the first field hearing of the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee at the Broward County Governmental Center, to discuss the state of reproductive rights in Florida and across our country. Affected women, local stakeholders, and U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra testified about the immense hardships and health threats that these extreme abortion bans pose for women in Florida and across the nation.

The hearing also included Reps. Robin Kelly (IL-2), Kathy Castor (FL-14), Darren Soto (FL-09) Jared Moskowitz (FL-23) and Maxwell Frost (FL-10). Click here to watch video of the full hearing.

On Monday, Florida’s Supreme Court ruled that a six-week abortion ban could soon take effect. The court also ruled that in November, the people of Florida will vote on a Constitutional amendment to make abortion access a guaranteed right for women in Florida. 

“Florida is now ground zero in the fight to protect a woman's freedom to make her own reproductive health care decisions. As House Democrats, we are here to make clear that we stand with you to protect reproductive freedom,” said Leader Jeffries.  “An extreme group of individuals in this state, led by the current governor, are prepared by almost any means to jam their radical, right-wing ideology down the throats of the people of this state as part of an effort to try to impose a nationwide abortion ban. But we can stop them, we must stop them and we will stop them together.”

“Today’s stories were profound and moving, and we all had a chance to understand and learn firsthand how people in this state and across the nation are suffering under anti-abortion policies,” said Steering and Policy Committee Co-Chair Wasserman Schultz. “These voices represent the women that we all know. They are the people on the ground that must navigate bans, barriers, criminalization, persecution, and uncertainty. They are our neighbors, friends, colleagues, and fellow Americans. The Florida Supreme Court did a horrible thing yesterday, ripping away decades of abortion rights that were long recognized in our state Constitution. But they also did the bare minimum, and observed the Florida Constitution that says when enough voters petition to amend our rights, we voters all get a say in preserving our own freedoms. Now we must go to the polls and demand our reproductive freedom this November.”

“Reproductive freedom and the individual rights of Floridians and all Americans, including the individual right to make health care decisions and when to start a family, are under attack. Extreme Republicans want to restrict access to IVF and enact a nationwide ban on abortion,” Congressman Kildee said. “But across the country, Americans are beginning to stand up to this extremism. In Michigan, voters stood up to protect reproductive freedoms, voting overwhelmingly to enshrine abortion rights in our state’s constitution. Democrats—under the leadership of President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries and Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz—are working to restore the individual freedoms of Americans to make their own health care choices.”