Wasserman Schultz: Tell Scott to ‘stop playing politics with women’s health’
Democratic National Committee chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Pembroke Pines, spoke at a women’s health rally hosted by a Planned Parenthood affiliate in Fort Lauderdale yesterday. At the event, she expressed disappointment with state and federal policy-makers and their attempts to curb access to women’s health care, including abortion rights, this year.
Wasserman Schultz told a large crowd of reproductive justice advocates in Florida about the various attempts by the GOP-led U.S. House of Representatives to limit access to women’s health care.
“We have suffered the most severe attacks on women’s health since Roe v. Wade,” she said. “But we will not go back.”
She said that she was 6 years old when the Supreme Court ruled on Roe v. Wade; the ruling currently provides abortion rights to women in the United States. Wasserman Schultz said that most of her life she never considered that this specific right could possibly be taken away. However, recent legislative action in states and in the U.S. Congress have given her a cause for concern.
“I have never felt my right as a woman was more threatened than I do today,” she said. “This is personal.”
Wasserman Schultz also told the many activists in the crowd they should not let the state Legislature and Gov. Rick Scott “undo everything [they] have accomplished.”
“Tell the governor to stop playing politics with women’s health,” she said.
Scott recently held a signing ceremony for four bills aimed at curbing abortion rights in the state. This past session, GOP legislators in Florida aggressively sought to make it harder for women to gain access to an abortion.
One of a handful of women’s health advocates in the state legislature, state Sen. Nan Rich, D-Weston, was also present at the rally, along with some of her colleagues in the legislature. State Sen. Eleanor Sobel, D-Hollywood, and state Rep. Lori Berman, D-Delray Beach, were among those present. Rich told the crowd that Scott’s recent signing event was an effort to “ingratiate himself with zealots.” Scott invited representatives of anti-abortion groups, as well as some of the more socially conservative members of the Legislature, to the event.
U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Boca Raton, also attended the rally. He said he witnessed Republicans in the House use the “crudest and most horrific terms” when discussing women’s health in the chamber this past year.
Wasserman Schultz has previously said she believes the GOP’s attacks on women’s health would be an asset to the Democratic Party in 2012.