~ Video of Senator Hirono’s full remarks is available here ~
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI) joined Senators Patty Murray (D-WA), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Tina Smith (D-MN), and Laphonza Butler (D-CA) in holding a press conference to respond to the recent election of anti-abortion extremist Mike Johnson (R-LA) as Speaker of the House. At the press conference, the senators reaffirmed Democrats’ unshakeable commitment to protecting abortion rights and sent a clear message that Johnson must put aside any extreme tactics and partisan policy riders when it comes to abortion—or any other issue—so that Congress can responsibly fund the government and tackle the other pressing challenges our nation is facing.
“MAGA Mike Johnson is as radical as they come—he spent years as an attorney working to restrict abortion access, and has made clear that he wants to outlaw abortion nationwide,” said Senator Hirono. “With every member of the House GOP voting to make him Speaker, it’s clear his radical stance is now the mainstream position of the Republican party. If Mike Johnson thinks he’ll be able to get any anti-abortion legislation through this Congress, he better think again—Senate Democrats will continue working to protect and defend reproductive freedom for all.”
Newly-elected House Speaker Mike Johnson has openly advocated for and backed multiple bills that would ban abortion nationwide and criminalize providers—including bans before many people even know they are pregnant and so-called personhood bills, which would not only criminalize abortion but also ban emergency contraception and other forms of birth control, stem cell research, and assisted reproductive technology like IVF. Johnson has received an A+ rating from Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America for his long opposition to abortion rights and has celebrated efforts to criminalize health care providers, including praising a Louisiana law that would mean those who provide abortion care can be imprisoned at hard labor and fined up to $100,000. Prior to being elected to Congress, Johnson was an attorney for the anti-abortion legal organization that engineered the end of Roe v. Wade and suggested that birth control was next, and is currently fighting to overturn FDA approval of mifepristone.
A link to download video of Senator Hirono’s full remarks is available here.
A long-time champioin for abortion access, Senator Hirono is committed to protecting the fundamental right to abortion care for all. In October 2023, Senator Hirono joined a letter urging the Biden Administration to require federally and state-regulated health insurance plans to fully cover over-the-counter contraceptives, including Opill—the first-ever FDA-approved over-the-counter birth control pill, which will become available in early 2024—with no copays or out of pocket costs, and without a prescription requirement. A total of 48 Senators signed the letter. In July 2023, Senator Hirono led her colleagues in urging Perrigo, the manufacturer of Opill, to follow through on its commitment to make the contraceptive “affordable and accessible” by releasing a low and affordable retail price and beginning broad distribution of the product as soon as possible. In July 2023, Senator Hirono introduced the Reproductive Health Patient Navigator Act to help women–including those in anti-abortion states–access reproductive health care.