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AB Leadership Press Releases Cecile Richards Mike Johnson Monday, Nov 6 2023

AB21 Co-Chair Cecile Richards: Speaker Mike Johnson Among the “Worst” Choice for Abortion Rights

Nov 06, 2023

American Bridge 21st Century Co-Chair Cecile Richards penned an op-ed for Teen Vogue about the new House Speaker, Mike Johnson, and his anti-abortion record and agenda.

Read the full op-ed here.

Teen Vogue: Speaker Mike Johnson Among the “Worst” Choice for Abortion Rights, Says Cecile Richards
By Cecile Richards, American Bridge 21st Century Co-Chair

If Republicans wanted to send a clear message to the American people that they will continue to go after our reproductive rights and take us back to the “18th century”, they couldn’t have picked a better Speaker of the House than Mike Johnson. As the former President of Planned Parenthood and a longtime activist for reproductive rights, I’ve witnessed my fair share of anti-abortion GOP members of Congress who think they have the right to control our bodies, families, and freedoms.

Speaker Johnson may be among the worst.

Johnson has been “involved in the movement [to ban abortion] for over two decades,” building his career by defending anti-choicers in court and working for extremist organizations like the Alliance Defense Fund, now known as Alliance Defending Freedom. It’s where he honed his skills to go after pro-choice organizations and abortion providers.

He called for doctors who give abortion care to be sentenced to hard labor. Johnson even said that safe and legal abortion is “a holocaust that has been repeated every day…since 1973’s Roe v. Wade.”

This is the man House Republicans have chosen as their Speaker.

Johnson also recently cosponsored a bill to defund Planned Parenthood — even as his state struggles to provide adequate care for pregnant Louisianians. 60 Minutes reported over the summer that “a third of Louisiana’s parishes are maternal health deserts – meaning they don’t have a single OB-GYN, leaving more than 51 thousand women in the state without easy access to care and three times more likely to die of pregnancy related causes.”

Now, Johnson has the power of the speakership to shepherd legislation through Congress. He, with backing from his fellow Republicans, has the power to launch an assault on the few remaining reproductive rights we have left.

Johnson has made clear that, if given the chance, he would wholeheartedly approve of GOP bans on birth control like the morning after pill, as Johnson himself has referred to it as an “abortifacient”. Not only is this medically incorrect, it’s also a dangerous lie that Johnson can now spew into one of the biggest microphones in Washington.

He will undoubtedly use his newfound power to continue fearmongering and endangering people’s lives as he tries to roll the clock back. Johnson has said as much, citing medical opinions from 1859 to justify his belief in a total abortion ban.

The GOP Speaker believes the Constitution does not give us the right to make decisions about our bodies.

In elections next week — looking at you Virginia, Kentucky, and Ohio — and elections to come in 2024, we the people have the power to vote Johnson and his party out. We the people will fight to get our rights back.

Published: Nov 6, 2023 | Last Modified: Jan 31, 2024

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