Cummings Condemns Republican Vote toUndermine Reproductive Rights in D.C.
Cummings Condemns Republican Vote to Undermine Reproductive Rights in D.C.
Washington, D.C. (Apr. 30, 2015)—Today, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, strongly opposed the decision by House GOP leadership to vote to overturn an anti-discrimination bill that prohibits District of Columbia employers from discriminating against workers based on their private reproductive health decisions.
“Under this legislation, congressional Republicans would permit District employers to fire a woman because she had an abortion after being raped, demote a man because his wife chooses to use a birth control pill, pay an employee less because his or her teenage daughter became pregnant out of wedlock, and impose a host of other penalties based on ideologies that discriminate against certain reproductive health decisions,” said Cummings. “Far be it from me to give Republicans political advice, but this is a new low for the party that cruelly disparaged Sandra Fluke for wanting to testify about contraceptives—and suffered a massive backlash as a result.”
The Republican resolution would overturn the District of Columbia Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Amendment Act, which prohibits employers from discriminating against employees, as well as their spouses and dependents, based on their reproductive health decisions.
On April 21, 2015, the Oversight Committee marked-up the bill. Afterwards, Dana Milbank of the Washington Post editorialized that Republicans’ “appeal to theocracy Tuesday night was even more incendiary because it was used to justify a bid to strike down a new District of Columbia law protecting women from workplace discrimination if they receive fertility treatments, use birth control or have abortions.”
At the Committee’s mark-up, multiple female Democratic Committee Members voiced their outrage, but no female Republican Committee Members spoke.
- Congressman Carolyn Maloney: “This offensive effort to intrude into the most intimate of decisions of a woman’s life sends a loud and clear message from the majority on this Committee, that you think a woman’s employer does get a say in a woman’s reproductive health care choices. Even though the Supreme Court, the Constitution and women all across this country think that it does not.”
- Congressman Eleanor Holmes Norton: “My Republican colleagues will cite freedom of religion. This is not freedom of religion, this is the freedom to discriminate.”
- Congressman Tammy Duckworth: “My pregnancy likely could not have happened without in vitro, due to the excess of radiation exposure I received during treatment for my combat-related amputations. I feel very strongly that it is heartbreaking that women in this country could be fired simply for using in vitro.”
- Congressman Bonnie Watson Coleman: “It is absurd and arrogant and ignorant that in 2015 we would be having these discussions. It’s not about home rule, small government large government. It is about the Republican party’s failure to come into the 21st century.”