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As Supreme Court Takes Key Texas Abortion Case, Barbara Lee Defends Access for Low-Income Women

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A new study has found at least 100,000 and as many as 240,000 women in Texas have attempted to self-induce an abortion. The study comes after about half the abortion clinics in Texas closed under a harsh anti-choice law passed in 2013. On Friday, the Supreme Court agreed to hear a challenge by abortion providers to the Texas law, marking what could be the most significant abortion case since Roe v. Wade. We speak with California Democratic Rep. Barbara Lee, who introduced a bill in July to expand abortion access by dismantling the Hyde Amendment, which bans federal funding for abortion. “The right wing is trying to take away women’s rights, there is a war on women, and we’re not going to let that happen, and so we have to fight back,” Lee says. “We’re on the offense. And we’re going to one day—and I think it’s going to be sooner than later—we’re going to make sure that low-income women have full access to reproductive health services”

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This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: Congressmember—Congressmember Lee, we just have 30 seconds. On a wholly different issue, the Supreme Court has just agreed to hear the challenge to the Texas law, abortion law. In July, you introduced a bill to expand abortion access by repealing the Hyde Amendment, which gives—which forbids any kind of federal funding of abortion. Where is that going? And your response to the Supreme Court looking at this law that could close three-quarters of the abortion clinics in Texas?

REP. BARBARA LEE: Well, let me say, the Hyde Amendment was instituted in the '70s. It prevented a full range of access to reproductive health services, including abortions, for low-income women, many of which are women of color. And no one in Congress has stepped up in the past to try to repeal that amendment. But young women around the country developed a movement, several years ago, to say, “We're not going to allow this to continue without having a full debate on it and without having an effort to repeal this Hyde Amendment.” And I have to applaud all of the members of Congress, the Pro-Choice Caucus, our leader, Pelosi, and the women, especially, around the country who said, “Lets’ introduce a bill to repeal it.”

We have now, Amy—within seven or eight months, we have 103 co-sponsors. And so, I think the country understands that the right wing is trying to take away women’s rights. There is a war on women. And we’re not going to let that happen. And so we have to fight back. We’re on the offense. And we’re going to one day—and I think it’s going to be sooner than later—we’re going to make sure that low-income women have full access to reproductive health services. And that’s the way you ensure liberty and justice for all women.

AMY GOODMAN: Congressmember Barbara Lee, we want to thank you for being with us. This is Democracy Now! We’ll be back in a minute.

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