Michigan Democratic Representative Elissa Slotkin criticized her Republican colleagues for their “heartless, violent approach to women’s health” in response to an abortion measure that had been included in a veterans bill.
Republicans have voiced their opposition to the Solid Start Act, a bill to help veterans transition into civilian life during their first year out of the armed forces.
More specifically, they've raised objections to the bill's provision that women veterans receive "information tailored to their health care and benefit needs" that would adhere to a Department of Veterans Affairs policy (VA) policy providing abortion access and services for women veterans in cases where a pregnancy is the result of rape, incest or when the life of the woman is at risk.
The VA's move came two months after the Supreme Court ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization that overturned Roe v. Wade, the 1973 landmark decision that once protected a person's right to choose reproductive healthcare without excessive government restriction.
A furious Slotkin, whose stepdaughter is an Army officer, quickly took Republicans to task.
You can hear what she said in the video below.
“If you can’t state it, then be clear you believe in no exceptions for women — a cold heartless, violent approach to women’s health. You want to ban all abortions. That is your goal."
"Many of you have been open about that, and if you flip the House, we know that you will put forward a full ban on all abortion for all states.”
“We are all, on this floor, elected officials and not medical professionals."
"If it was your wife, your daughter who was suffering through a miscarriage, are you gonna tell her she can’t until her fever gets high enough and until she’s bleeding harder?”
“If that’s what you want for veterans, shame on you! Shame on you!”
Many have praised Slotkin for her remarks and joined her in criticizing Republicans.
Republicans have faced significant pushback in the weeks since the Supreme Court overturned Roe, with one prominent GOP candidate—venture capitalist Blake Masters, the nominee in this year's Senate race in Arizona—making headlines after he was caught altering his campaign website to soften his position on abortion.
Nowhere was this pushback more apparent in recent weeks than when Kansas voters secured a win for reproductive rights activists after voting to enshrine reproductive rights in the state constitution, the result of an effort to ensure the state—typically Republican and conservative—remains a safe haven for abortion in the Midwest.
Democrats, including Pat Ryan, a county executive in New York’s Hudson Valley, also made gains in primaries around the country over the past month. Ryan fended off a Republican opponent by stressing his commitment to abortion rights, making it central to his campaign in a district that Republicans saw as a prime pick-up opportunity.
Throughout several special elections since the Dobbs decision in late June, Democrats from the Hudson Valley in New York to the red wilderness of Alaska have outperformed expectations, largely seen as a reaction to the radical Supreme Court decision.