Quigley Speaks at “Hands Off My Birth Control” Rally, Urges Men to Step Up in Protecting Access to Affordable, Reliable Contraception
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Representative Mike Quigley (IL-05), a member of the Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus, spoke at the #HandsOffMyBC Rally in support of protecting access to affordable and reliable birth control. Following the recent decision by the Trump Administration to allow employers to claim a religious or moral objection to providing birth control coverage to their employees, Rep. Quigley joined advocates and colleagues in support of a woman’s right to make her own family planning decisions. As a male member of the Pro-Choice Caucus, Rep. Quigley also called on men to become more engaged in the fight for reproductive rights.
See Rep. Quigley’s full remarks, as prepared for delivery, below or click here for the Facebook Live Stream.
“Good afternoon. Thank you for being here and thanks birth control!
“I want to start by painting a picture of an infuriating image you’ve all seen too many times before: Old, white men sitting around a table, undermining your healthcare and reproductive rights. Members of Congress making decisions—without a single woman present—that interferes with your deeply personal decisions. They can determine your fate and your future with the stroke of a pen.
“I am here to say I am not one of those men, and neither are the gentleman standing here with me today. Unlike them, we trust women to make their own family planning decisions and believe access to birth control is not just a ‘women’s issue.’ It’s a human rights issue and its long past time for men to enter the conversation as allies.
“Birth control is not controversial but something that an overwhelming majority of women will use over the course of their lifetime. That includes young women in college, married women planning their families, and women who rely on birth control for medical reasons. Attacks on birth control access affect these women directly and are beyond dangerous.
“Trump’s policies will undoubtedly rollback the significant progress we’ve made under the affordable care act, and I’m here to say that we cannot go backwards.
“As a male member of the pro-choice caucus, I know that for far too long women have fought alone to protect their right to affordable, reliable birth control. I am proud to stand up as an ally in the fight to protect our care and protect access to contraception.
“Let’s change the narrative and encourage men to champion reproductive rights, right along-side the women leading the charge. Not simply for our wives and daughters, but because it’s the right thing to do.”