After decades defending abortion rights, Patty Murray readies for offense

News | May 15, 2022

Moments before the Senate took a doomed vote on abortion rights Wednesday, it fell to Sen. Patty Murray — the highest-ranking Democratic woman and the party’s preeminent leader on health care — to sound a rallying cry against those seeking to reverse Roe v. Wade.

“To everyone who is scared, everyone who is furious, know this: They have some big roadblocks in their way — me, Senate Democrats, House Democrats, and millions of patients across this country who are going to stand up and speak out,” she said.

The speech sparked applause from spectators inside the chamber, who included dozens of House Democratic women who had marched across the Capitol to protest Roe’s potential end at the hands of a conservative Supreme Court — a possibility that was rendered stark this month by the leak of a draft opinion summarily overturning the constitutional right to abortion.