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Video: Dem. Senator Hirono issues ‘call to arms’ from Senate floor to fight GOP on abortion

Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) at a pro-abortion rally in 2019. (Photo by Senate Democrats/Released)
September 15, 2022

In a speech from the U.S. Senate floor on Wednesday, Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) railed against a newly proposed Republican abortion bill, saying “this is literally a call to arms.”

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“This is an outright attack on women in this country,” Hirono said. “That is how I see it. That is how more and more women — and those who support our right to make decisions about our own bodies — that is how we see it.”

“Madame president, I yield the floor but clearly this is a — literally call to arms in our country,” Hirono said as she concluded her remarks. “Yield the floor.”

Hirono made the comments during a Senate discussion of a bill brought by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) that would impose a nationwide ban on abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

Hirono’s reference to a call to arms comes after groups and individuals animated against restrictions on abortion have attacked pro-life organizations and plotted to kill conservative Supreme Court justices who recently overruled the Roe v. Wade abortion case, expanding state’s abilities to restrict access to abortions.

In June an armed suspect named Nicholas Roske was arrested near conservative Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s Maryland home. Roske confessed he had traveled to Maryland from California and was “upset” after a draft version of the court’s decision overturning Roe V. Wade was leaked. Roske said he “began thinking about how to give his life a purpose and decided that he would kill the Supreme Court Justice.”

According to the FBI, Roske indicated plans to kill other Supreme Court justices, saying “I could get a least one, which would change the votes for decades to come, and I am shooting for 3,” the Washington Post reported.

A group called “Jane’s Revenge” has also claimed credit for firebombing and vandalizing facilities operated by pro-life organizations. The group has claimed credit for at least seven attacks. In a statement, the group declared “open season” on pro-life organizations, threatening to increase attacks against “crisis pregnancy centers, as well as the churches, banks, and businesses that support them.”

Hirono’s comments come less than two weeks after President Joe Biden gave a politically charged campaign-style presidential address in which he gave a politically charged campaign-style presidential address from Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. During the speech, Biden repeatedly attacked former President Donald Trump and “MAGA Republicans,” calling them a “threat to this county” a “threat to our personal rights” and a “threat to American democracy.”

During that speech, Biden also decried political violence, though he exclusively cited examples from the political right.

Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH), who is running for the Senate, also made comments on Tuesday about the need to “kill and confront” what he described as an “extremist” movement of Republicans.

Ryan later posted a tweet describing proponents of Graham’s abortion bill as “extremist politicians.”

“Extremist politicians are introducing a national abortion ban today,” Ryan tweeted. “They want to take away women’s freedoms and throw women and doctors in jail. We knew this day was coming. We can’t let them get away with this.”