On this day around the world — International Women’s Day — we celebrate achievements but also spotlight injustice and repression. A world-wide human rights campaign has improved legal rights for women in many countries, affording more opportunities for education and leadership. But today is also an appropriate time to remind the world about the suffering and depravity that ISIL continues to impose on women, particularly members of ethnic and religious minorities.

These horrific acts tear communities apart, suppress dissent, exert control over women and their family members, and create an environment of threat and intimidation.

A fundamental part of the ISIL extremist terrorist strategy is the kidnapping and rape of women and children. These horrific acts tear communities apart, suppress dissent, exert control over women and their family members, and create an environment of threat and intimidation. Policymakers across the political spectrum united in the goal of defeating ISIL must save civilians that ISIL terrorizes. …

Today, I joined thousands gathered at the steps of the Supreme Court, as it heard oral arguments in Whole Woman’s Health et al. v. John Hellerstedt, MD. It is widely regarded as the most consequential case on women’s reproductive rights that the Court has considered in decades. The law at issue — Texas’s H.B. 2 — imposes needless, dangerous restrictions on abortion access, such as medically unnecessary building and staffing restrictions, in a blatant effort to foreclose access to reproductive care.

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Speaking in front of the U.S. Supreme Court, March 3, 2016

I was a law clerk for Justice Harry Blackmun in 1974 — just one year after he wrote the majority opinion in Roe v. Wade — and I have worked since then to protect women’s health, so I know firsthand the efforts to roll back reproductive rights. In 1992, the Court articulated the “undue burden” standard, establishing that states may regulate abortion but may not impose barriers that effectively amount to prohibitions. Since then, state legislatures have been engaged in repeated efforts to see how far they can push the restrictive envelope — imposing bad-faith laws and transparently political regulations clearly designed to turn back the clock and country to the pre-Roe era. …

Sen. Richard Blumenthal

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