Home 2024 Elections Video: Sen. Mark Warner Talks GOP Opposing Women’s Right to Contraception; Tyler’s...

Video: Sen. Mark Warner Talks GOP Opposing Women’s Right to Contraception; Tyler’s Law/Fentanyl; Envigo Beagles; Biden’s Border Executive Actions; Threats to Our Elections; etc.

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In this week’s media availability, Sen. Mark Warner commented on a variety of topics. See below for video and highlights, including:

  • “I have felt for a long time and believe very strongly that women in America and women in Virginia ought to have the freedom to decide how and when to start a family. Unfortunately, those freedoms around, particularly reproductive health, have been dramatically cut back. We saw the Dobbs decision, which overturned the right to an abortion that had been ensconced as law for 50 years in this country. A dramatic cut back on women’s rights. And yesterday, we had an opportunity to guarantee for women all across America the right to contraception. So, again, a woman can decide when to start a family. Unfortunately, many of my Republican colleagues who say we’ve got no intent in undermining contraception would not put their vote for the legislation we put forward yesterday. We didn’t get 60 votes. Two of my Republican colleagues, Senator Collins and Senator Murkowski, joined all of the Democrats in this effort. But I hope folks, as they go to the polls this year, will remember, don’t look at politicians what they say about women’s health care rights. Look at what they’ve done. Unfortunately, we saw in Virginia a right to contraception law vetoed as well…My message to women and men who are part of families everywhere is you got to vote, You know, and anybody that says, I don’t want to go after your ability to get  contraception, I don’t want to go after, you know, IVF kind of fertilization techniques, I won’t kind of defer on questions on a woman has a right to an abortion. Talk is cheap. What is makes a difference is where you vote and how you vote. And as we saw yesterday, even though virtually every Republican senator said they believe that contraception was not under assault, they wouldn’t back what is a very straightforward law…As we’ve seen in state after state, where a woman’s right to choose has been on the ballot, when women, men who want to respect women’s health care rights get out, they turn out in remarkable numbers. And again, I think that’s the reason why the Democrats in Virginia took back the General Assembly.”
  • Tyler’s law is named after Tyler Shamash, who unfortunately did not get tested in a hospital and died because there was not that testing for fentanyl…We need to make sure that…this bill becomes law so that as folks present at a hospital in an emergency room, this becomes a standard active testing for fentanyl. And that’s not going to solve all of the problem around this issue.  We need to do more in terms of cutting back on the drug gangs from Mexico.  We need to put more pressure on China. But we sure have got to make sure that if a person presents at the emergency room, that it is standard procedure and protocol, that that individual gets tested for fentanyl…”
  • “You all may recall back in 2022, Tim Kaine and I and others, and found that there  was an animal facility in Cumberland, Virginia, owned by a company named Envigo, where 4000 beagles were being held in awful, awful conditions. They were they were being malnourished. They were kept then in cages that were not cleaned. There was about any kind of animal abuse possible. Through our actions, we were able to free those 4000 beagles.”
  • “First of all, you know, the border is a mess. We need to do more. And we had an opportunity to provide the strongest border security law in our country’s history. And it was bipartisan, negotiated by my good friend, very conservative senator from Oklahoma, James Lankford. The only reason we didn’t take that bill up and pass it was callous little political interference from Donald Trump who said, hey, I don’t want to really solve the border, I want to simply bash President Biden. And it was hugely disappointing that we didn’t pass that bill. I think President Biden’s actions, I think, again, he was waiting until after the Mexican elections took place this past weekend. But I think it was appropriate to shut down the border if if more people come across than can be handled so that we don’t have this policy of catch and release for people who are waiting to get their their hearing are released into the country or sometimes they don’t show up. I think it was a strong executive action. The challenge is it probably won’t stand up in court. So he will have taken this action, but without the force of law, the question will be whether it stands up to judicial review. We must fix the border. And the only way you can do that is by passing a strong bipartisan law.”
  • I’m hugely concerned about disinformation. And the truth is, in some ways, we may be more vulnerable today than we were four years ago. And the reasons are one other nation states are potentially using this tool. I you know, we’ve thought about it in the past Russia, China, Iran. There have been public reports that even an ally like  Israel may be trying to influence our elections. And I’m waiting to get a briefing from the intelligence community on that. I also am concerned about the fact that, you know, let’s just face it, more Americans believe crazy conspiracy theories. So the bad guys don’t necessarily have to plant always a false story. They simply have to amplify things that are, you know, racing around the Internet on some of these extreme sites and bring more eyeballs to those stories because people are willing to to believe some of the crazy conspiracy theories. Third is there were six months because of a legal case where we didn’t even have voluntary communications between social media companies and law enforcement. That is restarted.  We lost a valuable six months. And then finally, we’ve got artificial intelligence tools that can create deepfakes where my face and my voice or your face and your voice can be created to say anything. And it’s not you. Even though to the observer, it will appear to be you and your voice. That is enormously, enormously challenging…We don’t need foreign countries interfering in our elections, and we sure as heck don’t need further undermining of trust by AI tools that could be enormously damaging to faith in our election.”

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