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A New Year’s resolution: advocate for abortion

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New Year's Resolution

This 2023, let’s make a New Year’s resolution to advocate for abortion access. Abortion access has been in a tailspin since the ultra-extremist U.S. Supreme Court repealed 50 years of Roe v. Wade. Immediately, anti-abortion legislators went into action to curtail abortion. According to the Guttmacher Institute, there were 50 abortion restrictions adopted by states in 2022. The majority of these laws are near-total abortion bans. In fact, 13 states have enacted full abortion bans and an additional five states have employed strict limitations on abortion access.  This has placed the United States as a global outlier in abortion care. In fact, the Center for Reproductive Rights explains that the United States is one of only four countries that has rolled back abortion since 1994.

The reversal of Roe has only exacerbated the existing inequities in abortion care. In fact, prior to the high court’s decision, 90 percent of U.S. counties did not have an abortion clinic. / Even still, without federal abortion protections, abortion care has been further decimated. In fact, 66 clinics in 15 states had to close or halt abortion care in the first 100 days after Roe was repealed. And therefore, clinical abortion care decreased by 95 percent in states with bans, without a comparable increase in states where abortion is legal. This indicates that obstacles for accessing out-of-state care are often insurmountable for those who need it.

Nevertheless, abortion advocates prevented further deterioration of abortion. In six ballot initiatives in Kansas, California, Kentucky, Michigan, Montana, and Vermont voters overwhelmingly voted for abortion rights. Furthermore, states like Colorado, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and New York passed legislation to protect abortion rights.

And that’s the type of momentum that we need in 2023 and beyond. But in order to do that, we need all hands on deck. Holding legislators accountable, voting in elections and being active in our community are some ways that we can not only prevent the further deterioration of abortion, but also bring back abortion access.

In fact, secular activists in the United States can learn many lessons from Latin American abortion activists who have liberalized abortion care in traditionally Catholic countries like Mexico, Colombia and Argentina. For decades, activists, attorneys, health care providers, organizers and voters have worked to advance abortion justice in these strictly religious countries. We need to have that same level of commitment to abortion care in the United States.

As a secular nation, our legislation about abortion should reflect facts — not fiction.  Make sure that you are signed up for Action Alerts with the Freedom From Religion Foundation so that you can help defend abortion care for all.

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