It has been one year since the ultraconservative U.S. Supreme Court repealed Roe v. Wade. By overturning a nearly 50-year precedent, abortion has become more inaccessible than ever. That’s why we need to strongly support the Abortion Justice Act.
As many as 22 million women, girls and other people of reproductive age currently live in the 20 states where abortion is either completely illegal or largely inaccessible. The Freedom From Religion Foundation’s home state of Wisconsin is one of those. Research by the Society of Family Planning has determined that abortion access has been disrupted for more than 80,000 people seeking abortion care. And while abortion bans impact everyone, low-income, immigrant, LGBTQ-plus and communities of color are especially affected by the increased barriers to health care.
There is no evidence-based reason to restrict or ban abortion. In fact, the American Medical Association has declared that abortion bans violate human rights. Additionally, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists proclaims that “abortion is an essential component of comprehensive, evidence-based health care” and opposes any restrictions. The United Nations concurs, stating that abortion restrictions are gender-based violence. It is important to underscore that Christian nationalist and other archconservative religious groups are the only organized opposition to abortion bans and comprehensive reproductive health care.
And when abortion is denied from people who want care, the results are horrific. A groundbreaking longitudinal research study found that when women who want an abortion are not provided it, they are more likely to experience serious pregnancy outcomes and poorer health outcomes. Furthermore, they are more likely to undergo financial and emotional distress, as well as be compelled to stay in contact with abusive partners.
This is why it is so important that we support the Abortion Justice Act. On June 22, Rep. Ayanna Pressley, along with Reps. Veronica Escobar, Nikema Williams, Cori Bush and Maxwell Frost, introduced the measure, which would make abortion available without barriers throughout the country. Specifically, the Abortion Justice Act calls for federal investments in abortion care, such as training, research and outreach. In addition, it requires insurance coverage to include abortion care, protects patients and providers from criminalization, affirms the legal right to abortion, removes systemic barriers for immigrant families, and addresses racism and disparities in the health care system. Pressley explains that the Abortion Justice Act “builds the infrastructure necessary to systematically expand access to care, and I am thankful for my colleagues and our advocates for their close partnership on this bill. A just America is possible, and I look forward to the day where our bodily autonomy is our own.”
This past year has been particularly horrific for millions of people who cannot access abortion care. The Abortion Justice Act can build a stronger future where people can make their own health care decisions that are based on reason — not religion. Now that it has been reintroduced in the U.S. House, I am asking you to contact your representative and insist that it is time to make abortion accessible for all. You can find your representative here.
We all need to do what we can currently in support of abortion rights.