OpEd: We Must Reimagine Roe to Truly Protect Access for All
Statement by The Womxn Project on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade on Saturday, January 22, 2022
“As we mark the 49th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court case that affirmed the right to abortion, but what is clear is that right is under attack. For many people pushed to the margins - women of color, low-income people, young people, and immigrant women – the right has been pushed out of reach.
We worked hard to pass the Reproductive Privacy Act and make sure that no matter what happens at the federal level that here in Rhode Island the right would be protected in our state. This is a critical step, but it does not ensure everyone who needs an abortion can actually get one. We believe in more!
We are proud to continue to work with Representative Liana Cassar, Senator Bridget Valverde and a strong set of partners to advance the “Equality in Abortion Coverage Act”, our state bill to eliminate the bans on health coverage for abortion and to advocate for the federal EACH Woman Act.
We are grateful to Senators Reed and Whitehouse and Representatives David Cicilline and Jim Langevin for standing with us in support of the Women’s Health Protection Act, which ensures lawmakers do not push medically unnecessary restrictions just to make it harder to provide or seek an abortion.
We need to pass our state bill and push for the EACH Woman and WHPA, but the fact is that still won’t get rid of policies like the one we have here in Rhode Island that create extra barriers for young people. Some people don’t have parents they can rely on. We should make sure anyone who is not ready to be a parent can get an abortion. We need to get this unnecessary and harmful barriers off the books!
There are many other important steps we can take to make sure that whether someone chooses adoption, seeks abortion or wants to become a parent or add to their family that they can make the decision that makes sense for them and get timely, quality care. This includes ongoing efforts to address barriers to abortion pills, making sure that people who are incarcerated get adequate and compassionate reproductive health care, and continuing to expand the availability of the full range of services people need to plan their families and futures and advance health equity for all Rhode Islanders.
We know that Black, Indigenous and people of color in our state continue to deal with huge obstacles to the support and services needed to live with health and dignity. We believe that the ability to seek health care should not be predicated on who you are, where your benefits come from, how much money you make or where you live. It should not be limited by how old you are. It is way past time that we take action to make sure that when a person needs to end a pregnancy, they will have access to safe, affordable medical care.
Let us reimagine what it truly looks like to honor Roe and make sure that we are able to create true abortion access for all!”