Roe v Wade Statement

Dear Readers,

We are mad. We are sad. We join the millions upon millions of people in our land who are grieving for the loss of our federal protection of reproductive freedom. The SCOTUS decision to overturn Roe v Wade strips women and all who can become pregnant of our fundamental freedom to make the profoundly personal and weighty decisions about our reproductive lives and health.

Although people of all demographic groups rely on access to abortion as part of reproductive health care, low income and Black and Brown pregnant people are those most likely to need them.  We know from the good work of ANSIRH (website here) and the Turnaway Study that women who are turned away from abortion care and go on to give birth are significantly more likely to experience household poverty lasting at least four years compared to  their counterparts who did  receive the abortion. Years after, those turned away were more likely to not have enough money to cover basic living expenses like food, housing and transportation. (https://www.ansirh.org/sites/default/files/publications/files/the_harms_of_denying_a_woman_a_wanted_abortion_4-16-2020.pdf).

In other words, we know there will be more mothers and children and families living in poverty as a result of this decision and all the state decisions that have already and will continue to follow. Not surprisingly, the states that have or will ban or immensely restrict access are the very states with highest poverty rates, the worst safety net benefits, the least likely to have expanded Medicaid and the highest rates of maternal illness and death. It is devastating and cruel.

We must all remember, too, that the reversal of Roe v Wade is not only about abortion access for people who can become pregnant. It is fundamentally about the right to privacy as we all- most especially women and all people who can become pregnant- make profoundly personal and weighty decisions about our health and well-being, our children’s health and well-being, and the very course of our lives. We fear for all of the associated rights built on the very same foundation as Roe v. Wade.

We pledge to turn this fear, our anger, our grief into resolve and creative, rigorous action.

We know women have found ways to determine their reproductive lives over the course of history. We must be sure to work hard to shore up and advocate for the methods that are safe and legal and do not put people’s very lives in danger.

Let’s share our resources and our POWER to serve people who need abortion care NOW, and put our hearts and minds to the social, moral and political task of taking back our reproductive freedoms.

Here are some resources you can use or share with friends, family or people in states where they cannot access safe abortions.

Watch for all of the positive action happening in your own state and get involved if possible. If you want to know more about what you can do to get involved, read this article from the New York Times. We are in this together.

Sincerely,

The BUSPH Center of Excellence in MCH