In the decades since Roe v. Wade affirmed a women’s right to choose, we have seen that authority slowly be stripped away. In the current political era, attempts to roll back the right of women to control their reproductive functions have accelerated by trying to limit access to birth control and healthcare services and restricting safe and legal abortion.
As a recent New York Times article observed, “The math on the Supreme Court has changed with President Trump’s choice of Brett Kavanaugh last year. And now, in the first legislative cycle after the midterm elections last fall, states are rushing to make changes. Newly confident red states are passing some of the strictest prohibitions the country has ever seen.”
Rather than ensuring women have safe, reliable access to reproductive health services, laws that severely restrict the window for abortion and curtail access to healthcare ultimately put their wellbeing at risk. Yet encouraged by the new configuration of our highest court, many red states are moving to pass laws that would limit abortion access to the earliest weeks of pregnancy, before many women would even know they are pregnant. These “heartbeat bills” are seen as a lever for overturning Roe v. Wade.
At a time when infant and maternal mortality are at alarming rates in this country — the United States has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the developed world – we should be enacting laws and crafting policies that aid and protect women, not punish them. This is especially necessary true for young women, women of color, the LGBTQ community and those who come from low-income backgrounds, who will be disproportionately impacted by restrictions on reproductive rights and healthcare services.
The New York Women’s Foundation remains steadfast in our commitment to fighting for health, sexual rights and reproductive justice for all women. We recognize the fundamental authority and necessity of women to control their health and sexual and reproductive rights. We will continue to drive our resources towards organizations, grassroots leadership and women who uplift women’s voices and experiences, and fight for access to quality healthcare and putting the decision to have children and how to parent them into women’s hands. We will support our sisters nationwide in the fight to maintain reproductive freedom.
Here are several news stories and podcasts that we’re following on this critical issue.
Which States Have Banned Abortion at 6 Weeks? Here’s How You Can Fight the “Heartbeat Bills”
Ohio became the latest state on Thursday to sign into law one of the country’s most stringent abortion laws, joining a league of states that are set to ban or have already banned abortion at six weeks. So, which states have banned abortion at six weeks? Here’s what you need to know. Read it in Romper.
Ohio to Become Sixth State to Ban Abortion Before Many People Know They’re Pregnant
Ohio is the sixth state to ban abortion before many people know they’re pregnant and this law has no exceptions for cases of rape or incest and threatens felony charges to doctors who provide care to patients. Read it in Planned Parenthood.
The Abortion Wars, Part 1: The Last Clinic in Missouri
As Missouri cracks down on abortion access, we visited the only clinic in the state that still performs the procedure. Listen to it in The Daily.
The Abortion Wars, Part 2: The Illinois Option
As neighboring states move to limit abortion access, Illinois is trying to protect it. The New York Times spent a day with three women at an abortion clinic there. Listen to it in The Daily.