The past few months have been a time of national reckoning. The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed long-standing disparities in our health care system, and politicians have used this time of crisis to further restrict reproductive access. The Black Lives Matter movement and the current uprising against white supremacy have reminded us that we, as a country, have a long way to go in order to dismantle white supremacy and existing systems of oppression. At RHAP, we are committed to learning from organizers in the Reproductive Justice movement and incorporating reproductive justice principles in our fight for reproductive health access for all. We recognize that reproductive freedom cannot be achieved without addressing the institutional racism within our healthcare system, and we are in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, Black colleagues, protestors, and organizers who are condemning anti-Black racism and state-sanctioned violence. In our official statement, we’ve outlined an action plan for incorporating a racial justice lens into our work and centering the voices of Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC).
We have also heard decisions by the Supreme Court, with vast repercussions for reproductive access throughout the country. One such ruling was June Medical v. Russo, where the Court followed precedent from Whole Woman’s Health v Hellerstedt and struck down a medically unnecessary admitting privileges law in Louisiana. We celebrated this victory, while recognizing that it did not protect abortion access definitively or make abortion more accessible to the millions of people throughout the country still denied reproductive and bodily autonomy. In Trump v Pennsylvania, the Court sided with the Trump administration and let employers with religious or moral objections limit birth control access under the Affordable Care Act, resulting in thousands of people losing contraceptive coverage. We condemned this ruling as part of the government’s constant attack on reproductive freedom, especially despicable within the context of the pandemic.
In light of all of these developments, one thing stays constant: we pledge to continue our fight to make reproductive health care accessible to all.
Read our full statements here:
This article was written by our summer intern, Vishu Chandrasekhar. Vishu is supported by the Civil Liberties and Public Policy Program.