Today, a bill was introduced in the United States Senate to institute a nationwide ban on abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. This proposed legislation would curtail the little-remaining abortion care protections and would continue to further violate people’s bodily autonomy and religious freedoms while upholding systems of racism and structural oppression.
We are outraged.
Between rapid-fire state policy changes within days and weeks of losing Roe, the palpable fear of legal consequences for accessing or providing abortion care, and the threat of impending national legislation further restricting or eliminating what limited access remains, American women and people who can become pregnant have been under constant assault. This has been a time of immense trauma for many Americans, the supermajority of whom support safe and affordable access to abortion, and who––like the rest of the world, are grappling with the total fallacy of idealized American promises of personal “liberty” and “freedom.”
This trauma against women, girls and pregnant people is compounded by the oppressiveness of forced pregnancy and forced childbirth in a country with no universal health care, no mandatory parental leave, no affordable childcare or preschool. Our national failures disproportionately affect and impact those experiencing marginalization as well as systemic and institutional barriers, including racism and poverty.
This violation of rights is compounded by other intersectional injustices:
- Racial disparities exist and the criminalization of abortion care after 15-weeks heightens the risk of preventable pregnancy related death experienced by Black mothers. Black maternal mortality rates are 3-4x higher than that of white women.
- DisAbled pregnant people are likely to have unmet health care needs, including reproductive care, especially where out of state travel is required, telehealth appointments are not accessible, and people with disAbilities are more likely to live in poverty.
- Extreme anti-abortion laws undeniably infringe upon religious freedoms for many, including Jews, who support reproductive rights. Abortion restrictions violate a Jew’s right to make choices about their bodies and lives in accordance with Jewish law.
- Transgender, gender non-conforming, two-Spirit, and intersex people often experience gender-based discrimination when accessing health care. In 2022 over 300 anti-trans and anti-LGBTQ+ bills were proposed, as well as 541 restrictions aimed at pushing abortion out of reach. The ACLU has said, “Nearly all of these bills politicize our bodily autonomy and access to essential, life-saving health care.’
In no other area of health care would we ever tolerate or allow for this level of governmental interference and control. Bodily autonomy is the most fundamental human right, and access to abortion care is, too. We won’t rest until every individual is guaranteed the access, the knowledge, and the opportunity to determine the trajectory of their lives – and to thrive.
We will not give up. We will not be silent. We will be marching alongside you. Check out our partner, National Council of Jewish Women’s opportunities to join local activism during Week of Action for Abortion Access (Sept 12-16th), download Zioness posters to print (or let us know if you’d like us to print them for your group) so you can protest with your full, unapologetically Zionist identity on display, and follow us for further updates and actions.