In Alabama, Missouri, and in states across the country, extremist Republican lawmakers are trying to turn back the clock, outlaw abortion, and deny women access to reproductive health care.
Even though Roe v. Wade established a woman’s constitutional right to a safe and legal abortion — and has been the law of the land for over 46 years — these extremist Republican lawmakers don’t care. And they are hoping the Supreme Court will back their radical play.
And it just might work. Donald Trump has packed the courts with extreme, anti-choice judges. Senate Republicans stole a Supreme Court seat and rammed through the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh last year to cement an anti-choice majority on the Supreme Court.
This is a dark moment. People are scared and angry. And they are right to be. But this isn’t a moment to back down — it’s time to fight back.
And I’ve got a plan.
Congress should pass new federal laws that protect access to reproductive care from right-wing ideologues in the states. Federal laws that ensure real access to birth control and abortion care for all women. Federal laws that will stand no matter what the Supreme Court does.
Add your name if you agree, and let’s fight to get this done.
Here’s what our plan looks like:
1. Create federal, statutory rights that parallel the constitutional right in Roe v. Wade.
These rights would have at least two key components. First, they must prohibit states from interfering in the ability of a health care provider to provide medical care, including abortion services. Second, they must prohibit states from interfering in the ability of a patient to access medical care, including abortion services, from a provider that offers them.
Federal law preempts state law, so as soon as Congress takes this step, we’d sweep away the bans in Alabama, Georgia, Ohio, and anywhere else.
We’d end the political games being played by right-wing courts to try to narrow Roe’s protections. And because these federal protections would be valid on a variety of constitutional grounds, they would ensure that choice would remain the law of the land even if the Supreme Court overturns Roe.
2. Pass federal laws to preempt state efforts that functionally limit access to reproductive health care.
States have passed countless “TRAP” laws – laws that circumvent Roe to functionally limit and eliminate women’s access to abortion care – which are are medically unnecessary and exist for only one purpose: to functionally eliminate the ability of women to access abortion services.
A bill already proposed in Congress, The Women’s Health Protection Act, could help block these kinds of schemes concocted to deny women access to care. Congress should pass it.
3. Guarantee reproductive health coverage as part of all health coverage.
All women — no matter where they live, where they’re from, how much money they make, or the color of their skin — are entitled to access the high-quality, evidence-based reproductive health care that is envisioned by Roe.
Making that a reality starts with repealing the Hyde Amendment, which blocks abortion coverage for women under federally funded health care programs like Medicaid, the VA, and the Indian Health Service.
Congress should also expand culturally and linguistically appropriate services and information and include immigrant women in conversations about coverage and access. Congress must also pass the EACH Woman Act, which would also prohibit abortion restrictions on private insurance. And we should ensure that all future health coverage — including Medicare for All — includes contraception and abortion coverage.
Ensure equal access and reproductive justice.
We must undo the current administration’s efforts to undermine women’s access to reproductive health care — including ending Trump’s gag rule — and fully support Title X family planning funding. We must crack down on violence at abortion clinics and ensure that women are not discriminated against at work or anywhere else for the choices they made about their bodies.
And these issues are bigger than Roe. The women of color who have championed the reproductive justice movement teach us that we must go beyond choice to ensure meaningful access for every woman in America — not just the privileged and wealthy few.
We must go beyond abortion, to ensure access to contraception, STI prevention and care, comprehensive sex education, care for pregnant moms, safe home and work environments, adequate wages, and so much more. We must build a future that protects the right of all women to have children, the right of all women to not have children, and the right to bring children up in a safe and healthy environment.
The overwhelming majority of Americans have no desire to return to the world before Roe v. Wade. And so the time to act is now.
It’s inspiring to see so many women coming off the sidelines in this fight — and women must continue to speak up to make sure this conversation stays grounded in their real experiences. Men must speak up too.
And Americans outraged by these efforts should get into the political arena, run for office, and make these right-wing Republican lawmakers face the consequences of their actions.
We’re going through a tough time. A really tough time. But we’re not helpless. We’re strong. We’ve got power in our democracy. So let’s use it.
Our democracy should not be held hostage by right-wing courts, and women should not have to hope that Brett Kavanaugh and Donald Trump’s Supreme Court will respect the law.
Add your name if you agree Congress should act to ensure access to reproductive care — including real access to birth control and abortion.
Thanks for being a part of this,