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From the desk of ... Kalpana Krishnamurthy, Repro Health Watch

Ten Thousand Miles for Reproductive Justice

Kalpana Krishnamurthy, Policy Director, Forward TogetherBy Kalpana Krishnamurthy, Policy Director, Forward Together and All* Above All West Coast Tour Manager

Kicking off in Los Angeles, California on August 9th, the All* Above All Be Bold Road Trip began its month-long, cross-country journey through 12 cities and eight states. Covering 10,000 miles of the United States, the tour’s message is indeed a bold one: The time has come to end bans on abortion coverage for low-income women nationwide.

Be Bold Road Trip VehicleAs the bus made its way from state to state, supporters came out in droves to learn the harmful impact of these abortion coverage bans, and lend their voices to the call for change. From Los Angeles, to Minneapolis to Philadelphia, crowds of millennials, people of color, social justice advocates, religious leaders and community group members joined to stand tall against the avalanche of attempts to disenfranchise them and undermine their decision-making. It was a powerful sight to see.

Since passage of the Hyde amendment in 1976, Congress has withheld coverage for abortion services from women insured through the Medicaid program. Today, that means that nine million women of reproductive age are denied access to the full range of reproductive health care. Since passage of the Affordable Care Act, policymakers in 25 states have enacted additional restrictions on insurance coverage for abortion in state marketplaces, and eight of those states have banned coverage in all private plans. Recently, federal and state politicians have doubled down on their efforts to restrict abortion, with many states passing laws that create even more barriers by overregulating clinics. The unnecessary regulations can make abortion unaffordable and unavailable.

Be Bold Road Trip ActivistsIf you were with us on the bus tour, however, you could see yourself that it’s a new day.

The undeniable energy and passion of the young people. The strong assertions of legislators who want to lead. The powerful voices of long-time advocates for women’s health. All of us who came together this summer, all of us who joined the Be Bold Road Trip shared a deep belief that decisions about health care should be left to a woman and her family, and that none of us deserve to be denied care simply because we don’t have enough money. No longer can we stand by while politicians trade away women’s health care to score political points. At each of the stops on the bus tour, enthusiastic supporters signed a petition calling on politicians to join our movement and declare their support for lifting the abortion coverage bans.

Decisions about our families and our health are ours to make — and we traveled 10,000 miles together to make the point.


Comments

Submitted by old school mama on October 23, 2014
Sadly, we all have to stand up for our rights or risk losing them and control over our own bodies and reproduction is the bedrock of all other women's rights. Unfortunately so many younger women are too young to remember that fact and how hard our past generations have had to fight for even basic rights like the right to vote or own property
Submitted by Jen on October 16, 2014
I'm not sure where Medicaid has banned abortions, but New York State recipients of straight Medicaid as well as those with Medicaid HMOs such as Affinity, Hudson Health, etc., are covered 100% for elective surgical abortion. So it is obviously different for each state, since Medicaid is a state-run program. I work for a gynecologist who performs these procedures, so we take care of, and verify patients with this insurance every day.
Submitted by cindochina on October 16, 2014
Women MUST have the right to safe abortions. I applaud and support your work.
Submitted by Harold on October 15, 2014
THis is an issue that should well have been decided and passed in earlier years. Low income womwn should have the same rights as women from higher socio-enconomic strata.
Submitted by catseye on October 15, 2014
Awesome! We can't let these RWNJ's take away our most basic right.
Submitted by Randy on October 15, 2014
Great Work!! Standing up for women's rights is STILL needed. As someone who grew up in the 60's and 70's, I saw great change and accept my 'sisters' as equals. Women's rights will only help HUMAN RIGHTS overall. Keep up the good work. There are REAL MEN behind you also!!
Submitted by Seasaw on October 15, 2014
I completely support your work, Kalpana, and as an (older) Millennial, I am so happy to see this activism and will join in however I can.
Submitted by Shirley Schlichter on October 15, 2014
I would prefer no one had to abort, but I stand up for the right for the ones who have the need to. No woman has full rights unless she/we have our own voice over our own body. Thank you.
Submitted by Grand_Lady on October 15, 2014
So proud of all of you. I marched for this 40 years ago - can't believe we have to do it again!
Submitted by Earsell Leslie Sr. on October 15, 2014
Keep up the good work, you have my support.
Submitted by Susanne on October 15, 2014
This effort has been important to me since 1960 when I became aware of the need. I'm shocked that the need has only become greater. Best wishes.
Submitted by Lynn on October 15, 2014
You young people are my idols! I marched with my youngest son on my back for CHOICE in 1971-2. He is now 45. I can't March any more till I get a new hip, but I can cheer you guys on. You are strong and own the future, carry on! Lynn
Submitted by lifescab on October 15, 2014
A great big thumbs up!

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