National Partnership for Women & Families

‘The Fight for Roe v. Wade Is the Fight for Women’s Equality’

Statement of Debra L. Ness, President, National Partnership for Women & Families
WASHINGTON, D.C. — January 22, 2018 —

"Forty-five years after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the landmark Roe v. Wade case, improving women’s health, protecting our privacy and enhancing our dignity and economic security in profound and powerful ways, we are a nation in transition. Despite its transformative impact, Roe is under siege today – and whether or not we preserve it and help future generations realize its promise will help determine whether women will be full and equal participants in our society in the years ahead.

There is no question that our fundamental right to make our own decisions about if, when and how we become parents is under attack. The Trump/Pence administration has appointed zealots to positions of power in the federal government and they have taken dozens of actions to deny women’s access to contraception and abortion, often targeting low-income, rural, immigrant and young women, including by forcing young immigrants in federal custody to carry pregnancies against their will. In 2017 and early 2018, Congress passed abortion bans and other unconstitutional bills designed to deny women access to the reproductive health care they need. The Republican majority has tried repeatedly to defund Planned Parenthood, which provides cancer screenings and other preventive and primary care to millions of women. And across the country, anti-abortion legislators in dozens of states have turned lies into laws that ignore scientific evidence and violate best medical practices in order to take away women’s access to abortion care.

The policies anti-abortion forces in the administration, Congress and the states promote would make it harder to prevent unintended pregnancy and impossible to get an abortion, while also penalizing women for having children. Their proposed bans on abortion coverage would force people to delay care, stop women from getting abortions, and push women and families deeper into poverty.

That’s why, 45 years later, we are working tirelessly to defend Roe and to realize or restore its promise for millions of women. And, despite the gravity of the situation and the huge stakes, I see real reason for hope because of the strength and determination of the Resistance. It was evident again this weekend at women’s marches all across the country. Women – and men – are absolutely determined to make reproductive health care accessible, end the punitive coverage bans, resist Trump’s extreme anti-abortion agenda and prevent him from reshaping the U.S. Supreme Court. Just as we are rising up for fair wages, paid family and medical leave, paid sick days, equal opportunity in education and the workplace and an end to sexual harassment and violence, we are fighting to give every woman access to reproductive health care, including abortion.

That’s because, perhaps more than ever before, we recognize that women’s health and economic security, equality and dignity depend on our freedom to plan whether and when to have children. Our access to the full range of reproductive health services is essential to our ability to pursue education, hold jobs, support our families, and be equal members of society. The fight to preserve Roe v. Wade is the fight for women’s equality – and it’s a fight we will win."

Contact

Lauren Sogor (202) 986-2600 lsogor@nationalpartnership.org

The National Partnership for Women & Families is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace, access to quality health care and policies that help women and men meet the dual demands of work and family. More information is available at www.NationalPartnership.org.

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