Securing Abortion Care and Reproductive Justice
The decision of when and if to become a parent is one of the most important decisions many of us will make in life. No matter your zip code, everyone deserves access to reproductive care. I am one of the 1 in 4 women who have had an abortion in America. I got an abortion 15 years ago when I was studying at American University for a semester in college. The decision to end my pregnancy was mine to make, and I will never stop fighting to ensure that everyone has the right to make that very personal decision, too.
That personal decision-making is in great jeopardy. We are living in a perilous time for abortion rights in our nation’s recent history. After decades of demonizing those seeking or providing reproductive care, in the coming months the Supreme Court will likely gut or fully overturn Roe v. Wade and trigger abortion bans across the country.
As a former Planned Parenthood of Northern New England board member, I’ve been engaged in the fight for abortion justice for years. I’m proud of the work that our state has done to ensure abortion justice, from avoiding medically unnecessary waiting periods on services, to ensuring that abortions are affordable and covered by insurance. Most recently, we advanced a first-of-its-kind amendment to enshrine reproductive liberty into the Vermont Constitution.
I will continue this fight in Montpelier. I will work to reverse the damage done to abortion and reproductive rights by the Supreme Court and right-wing state legislatures. We cannot allow over 50% of the population to lose the right to bodily autonomy and become second class citizens. I will support the Women’s Health Protection Act so that state legislatures cannot enact medically unnecessary laws restricting abortion access, and I will support the Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance Act, to remove insurance coverage bans on abortion.
I will also address the maternal mortality crisis devastating communities of color – especially Black communities – across our nation. The maternal mortality rate among Black women is a crisis, with Black women 3.5 times more likely to die in childbirth than white women. Providing healthcare to all, as a right, is a critical first step. But we must go further and dedicate funding for at-risk communities to increase informed reproductive services and trained providers.