“Reproductive rights” are the rights of individuals to decide whether to reproduce and have reproductive health. This may include an individual’s right to plan a family, terminate a pregnancy, use contraceptives, learn about sex education in public schools, and gain access to reproductive health services.

The U.S. Constitution does not explicitly mention a right to reproduce, however, the Supreme Court has recognized it as a personal right that is deemed “fundamental” and which extends to procreation (Skinner v. Oklahoma), contraception (Eisenstadt v. Baird), family relationships (Prince v. Massachusetts) and child rearing (Pierce v. Society of Sisters). Moreover, a person’s right to privacy is expressed in the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and was the subject of the precedent setting case of Roe v. Wade.

CHALLENGES

DEFUNDING:The Republican Congress and Trump want to defund the parts of the Affordable Care Act involving abortion and Planned Parenthood.

Planned Parenthood is the biggest, most public advocate for all the rights and services that fall under reproductive rights, including abortion. There is a strong movement within conservative parties to defund PP, yet 97% of its services are not abortion. They include prenatal care, breast cancer screening, family health, STD testing and cure, and even primary care. Those who have no insurance and cannot pay are welcome so any shut down of these clinics often means that basic health services are denied to families and women who need them the most, who have nowhere else to go.

BARRED: Those who choose to have abortion as part of their healthcare are barred from participating in a Medicaid program. 87% of PPMM’s patients qualify for coverage covered by medicaid, which covers the full scope of medical services. These patients would not longer be eligible to come if federal defunding passes Congress. PPMM would lose over 200,000 patients, and 800,000 patients nationally!

CHALLENGE

President Trump signed an Executive Order reinstating and broadening the “global gag rule”: no money will be allotted to international services funded by the US that support abortion. The Senate needs 60 votes to repeal this Order.

CHALLENGE

House Resolution 7 enshrines the Hyde Amendment, which basically states that if you buy a plan with abortion, you cannot get a tax credit.

The state of California will pay for abortion services. The rest of the states cannot or will not use state funds if federal funds are denied, and this takes away the subsidies on the exchange.

ACTION

Call or meet your legislative representatives and express support of Planned Parenthood. All volunteers, once trained, can go with PPMM to an upcoming event in Reno to persuade Senator Heller to vote against defunding. This directly impacts his reelection bid in 2018.

The Affordable Care Act defunding abortion and Planned Parenthood services will have its earliest vote in Congress around January 31st. It will probably pass the House. The only chance to rescue PP from defunding is in the Senate. PP needs only three votes in Senate to have defunding struck down.

Mark your calendars: MAY 15: CAPITAL DAY IN SACRAMENTO


blm-repro-rightsA racial and economic divide is emerging: on one side are white and/or economically stable women, for whom abortion is rarer and paradoxically more accessible, and on the other side are women of color and low-income, who are more likely to need an abortion and less likely to be able to afford or access one as well as prenatal health and regular physical exams. [Read more]

 

jemina-blog_

Latinas are a high risk group for access to health care services. According to a policy analysis by the Latina Institute, “Immigrant women are less likely to receive adequate reproductive health care, including cervical and breast cancer screening and treatment, family planning services, HIV/AIDS testing and treatment, accurate sex education and culturally and linguistically competent services.” [Read more]