Protesters hold signs opposing Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation to the Supreme Court of the United States in New York on July 10, 2018. (Photo credit: AP / Seth Wenig)
By Guest Contributor: Sung Yeon Choimorrow (Executive Director, NAPAWF)
One year after the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme
Court, women of color, our families, and our communities are still under
attack. This time last year, more than 100 women and people of color from all
over the country traveled to Washington, DC to voice our strong opposition to
Kavanaugh at the first-ever Reproductive Justice Day of Action. We showed our
collective power in the halls of Congress to fight Kavanaugh’s nomination
because we knew it would exacerbate the decades-long degradation of our rights
and disregard for our lives, our families, and communities.
A sign outside a Planned Parenthood building in NYC. (Photo credit: Lucas Jackson/Reuters)
The Trump administration is holding true to the president’s campaign trail promise to wage a war on women, and the women who are suffering the greatest effects of the president’s hateful policies remain low-income women of color.
Under Title X, reproductive healthcare programs can apply to receive federal funding in order to provide family planning and reproductive healthcare services for low-income patients — all of whom are thereby able to access critical family planning services and reproductive healthcare for little or no cost. Title X funding helps to maintain several community-based reproductive healthcare clinics across the clinic that offer contraceptive services, prenatal care, routine tests and screenings, and treatment for sexually-transmitted infection.
Pandering to his Far Right anti-abortion base, the president’s administration instituted a new federal rule earlier this year that would prevent any reproductive healthcare provider that receives Title X funds from helping patients learn from their doctor where they can obtain abortion services, even if through medically-informed counseling the patient decides that an abortion is the best course of action. This ‘gag rule’ — which effectively restricts the information a patient can receive from their doctor — is a heinous affront to reproductive healthcare access, and it will specifically impact low-income women of colour who rely on Planned Parenthood for family planning and reproductive healthcare access, including thousands of Asian American women.
Today, Planned Parenthood announced that due to the Trump administration’s gag rule, it would no longer accept Title X funding, threatening the network of clinics that Planned Parenthood operates across the country.
By Guest Contributor: Sung Yeon Choimorrow, Executive Director, NAPAWF, Author at HMHB
This week, as the Supreme Court begins hearing NIFLA v. Becerra, we need to remember what is at stake. This is a case that could redefine public accountability for organizations that provide false information or mislead women about their reproductive health options under the guise of religious freedom.
For years, fake women’s health centers have exploited women by masquerading as real health clinics, often locating next to real clinics, adopting nearly identical names, and even clothing their non-medical staff in scrubs – all to give the impression of being accredited health providers. The plaintiff in the case now before the Supreme Court, the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA), joins these fake women’s health centers in trying to overturn the Reproductive FACT Act – a commonsense California law which requires these storefront operations to explain that they are not a licensed medical facility and provide information on how to find one.
This law was enacted to curb the harm caused by fake health centers and reduce the delays in getting real care that women experience when they are duped by these blame-and-shame tactics. Women need accurate information about their options when it comes to pregnancy and family planning – not politically-motivated shame, coercion, or misinformation. We need to expose the truth about these fake centers before their lies endanger the health and safety of any more pregnant women – especially low-income pregnant women, women of color, and immigrants.
Earlier this summer, an Indiana Appeals Court reexamined the case against Patel, and ruled that the feticide law had been inappropriately applied beyond the scope of its original intent. The appeals judge in Patel’s case wrote in the favorable decision, “given that the legislature decriminalized abortion with respect to pregnant women only two years before it enacted the feticide statute, we conclude that the legislature never intended the feticide statute to apply to pregnant women.”
43 years ago today, the Supreme Court handed down a landmark decision that would serve as an important foundation principle for the establishment of reproductive rights for women. In a 7-2 decision, the Justices ruled that the government had no right to interfere with a woman’s decision to seek (or not seek) an abortion for non-medical reasons; this choice, they declared, was protected by our constitutional right to privacy.
Since then, Roe v. Wade has had an incredible impact on women, enabling an unprecedented social, political and economic mobility for women in general.