NEW RESEARCH FROM PLANNED PARENTHOOD AND IN OUR OWN VOICE SHOWS THAT HALF OF WOMEN OF REPRODUCTIVE AGE COULD LOSE ACCESS TO LEGAL ABORTION
For Immediate Release: Oct. 1, 2021
“...we’re seeing the reality that millions more could soon face: patients traveling hundreds of miles to get care, having to pay more for travel and lodging, and being forced to be pregnant longer. Many won’t be able to access abortion at all.” – Alexis McGill Johnson, President & CEO of Planned Parenthood Federation of America
“As Black women and pregnant people, our fight has never been about the right to abortion care, it has always been about combating the federal and state barriers that prevent us from accessing the full range of reproductive care, including abortion.” –Marcela Howell, President & CEO of In Our Own Voice
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Planned Parenthood Federation of America and In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda released new research showing that nearly half of the women of reproductive age (18-49) in the United States — more than 36 million women in 26 states, and even more people who can become pregnant — could lose abortion access if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade.
Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court turned its back on nearly 50 years of precedent, allowing Texas’s six-week abortion ban to take effect and rendering Roe v. Wade effectively meaningless for many Texans. Today, a federal district court in Austin, TX is hearing the U.S. Department of Justice’s request to block the Texas ban. On December 1st, the U.S. Supeme Court will hear a case about Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban in which Mississippi and others have asked the Court to overturn Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which would put abortion access at risk across the nation. These cases pose a crisis-level threat to safe, legal abortion in our country.
Statement from Alexis McGill Johnson, President & CEO of Planned Parenthood Federation of America:
“The threat to the constitutional right to safe, legal abortion has never been greater. For decades, anti-abortion politicians and extremists have worked to ban abortion — pushing harsher restrictions, cutting access to care, and stacking federal courts with nominees hostile to reproductive rights — against the will of the public. Now, with abortion virtually banned in Texas, we’re seeing the reality that millions more could soon face: patients traveling hundreds of miles to get care, having to pay more for travel and lodging, and being forced to be pregnant longer. Many won’t be able to access abortion at all. We need elected officials, at all levels of government, to stop trying to control our health care decisions and advance protections for abortion access. With the right for people to control their own body and decisions at stake, Planned Parenthood and our 17 million supporters will not back down.”
Statement from Marcela Howell, President & CEO of In Our Own Voice (IOOV):
“As Black women and pregnant people, our fight has never been about the right to abortion care, it has always been about combating the federal and state barriers that prevent us from accessing the full range of reproductive care, including abortion. We urge Congress to support the Black Reproductive Justice Policy Agenda, a document that addresses issues like abortion access and calls for systemic change to truly make the United States a place where Black women and their families can live and thrive.”
Today, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer joined PPFA President & CEO Alexis McGill Johnson in a press call outlining this report and what’s at stake for tens of millions of women and people who can get pregnant.
When the RED ALERT Report was last published in 2018, 20 states were primed to ban access to safe, legal abortion should Roe fall, impacting 25 million women of reproductive age. Now just three years later, 26 states are poised to move to ban abortion— putting at least 11 million more women, trans men, and nonbinary and gender-nonconforming people at risk of losing access to abortion. The states most likely to quickly move to ban abortion are: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. In these states, abortion bans could quickly be enacted and implemented after, or even immediately triggered by, a Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade. Even in states with constitutional protections or supportive governors, abortion access is still at risk due to hostile legislatures, pre-Roe abortion bans, and shifting judicial benches.
Tomorrow, people across the country will participate in a national day of action to Rally for Abortion Justice. More than 190 organizations are supporting the day of action, which will feature more than 600 events across the country.
Read the full RED ALERT Report here.
Background information from the report:
In 2021 alone, nearly 600 abortion restrictions have been introduced nationwide, with 90 enacted into law — more than in any year since Roe v. Wade was decided. Abortion restrictions already harm Black, Latino, and Indigenous people most, and these communities stand to lose the most if Roe is overturned. This is the direct result of historic racism, ongoing white supremacy, and coercive reproductive policies in our country. Systemic racism in the U.S. health care system creates substantial barriers to accessing care. For instance, women of color are more likely than white women to live in poverty and have limited access to health care, due to the expense, as well as discriminatory public policy. For many communities of color, abortion is already out of reach, or nearly so.
The breakdown of who could lose abortion access highlights the stark disparities for people of color and people with low incomes in our country. According to the report, the 36 million women, and more trans men, and nonbinary and gender-nonconforming people who would lose access to abortion if Roe is overturned include 5.3 million Black people, 5.7 million Hispanic or Latino people, 1.1 million Asian people, and nearly 340,000 American Indian or Alaska Native people of reproductive age (American Community Survey 2019). The vast majority of abortion patients, 75%, are people with low incomes, 49% earn below the federal poverty level (a family of two earning an annual income of $15,730 or less).
Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable sexual and reproductive health care for all people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With more than 600 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect, and without judgment, striving to create equitable access to health care. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable education and information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives. Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that supports the independently incorporated Planned Parenthood affiliates operating health centers across the U.S.
In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda is a national reproductive justice organization focused on lifting the voices of Black women at the national and regional levels in our ongoing policy fight to secure reproductive justice for all women and girls. Our eight strategic partners include Black Women for Wellness, Black Women’s Health Imperative, New Voices for Reproductive Justice, SisterLove, Inc. SisterReach, SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW, The Afiya Center and Women With A Vision.