Planned Parenthood vows to redouble its efforts to fight restrictions on safe, legal abortion across the country.
Today, the Supreme Court of the United States made a landmark ruling to protect access to safe, legal abortion by blocking two unconstitutional Texas restrictions. These restrictions threatened to close all but nine health centers in the entire state that could provide abortion for the 5.4 million Texas women of reproductive age – down from approximately 40 health centers before passage of this dangerous law. As the Court recognized, “neither of these provisions offers medical benefits sufficient to justify the burdens upon access that each imposes.”
In response, Planned Parenthood has vowed to redouble its efforts to fight restrictions on safe, legal abortion across the country. Since 2011, state lawmakers have passed more than 316 restrictions on safe, legal abortion, and have introduced 442 in the first six months of 2016 alone, according to Guttmacher.
“This landmark ruling is an enormous victory for women and families. We are thrilled the Court recognized that these laws do not enhance patient safety – rather, they punish women by blocking access to safe abortion,” said Judy Tabar President & CEO of Planned Parenthood of Southern New England. “Yet far too many women across the country still face insurmountable barriers to health care. A person’s right to make their own decisions about abortion; and sexual and reproductive health care should not depend on who they are or where they live.”
Health disparities in racial and ethnic minority communities remain a serious issue. Many marginalized communities face greater obstacles to obtaining, and benefiting from, sexual and reproductive health care services. For example, African-American women are among the most harmed by HIV in our country, as an estimated 1 in 32 will be diagnosed with a HIV infection in her lifetime. In addition, breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among Latinas, who are 20 percent more likely to die from breast cancer than non-Hispanic women.
Blocking access to reproductive health care has real and disastrous consequences for all people. This often disproportionately impacts communities of color, who already face systemic barriers in accessing quality health care. Members of communities of color have some of the greatest needs for preventive health care visits like lifesaving cancer screenings, testing and treatment for STDs and sexual health education.
“The Supreme Court made it clear that politicians cannot pass laws to block access to safe, legal abortion and that no one should be punished for receiving or providing essential medical care. We are committed to ensuring all communities, and especially those most in need, have access to high-quality care, no matter what,” stated Dr. Timothy Spurrell Medical Director of Planned Parenthood of Southern New England. “Planned Parenthood works every day to break down barriers to access. We will continue to fight restrictions on safe, legal abortion on behalf of our 70,000 patients in Connecticut and Rhode Island. We will not be punished, and we will not go back.”
A PerryUndem poll commissioned by Vox found that the majority of Americans oppose restrictions meant to shutter health centers or make it more difficult for women to access abortion, and that 70 percent of Americans don’t want to see the Supreme Court overturn Roe vs. Wade.
“Today is a great day not just for Texas women, but for all people. As the leading women’s health care provider and advocate, Planned Parenthood will always be here for our patients and the communities we serve – no matter what,” said Tabar.
Planned Parenthood of Southern New England (PPSNE) is one of the region’s largest providers of family planning and reproductive health care services. Since 1923, PPSNE has evolved into an organization with 18 health centers in Connecticut and Rhode Island, delivering care to nearly 70,000 patients annually, and 90 percent of the services provided are preventive.