NEWS: Indigenous people unite to navigate abortion access after Roe

by | Oct 12, 2023 | Repro Health Watch

Indigenous People Unite to Navigate Abortion Access After Roe

The 19th, October 11, 2023

Rachael Lorenzo calls it their “auntie laugh,” a powerful chuckle that lasts long and fills any space. Aunties are prominent figures in Indigenous culture who offer comfort when one needs help. Aunties answer the phone when no one else does. That’s what Lorenzo, who is Mescalero Apache, Laguna and Xicana, does as founder of Indigenous Women Rising, a national fund that covers the costs of abortions – and the traditional ceremonies that follow – for Indigenous people. Since the reversal of Roe v. Wade a year ago, demand for the organization’s services has skyrocketed. The group funded 37 abortions in 2019, 600 in 2022 and over 300 in the first six months of this year. From January to June, it’s spent more to help people than in all of 2022. “We’re investing more money into … airfare, bus, gas, child care, elder care, after care for the individual who’s getting an abortion,” Lorenzo said. “If there are special needs that they have, we do our best to fund that, as well.” Indigenous people have been uniquely affected by the end of Roe. Abortion was never readily available to Native Americans, thanks to a federal law that has prohibited nearly all abortions at Indian Health Service clinics since 1976. That’s always meant traveling long distances for the procedure. But now states with some of the largest Indigenous populations also have some of the strictest restrictions on abortion: places like North and South Dakota and Oklahoma, home to the Cherokee Nation, the second-largest tribe in the U.S. with over 300,000 enrolled members. Across the country, some 2 million Native Americans live in the 20 states with laws on the books banning abortion at 18 weeks of pregnancy or earlier, according to a News21 analysis. “There are clinics closing, providers moving out of those states that we have served or serve, and so we’re seeing more people need to travel from very rural states in order to get abortion care,” Lorenzo said.

Read more

Abortion Ballot Tracker: Where Your State Stands on Codifying Reproductive Rights

Rewire News Group, October 11, 2023

Abortion wins elections. We saw it last year in Kansas, Kentucky, and Michigan, where voters rejected abortion restrictions and affirmed expanded protections. Next month, Ohio voters will decide whether to enshrine abortion rights into the state constitution. Now, advocates and opponents alike are pushing more abortion-related measures onto upcoming ballots. Rewire News Group will be tracking abortion ballot initiatives and updating this list as groups gather signatures for their petitions and secure their place in next year’s elections.

Read more

More Than 3 Million Financially Insecure Latinas Live in States Where Abortion Is or May Be Banned, Study Finds

CNBC, October 11, 2023

Over a year ago, the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 case that paved the right to abortion, leaving millions of women grappling with the fallout – and Latinas are particularly likely to be affected. More than three million Latinas who live in the 26 states where abortion is either banned or likely to be banned are economically insecure, meaning their family income is below 200% of the federal poverty line, according to a new report by the National Partnership for Women and Families and the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice. That’s almost half the nearly 6.7 million Latinas who live in those states, representing the largest group of women of color affected by the court’s decision. Financially insecure women are more likely to be affected by state bans and restrictions, the report notes, because they are likely to lack funds to travel to another state for abortion care. Lack of abortion access also increases the chance they would be pushed into deeper poverty. “A sound economy requires folks to be able to have freedom and access to what they need in order to make the best decisions,” said Lupe M. Rodríguez, executive director of the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice. “The economy is made up of all of us.” “The effects of folks not being able to make decisions for themselves and not being able to participate in the economy fully has effects on everybody,” she added. Women who work low-income jobs are less likely to have the necessary funds to travel to another state for the treatment, experts say. “The economic insecurity is an additional barrier,” said Shaina Goodman, director of reproductive health and rights at the National Partnership for Women and Families. Roughly 1.4 million Latinas in these 26 abortion-restricted states work in service occupations, according to the report. These jobs are less likely to provide benefits such as paid sick time, and the scheduling isn’t flexible for health appointments, the report found. At large, Hispanic women or Latinas are over represented in low-wage occupations, such as servers and cleaners.

Read more

Ohio Votes on Abortion Rights This Fall. Misinformation About the Proposal Is Spreading

Associated Press, October 11, 2023

The constitutional amendment seeking to guarantee access to abortion rights in Ohio has been fueling misleading claims about how it could influence abortion care, gender-related health care and parental consent in the state. Many of these talking points also are included in a state Senate resolution proposed on Wednesday, which was the first day of early in-person voting ahead of Election Day on Nov. 7. The proposed amendment would give Ohioans the right to make their own reproductive decisions. Supporters say that since Roe v. Wade was overturned last year by the U.S. Supreme Court, the proposal would restore a commonsense abortion protection that most Ohio voters can support. AP VoteCast polling last year found that 59% of Ohio voters say abortion should generally be legal. But opponents argue the amendment, referred to as Issue 1 on the ballot, would do far more than that. Ads portray it as a gateway to children getting abortions and gender-related surgeries without their parents’ consent. Opponents also have falsely suggested the amendment would open doors to protecting abusers and legalizing infanticide. The Associated Press spoke to numerous medical and legal experts, who explained what the amendment would mean for Ohioans if it were to pass in November. The amendment protects ohio’s right to restrict abortions later in pregnancy. If the amendment passes, Ohio can still restrict abortion beyond the point when a fetus can survive outside the womb. With modern medicine, that point, referred to as the point of viability, is typically about 23 weeks or 24 weeks into the pregnancy….The amendment protects people who assist patients – not people who abuse them.

Read more

An Election In This State Could Have National Consequences For Abortion

HuffPost, October 12, 2023

Kimberly Pope Adams did not think she would ever crisscross Virginia farmland, knocking on doors and talking about the abortion procedure she got after experiencing a miscarriage 16 years ago. But over the past 15 months, that’s nearly all she has done. “I’ll be honest with you: It’s uncomfortable to talk about, but it’s necessary,” Adams, who is running for the House of Delegates in Virginia’s 82nd District, told HuffPost. “I cannot keep this story bottled up inside when I know how important the stakes are in this election.” The entire Virginia legislature is on the ballot for the first time since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. Republicans currently control the House, and Democrats have a small majority in the Senate. If Republicans take back the Senate, Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) will get the GOP trifecta he’s long been vying for and the power to enact the 15-week abortion ban he has championed. The results of the November election will be felt beyond Virginia: The state is the last safe haven for abortion access in the South. “If you go southwest from Virginia, you have to go all the way to New Mexico until you reach a state that doesn’t have an abortion ban in effect,” said Jamie Lockhart, president at Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia. “Not only is it critical for Virginians that we remain a key access state, but it’s critical for the whole South.” Pro-choice groups like Planned Parenthood and EMILY’s List have poured millions into the Virginia legislative elections, as have national Democrats. Youngkin and other Republicans have responded accordingly: The governor has raised millions via his political action committee, Spirit of Virginia, to fund Republicans in competitive races. Both sides are trying to inspire voters to show up at the polls. Historically, off-year cycles – where there is no presidential or midterm election – have the lowest voter turnout, and the stakes are high. But a recent poll shows that most Virginia voters say Roe v. Wade’s repeal will play a big role in whom they vote for, and over 55% say they believe abortion should be legal in all or most circumstances.

Read more

ICYMI: In Case You Missed It



We respect your privacy. Read our policy.

Note: The information contained in this publication reflects media coverage of women’s health issues and does not necessarily reflect the views of the National Partnership for Women & Families.

National Partnership for Women & Families, 50th anniversary logo