Tuesday, January 22, is the 40th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the landmark case which established a legal right to abortion under certain conditions. While Roe has helped many individuals and couples make their own decisions about parenting, its limited scope means that far too many women—often, but not always, for economic reasons—still lack meaningful access to the full range of reproductive healthcare options.
One obstacle to care for women is the Hyde Amendment, which blocks any Federal funding for abortions. For many women, government-funded programs are the only access they have to health care in general, and reproductive care specifically. It’s time our government started to trust women again.
President Obama will soon send his yearly federal budget to Congress and he has a decision to make: he can withhold abortion coverage from women who get their insurance or health care through the Federal government, or he can lift the restrictions on coverage of abortion care. Here at the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, we are commemorating Roe by joining other organizations in taking action as part of Trust Women Week.
At the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, we believe that it is utterly unacceptable—and in fact immoral—for our national policies to single out a group of women for the sole purpose of denying access to reproductive healthcare. Instead, we believe that our lawmakers should be working to ensure that all people can make healthcare and other personal decisions according to their own conscience and values. It should not be the role of government to limit options, but to provide resources—especially for low-income women and other groups with limited options.
This is about compassion. This is about conscience. This is about justice.