With its ruling on June 24th, the U.S. Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade, dismantling the constitutional right to abortion that has stood for nearly 50 years. 26 states are now poised to ban abortion which will leave 36 million people who can become pregnant without access to essential care in their home state.
We have already seen the impacts of abortion bans in states like Texas where the Supreme Court allowed a law to stand that banned abortion at six-weeks, long before most people know they are pregnant. This decision means even more people — especially Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and other people of color — will have to overcome increased barriers to accessing essential health care.
Residents of the District of Columbia face a unique peril. DC residents do not have voting representation in Congress, and anti-reproductive healthcare Congressmembers — who do not represent Washingtonians — can and do deny Washingtonians access to abortion care by controlling DC’s budget and having the ability to impose laws on DC that do not represent DC’s pro-healthcare values.
In Maryland, the General Assembly earlier this year reaffirmed its commitment to abortion access by passing the Abortion Care Access Act that expands coverage equity for people covered by Medicaid; allows nurse practitioners, certified nurse midwives and physicians’ assistants to perform abortion care; and provides a $3.5 million annual fund to train providers who want to add abortion care to their scope of practice.
While abortion will continue to be legal in Virginia, the future of abortion rights in Virginia depends on our elected officials serving in Richmond. Nearly 80% of Virginians believe access to abortion should be legal but Governor Glenn Younkin and anti-reproductive members of the legislature have repeatedly introduced measures that would severely limit access to abortion.
The fight for abortion right in all three of PPADMV’s regions — DC, MD, and Virginia — is far from over. We must continue to take the fight to the streets, courts, and state houses to defend the rights of people seeking reproductive health care, especially abortion. We will fight to make sure everyone has the care they need to control their bodies and their futures.