Why voting in this year’s local elections is critically important for the reproductive justice movement
By Admin | Oct. 26, 2022, 7:05 p.m.
Your vote is instrumental in shaping the future of sexual and reproductive health care access.
Anti-abortion politicians are chipping away at reproductive rights, and they won’t stop until every state, even New York, has a complete ban on safe, legal abortion access. As more people travel to New York to access critical reproductive care, what happens in our November elections will impact the lives of everyone in the country. New Yorkers must vote for candidates who will unapologetically defend the right to bodily autonomy and reproductive freedom and dismantle systems that uphold racial inequity.
There has never been a year in which the chilling effects of stripping away people’s right to access abortion have been so deeply felt and in which the future of reproductive justice has been so threatened. To date, 18 states have abolished abortion or severely limited access to this essential health care service, meaning 1 in 3 Americans have already lost access to the right to control their own bodies. State abortion bans force people to remain pregnant or, if they can afford it, travel hundreds — and sometimes thousands — of miles out of state to access abortion care. That care can be delayed due to the need to navigate complicated logistical hurdles. New York proudly serves as an abortion access state. But make no mistake: No one should have to travel hundreds – sometimes thousands – of miles to access health care.
Arguably, very few people have a higher influence on our everyday personal decisions than those running in our local elections, and right now we have the power to elect those who hold our bodily autonomy and reproductive freedoms as a priority.
Electing pro-sexual and reproductive health care leaders in New York benefits everyone, and is vital for marginalized communities everywhere – in this post-Roe era, it is our responsibility as a progressive state to elect candidates who are not only consistently fighting for our causes, but who represent the diverse needs and wants of the people who will be most affected - people here and New York and people traveling from other states who are forced to overcome deeply rooted systems of oppression. This is especially true for Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian and LGBTQ+ communities and those who stand at the intersections of any of these identities. Even though it was only in 2018 that the New York State Senate flipped to being pro-sexual and reproductive health, New York State has long been known for setting the precedent when it comes to reproductive rights. This year’s local elections are our state’s chance to become the beacon of progressive ideology that it claims to be, and as such, influence what happens to the reproductive health care movement everywhere else in the country.
There's no denying that the Supreme Court's reckless and cruel decision to overturn Roe v. Wade has drastically changed the world as we knew it – our health, our rights, and our lives were on the line. But while it may seem like the Supreme Court gave politicians more authority over our health care decisions, the power over our own bodily autonomy lies in the hands of you, the voter. At least 80% of us want access to abortion care to be protected, making the current Supreme Court not reflective of the beliefs and wants of the people, and this year’s local elections are our chance to show SCOTUS what we stand for. By electing progressive abortion care champions, we could increase our chances of enacting into law long-standing bills that guarantee higher protection to our communities – bills such as the NY Equal Rights Amendment, the Abortion Access Fund, and a Comprehensive Sex Education bill.
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