2023 Reproductive and Sexual Health Rights and Access Agenda
In June 2022, the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, marking the end of a federal constitutional protection for abortion in this country. It is anticipated that as many as 26 states will ban or severely restrict access to abortion, impacting more than 36 million people with the capacity to become pregnant. People living in those states in need of abortion will face significant barriers trying to access that care – the cost of that care when they lack health care coverage, traveling hundreds of miles, while needing to take time off from work and find childcare. For some those barriers will be insurmountable, and they will be forced to either self-manage their care, remain pregnant, placing their health and well-being at risk.
Even when Roe was in place, the right to abortion was and still is in name only for far too many. Decades of tenacious efforts by anti-abortion policy makers led to the enactment of over 1,380 abortion restrictions since the landmark decision in 1973. Restrictions that deterred, delayed, and denied many from exercising that constitutional right. Restrictions that are built upon and operating within our country’s legacy of racism and discrimination, and thus disproportionately impact Black, Latino, Indigenous and other people of color, young people, disabled people, and people experiencing poverty. Today we find ourselves not in a fight to restore Roe, instead we must reimagine the future. It is incumbent on us to build a system of policies and care that is anchored in equity – where everyone who needs an abortion can truly access abortion care. To fight not just for the right to abortion, but for policies that at the core effectuate that right and advance equality and justice for all.