Voces Unidas: Protecting access to reproductive health care and abortion is critical

The Latinx community knows firsthand what it means for governments to underestimate our needs when it comes to healthcare. , are often targeted by misinformation and stigmatization when trying to access reproductive health care.

As such, the Latinx community wants more deliberate policy measures to protect and expand access to abortion. And that’s why our organizations continue to work in Colorado to expand access to everyone, regardless of immigration status, age, religion, or income. Not only must access to certain abortion care continue to be provided, but it must be expanded for all those who need it.

Reproductive justice is about access, not just the ability to decide. And while we are proud of Colorado’s commitment to reproductive health, we must take additional steps to ensure broad and equitable access to abortion care. This includes repealing an outdated constitution that prohibits the use of state funds for abortions, and enshrining the Reproductive Health Equity Act, passed by lawmakers earlier this year, into the constitution so that people can choose to have an abortion. This includes confirming and protecting your rights. abortion.

Unidus Alex Sanchez, Aspen, Colorado, August 2022
Alex Sanchez Voice Unidas Aspen, Colorado August 2022

A narrowly approved 1984 state constitutional amendment prohibited the use of public funds for induced abortion, disproportionately affecting Colorado’s Latinx community and other low-income populations. and restricts access to necessary reproductive care to only those with financial means or private health insurance. Coloradoans don’t have to choose between paying for basic needs or paying for medical services such as birth control, prenatal care, and abortion care. It is vital to the lives of all communities that have been marginalized by the health care system.

To further expand reproductive justice in Colorado, state-funded insurance plans, such as Medicaid and Colorado Employee Health Insurance, must cover abortion. Similarly, state-funded health care providers must be able to expand existing abortion services, rather than forcing private organizations like Planned Parenthood to meet the growing demand.

After the Supreme Court’s decision was overturned Law vs Wade, Colorado has become a haven for access to abortion, expanding its limited resources and is unlikely to change trends. Not everyone is affected equally. Abortion care has always been out of reach for Latinas, Latinos, and other communities of color. Law vs Wade It was the law of the land. And the inability to use state funds to expand abortion services will only increase the burden on the shoulders of those already in the most difficult situation.

Dusty Grull

We don’t want it to continue.

Community power is at the core of our movement for reproductive justice, and the Latino community of Colorado unites to help protect and expand access to safe abortion and reproductive rights for state residents. doing.

According to the recently released Colorado Latino Policy Agenda: (CLPA), nearly 70% of Latino adults, across nearly all demographics — Democrat (74%), Republican (60%), Independent (65%), Male (70%), Female — have safe abortions Supports passage of legislation to protect access to (67%), across the religious spectrum including Catholics (65%).

It is clear that the Latino community wants more policy action on abortion, and support for legally protected abortion extends to support for other related policies. Among them, a poll showed that 60% of Latino voters support using state Medicaid dollars for abortion services, and about the same number support using federal Medicaid dollars.

And we are more than ever willing to put that endorsement in the ballot box.

About 57% of Latino voters surveyed declared they were more likely to vote after learning the Supreme Court had abolished it. Law vs Wadenearly two-thirds (61%) of those surveyed further expressed willingness to vote for candidates willing to expand access to abortion in 2022.

CLPA polls show what we’ve known for a long time. Our community shows that we respect our freedom to choose and decide our future. Nearly 7 in 10 say they trust individuals to make their own decisions about reproductive health care without politicians. interfere. And ultimately, protecting and expanding access to the full spectrum of reproductive health care, including abortion care, is crucial for democracy. Without it, our collective liberation remains in jeopardy.

Latinos are an integral part of our democracy, just as they are a force that protects access to abortion by guiding elected leaders toward policies that reflect contemporary Colorado values. The Reproductive Health Equity Act is an important step in declaring an individual’s right to make reproductive health decisions without government intervention, but it is also a powerful force in the health and well-being of the United States. It will never truly deliver equity without the resources of the state.

Our commitment to empowering communities remains unchanged by bringing them to the decision-making table. Please join us. If you believe in true reproductive justice, join us in working to lift restrictions on the use of state funds for abortion.If you get angry until the end Law vs WadeMake your voice heard and the votes put to good use by participating in the selection of Pro Choice nominees this November. We must work to enact policies that expand access and insurance coverage for abortion. This will ensure that everyone has access to the abortion care they need to thrive in their communities.

Dusty Gurle is the Chairman of the Voces Unidas Action Fund. She is also president and CEO of the Colorado Organization for Latino Women’s Opportunity and Reproductive Rights (COLOR).

Alex Sánchez is the founder and CEO of Voces Unidas Action Fund. Voces Unidas Action Fund is a Latino-led non-profit organization serving Summit, Lake, Eagle, Pitkin and Garfield counties.

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