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Reproductive Rights are Human Rights

Statement in Response to the Supreme Court Hearing Arguments on Mississippi’s Abortion Ban by Elizabeth Barajas-Román, President & CEO, Women’s Funding Network.

As an organization dedicated to advancing the liberation, financial and otherwise, of all genders, the Women’s Funding Network unequivocally asserts that reproductive rights are human rights. Abortion is healthcare. It is a moral imperative that anyone with the ability to become pregnant have access to safe and legal care that respects their dignity, privacy, and personal freedom. We know the fight is uphill and difficult, but this is not the time to give up. It’s time to fight harder than ever before.

If the U.S. Supreme Court allows Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban, it effectively allows the government to eliminate a person’s right to their own body. 

Women in the U.S. with financial means—usually white women—have always been able to access safe abortions, regardless of the law. Roe v Wade just leveled the field so that women of color and lower-income women could have safe abortions too. Our country’s laws should strive to serve our community with fair systems that apply equally for all of us, not just for some of us.

We at Women’s Funding Network believe that limiting abortion access does not empower women. Empowered women do not restrict other women; empowered women help to empower other women. To build community, stand together for equality, and strengthen our most cherished bonds, we must show one another a spirit of abundance, understanding, and trust.

Data shows that abortion bans further hurt those who are already hurting financially: survivors of rape, those struggling to make ends meet, women and girls of color, young people, immigrants and refugees. Studies show that the most common reason women give for choosing an abortion was not being able to afford having a child. Research shows that a woman who wants to end a pregnancy but is denied is more likely to live in poverty and have a hard time affording groceries and rent than one who was able to get an abortion. This “turnaway effect” persists for years, and is a major driver in trapping marginalized women in poverty for generations. 

As feminist funders, we understand that the relationship between abortion bans and poverty has never been more clear: Our Women’s Economic Mobility Hubs found that key barriers to economic mobility for women include biases in hiring, wage gaps, lack of affordable childcare, and lack of health care and paid leave. All of which worsen a woman’s financial situation if she is denied the ability to determine if and when to have a child.

If you haven’t been active in the fight to protect women’s rights, now’s your chance—we need each other more than ever before. Now is the time to show up for people of all genders whose reproductive rights are continuously and systematically under attack. We ask you to:

  • Contact your Congressional representatives and demand they permanently expand access to and fund abortion care. 
  • Educate yourself and others about safe, self-managed abortion.
  • Donate to the organizations doing vital work on the ground to support women in accessing abortion care.

We stand with other gender justice funders and organizations as we continue our fight for the rights, liberation, and justice for all. 

In solidarity, signed:

Elizabeth Signature

Elizabeth Barajas-Román
Women’s Funding Network 
President & CEO

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