Statement Issued by Viola Gonzales, LWVO President
To: LWVO Members and Colleagues
From: Viola Gonzales, President
Date: May 11, 2022
In light of this week’s news we have received information and guidance from League of Women Voters California and U.S. on actions to protect reproductive rights.
First: The Alameda County Council of Leagues (Alameda, Berkeley-Albany-Emeryville, Eden Area, Fremont-Union City, Oakland, and Piedmont) drafted the attached statement.
Second: We urge our members to show up and make their voices heard.
Join Planned Parenthood on May 14th for a national day of action.
This is a difficult time for our country on so many levels. As you speak with family, friends and colleagues you might find national President Dr. Deborah Turner’s thoughts helpful:
“I want to acknowledge the pain and fear that this news causes for so many. This very real threat to our reproductive rights puts people in danger, fuels already heightened anxiety, and looms as a dangerous degradation of personal civil liberties.”
Finally, LWVUS reminds us of these important facts:
Abortion is still legal nationwide.
This is a very scary time for women and all people who may become pregnant.
For anyone who experiences pregnancy, our basic freedoms depend on our ability to control our reproductive health.
Our reproductive choices impact our physical and psychological wellbeing, including the foods we eat, our financial resources, and our capacity to gain and maintain employment.
Not only is the right to a safe and legal abortion a matter of personal freedom, it’s also a major factor in the movements for racial and economic equality. Black women and all underserved communities already experience unfair barriers and limited access to adequate health care services.
Protection for reproductive health decisions is a democracy issue — and specifically, it is a DC statehood issue. Because Washington, DC, is not a state, Congress has the final say over the District’s local laws. For decades, Congress has instituted laws that restrict access to reproductive health services, like abortion, within the boundaries of the District of Columbia.
Generations before us have fought tirelessly to gain and protect the rights we have today. We will not back down. We are in a fight to make sure everyone has the power to control their own bodies, lives, and futures.
We deserve elected officials — at all levels of government — and judges who believe in our right to privacy and choice. We’ll keep fighting in every state in the nation.
True democracy depends on equal rights for all people. Losing our right to reproductive choice would open the door to the loss of other freedoms like marriage equality, contraception, and gender-affirming care.
It is critical that we show up and make our voices heard for reproductive choice.
Federal legislation will be introduced in the days ahead. The LWVUS advocacy team is engaging with partners and contacts on the Hill, and we expect to have an Action Alert early next week.