When the Governor of Alabama signed into law the most restrictive abortion ban in the country, we all witnessed an attack on the women and moms of America.
Make no mistake: What’s happening is a direct attack on women and moms having bodily autonomy, economic freedom and sovereignty in our lives. If the goal of those who are passing such severely restrictive laws was to avoid abortion, they’d be passing access to free birth control, not setting lifetime imprisonment laws for doctors who help women in need.
Most women who get abortion care are mothers, and they do so primarily because it’s best for their families. Being able to manage how many children we have and when we have them has been nothing short of revolutionary—not just for women and mothers, but for our country as a whole. It has helped to narrow the gender pay gap, improve the health of women and their families and lead women toward increased economic and political power.
Looking back through history, each of us stands on the shoulders of the many giants who came before us in the fight for access to reproductive health care. These brave women opened doors, and it is our responsibility not only to keep those doors open, but also to protect and expand freedoms for our daughters and their daughters.
Alabama is a state with some of the worst health outcomes for women, and it has one of the worst infant mortality rates in the country. Politicians who say they value life should advocate for policies to solve the public health crises that are killing women and newborns, not dismantle women’s health care.
They should support MomsRising’s maternal justice campaign, which is dedicated to creating more equity in access to reproductive health care—and includes supporting a woman’s right to choose if, when and how many children to have and support during the pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum period. They should join us in working to address the systemic challenges mothers face due to race, class and gender disparities.
With 25 million women—one in three women of reproductive age—living in a state in which abortion care could be outlawed if the Supreme Court were to overturn Roe v. Wade, moms in the U.S. are going to pull the fire alarm. Alabama’s abortion ban is an attack on America’s moms. It must never take effect.
We recognize this attack on autonomy, freedom and sovereignty, and that its harmful impacts are compounded for those in low-income communities and communities of color. We demand that lawmakers focus on passing paid family/medical leave like every other industrialized nation has done, access to health care including birth control, affordable childcare, equal pay, fair treatment of immigrant families and an end to the mass incarceration that tears too many families apart—not a rollback of our rights.
We will fight for as long as we must to secure every woman’s rights and freedoms.