Fresno EOC’s opposition to this ruling is not an issue of morality but rather an issue of access. Abortion care is reproductive healthcare meant to save lives and livelihoods. The United States currently has the highest rate of maternal mortality in the industrialized world, and according to the National Institutes of Health, it has doubled since 1986. We also know, about 25,000 pregnant women experience severe complications every year, as reported to the CDC. Such complications include ectopic pregnancies, septic uterus, and miscarriages in which the body doesn’t expel the fetus. The only treatment for these medical emergencies is an abortion. Now, the number of pregnancy-related complications has the potential to increase exponentially.
Overturning Roe v. Wade will disproportionately impact young people, communities of color, and lower-income people. Furthermore, this ruling magnifies racism, coercive policies, misogyny, and the social injustices our systems have caused for far too long. Sadly, we can expect disparities in maternal and infant mortality to increase. The CDC reports, Black women are already three times more likely than white women to die during pregnancy and childbirth. As a Community Action Agency, we know first-hand, poverty significantly impacts one’s access to healthcare. Pregnant women who lack access to healthcare often do not get the treatment needed throughout pregnancy and childbirth, which could help mitigate complications.
Most importantly, everyone should have the inalienable right to decide what is best for their body. The unavailability of this medical procedure will mean the deaths of individuals across this country, increasing a mortality rate that is already the highest in the industrialized world.
While we are grateful to live in a state where the ruling does not directly impact us, we can feel the impact it is making across the country. As one of 1,100 Community Action Agencies in the United States, it’s evident that the people and families who will suffer from this decision are living in communities similar to those we serve. In advocacy, we condemn the refusal to acknowledge that people know what is best for their bodies and should have the right to bodily autonomy. We again reaffirm that abortion is an issue of healthcare. Under the Declaration of Independence of this country, every citizen has the inalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Banning abortion is in direct opposition to these rights.
We stand with everyone regardless of where they live, their income, race, sexual orientation, or gender identity to have the freedom to make personal decisions about their bodies and their healthcare. We are grateful to organizations introducing legislation to protect access to healthcare and equity in our communities. We stand with you.