MUA Statement on the Right to Abortion
MUA recognizes and respects that within our community there is a diversity of opinions and beliefs about abortion and reproductive rights. For this we are rooted in the values of self-determination, dignity, and respect. At MUA, each woman has the right to make her own decisions and to be respected for that.
As leaders in the women’s rights movement, we are outraged to hear that the Supreme Court overruled the landmark Roe v. Wade, which established the right to abortion in the United States. in 1973. This decision is unconscionable and irresponsible not only because it politicize a woman’s fundamental right to decide about her body, but also because it will condemn anyone who can get pregnant – especially people of color – to either carry an unwanted pregnancy to term or be criminalized for having decided to have an abortion.
In Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court held that the constitution gave a woman the right to privacy, in deciding whether or not to terminate her pregnancy, and that the government did not have the right to interfere with certain personal decisions, like this one. Thus, not only did the Court recognize a woman’s right to autonomy with respect to abortion, the case also established a legal precedent that paved the way for the recognition of other rights considered private and personal, such as the right to access contraceptives and marriage for same-sex couples.
The consequences of overruling this decision will be many and far-reaching, hurting most of all low-income people of color, the very people who are vulnerable to violence and sexual assault. With this change, at least 26 states will immediately ban most abortions. Access to safe and legal abortion will become a privilege for women in those states, which will require resources to pay for the cost of a trip, obtain childcare and time off from work to travel to a state where this procedure is legal. We are deeply saddened to think of the many colleagues who will not be able to access the medical care they need when they find themselves in the difficult situation of choosing to have an abortion. How many will not opt for a dangerous procedure that risks their health or even their life? And in any case – whether it is a safe and legal abortion or not – the laws of many states will criminally condemn people with uteruses and their doctors for exercising a fundamental right.
And the damage will not stop there. Strengthening reproductive rights and women’s autonomy with respect to decisions related to motherhood has allowed millions of women to take advantage of study and work opportunities that were not possible before. Nullifying abortion rights at the national level made us move backwards in our fight for women’s rights to education and economic independence. This decision puts at risk other fundamental rights of women and other groups such as the LGBTQ community.
That is why we recognize that this is as much a fight for racial and economic justice as it is for gender justice. Struggles that we know all too well as immigrant women of color, as our communities face systemic injustices, such as poverty, racism, lack of education and health care, and domestic violence. But our experience as MUAs has also taught us that women will only win these struggles by cultivating our development as human beings, thus becoming leaders and learning to make our voices heard.
We promise to continue working so that each woman who comes to MUA finds in herself the power to be the leader of her own life and make her own decisions. We seek to cultivate a community where all women can live with respect, dignity and self-determination. We also join in solidarity with all people — including trans and nonbinary people — who are persecuted for exercising their right to autonomy and abortion. We will not stop fighting until justice is done, our body is our decision!
Take action by:
- Donate to the National Network of Abortion Funds to protect abortion access. Click here to make a donation that will be split between more than 80 abortion funds.
- Join a We Won’t Go Back event near you — click here to see the event map, find your local event, or create your own.
- Contribute to West Fund Texas to support abortion without borders. Click here to donate to support the entire volunteer-led organization.
And here are some resources if you or someone you know needs help:
- Abortion clinics and funds are open and ready to support patients in every state. To find a clinic in the US, go to www.ineedana.com.
- Aid Access supports women, girls, trans men, nonbinary people, and all people with an unwanted pregnancy to access abortion or miscarriage treatment. Click here to access resources and learn more.
MUA - Mujeres Unidas y Activas
MUA is a grassroots organization of Latina immigrant women with a dual mission of personal transformation and community power. Creating an environment of understanding and confidentiality, MUA empowers and educates our members through mutual support and training to be leaders in their own lives and in the community. Working with diverse allies, MUA promotes unity and civic-political participation to achieve social justice.View All Posts by MUA - Mujeres Unidas y Activas