Mynellies Negrón

Hispanic Federation Calls on Congress to Pass Abortion Rights Legislation

WASHINGTON – A draft opinion from Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito leaked yesterday stating that a majority of Supreme Court justices could overturn Roe v. Wade - a 1973 Supreme Court decision that made abortion a constitutional right across the country. Hispanic Federation urgently calls on Congress to act swiftly in passing federal legislation that will protect the right to abortion. If Roe v. Wade is overturned, it will end the nearly 50 years of federal constitutional protection of abortion rights, making it one of the biggest restrictions and reversals to reproductive rights. If issued, the pending decision will disproportionately impact Latinos, people of color, low-income, and LGBTQ+ individuals, imposing grave risks to health and setting a dangerous precedent for overturning other civil rights protections.

Frankie Miranda, President and CEO of Hispanic Federation, expressed his deep concern with the potential impact of Justice Alito’s opinion, as currently written. “This is a wake-up call for all Americans. Hispanic Federation calls on Congress to pass legislation that will uphold our reproductive rights and represent the majority of American voters (59%) who believe that access to reproductive abortion healthcare should be legal. If Roe v. Wade is overturned, it will cause immeasurable damage to our civil rights. It could set a precedent for overturning other civil rights protections, including those that protect our right to marry and have legally recognized families. If Roe v. Wade is overturned, the result will, once again, create an underground network of clinics across the country, where people will undergo life-threatening procedures instead of exercising what was once their constitutional right of accessing medical treatment through accredited medical professionals. If this opinion is the final decision, it will hit hardest the people who already face barriers to healthcare – Latinas/xs, Black people, Indigenous people, young people, im/migrants, people with disabilities, people in rural and underserved communities, and people with low incomes. We need policies that support people’s lives, and support families and individuals to live their fullest lives. Hispanic Federation will continue to fight for access to comprehensive reproductive care with dignity and justice for everyone in our communities, regardless of what the Supreme Court decides.”

“The Supreme Court’s leak last night makes it clear that the threat to our reproductive rights is no longer hypothetical. It is real,” said Laura M. Esquivel, Hispanic Federation’s Vice President, Federal Policy and Advocacy. “If Roe v. Wade is overturned, abortion would immediately be banned in 23 states and territories. The decision will impact nearly 36 million women, trans men, and nonbinary and gender-nonconforming people who would lose access to abortion healthcare if Roe is overturned. That includes 5.7 million who are Hispanic and 5.3 million Black people. It will impact our fundamental human right to reproductive health, rob us of safe and affordable access to healthcare, and turn healthcare providers into criminals. The harm will be disproportional to low-income families, making abortion more difficult and unaffordable for many, and forcing women to have children that they do not want or cannot support. Instead, such cruel intervention in women’s health will turn women to dangerous and illegal forms of abortions. This decision will not stop abortion, but it will tremendously reduce Latina/x women’s access to safe abortion care.”

“Overturning Roe v. Wade would force us, as a nation, to repeat a dark time in our history - one that shows an absolute disregard for reproductive rights and seeking medical treatment with dignity. Statistics show that abortion bans do nothing to curb abortion and instead gravely endanger women’s lives. Abortion bans don’t stop abortions; they force people into obtaining abortions in whatever ways they can.” said Jessica Orozco Guttlein, Hispanic Federation Chief of Staff. “According to the World Health Organization, the practice of unsafe abortion is a leading cause of maternal death and other diseases. And annually, unsafe abortion causes between 4.7-13.2% of women’s deaths. If Roe v. Wade is overturned, it will force Latinas, women of color, and LGBTQ+ people that reside in half of the states into the hands of untrained individuals who will likely use invasive, outdated, and dangerous methods to induce abortions. Previous generations tirelessly fought for the rights that we have today. Abortion is still legal, but the leak of the draft decision only confirms the grave danger to our civil liberties. The decision is not final, and we will continue the fight to preserve our fundamental rights and make sure that everyone has control over their bodies and future in every state.”

“The fact is that the dismantling of Roe v. Wade has been carried out across states for decades. Depending on what state you live in, abortion access is nearly impossible. It is restricted and even criminalized, as we’ve already experienced in Texas, where people who don’t have access to resources and support are forced to carry out unwanted pregnancies or seek abortions outside of the healthcare system,” added Ingrid Alvarez, Vice President for Policy and Strategic Engagement. “If issued as is, this decision will overturn our constitutional right to personal privacy. Enough is enough. The lack of federal action in passing abortion-protection laws has already led multiple states to take matters into their own hands and impose restrictions on our rights. Congress must act swiftly and vote on legislation that protects abortion right nationwide.”