Posted on December 7, 2021
Combating Threats and Expanding Access: What’s at Stake for Reproductive Freedom
This is the most pivotal moment in decades in the fight for reproductive freedom, and NARAL Pro-Choice America and our 2.5 million members in all 50 states are ready to meet it. We work each day to organize and mobilize for access to abortion care and birth control, paid parental leave, and protections from pregnancy discrimination. We’re working toward a future where each of us—no matter who we are, where we live, or what we believe—has the freedom to make our own decisions about whether to start or grow a family, and where those decisions are treated with respect and dignity. Since 1969, our member-driven campaigns have propelled political and cultural change at every level, from statehouses to the White House. Our members were critical to electing reproductive freedom champions in 2020, with 132 NARAL-endorsed candidates winning their seats. We leveraged those historic wins in 2021 to help expand access in states such as California and Nevada, and to support House passage of the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA)—historic legislation that would safeguard the federal right to abortion. And we leveraged the election of President Biden and Vice President Harris to engage our members in support of access to medication abortion care by urging the Food and Drug Administration to temporarily suspend in-person dispensing requirements on medication abortion care during the COVID-19 pandemic, and to undertake an evaluation of all the medically unnecessary restrictions on medication abortion.
All of this progress happened in no small part because of the support of CREDO members like you.
While we celebrate the wins of the past year, we can’t afford to stop mobilizing for our freedoms. The anti-choice supermajority on the U.S. Supreme Court is currently considering Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization—a case about Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban that directly challenges Roe v. Wade. If the Court were to overturn Roe tomorrow, 26 states would likely take action to prohibit abortion outright. Twelve states already have “trigger bans” in place, which would ban abortion automatically if Roe is overturned.
And in 2021, anti-choice state lawmakers across the country enacted 106 restrictions on abortion access—more attacks in any year since Roe was decided. This includes draconian measures like Texas’ SB 8, which not only outlaws abortion as early as six weeks of pregnancy, before many people even know they’re pregnant, but which also breeds vigilantism and encourages individuals to take legal action against anyone who helps someone access abortion care in the state.
The threats to reproductive freedom are coming from every angle. In the face of these threats, NARAL has a bold and ambitious agenda for the future. We are leveraging all of our resources to stop the torrent of bans and restrictions from anti-choice lawmakers in states across the country—while also advancing proactive policies. We’re pushing for policies that would advance reproductive freedom and abortion accesss for every body—no matter who they are, where they live, or how much they make. This includes working at the federal level to pass WHPA through the U.S. Senate and ensuring that the president’s budget robustly funds programs that support reproductive freedom and excludes restrictions on abortion, including discriminatory coverage bans.Realizing a future where reproductive freedom is truly for every body means creating lasting change in our culture and our communities. That’s why we work every day to:
- Combat anti-choice disinformation and amplify accurate facts about abortion.
- Train NARAL members across the country to run their own Action Councils, organizing in their local communities and beyond to advance reproductive freedom.
- Collaborate, striving to be good allies to and work with our partners to maximize impact.
- Be intentional and transparent in our efforts to dismantle systemic racism and hold ourselves accountable in centering diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice in our organization and our work.
But that’s not where NARAL’s work ends. We recognize that 2022 is critical to our futures—for reproductive freedom and for democracy. Democrats only have control of Congress by a razor-thin margin as we head into the midterm election cycle. So NARAL and our 2.5 million members are working to elect reproductive freedom champions up and down the ballot—champions who don’t just agree with the 8 in 10 Americans who support the legal right to abortion, but truly fight for it—and hold accountable lawmakers who put reproductive freedom on the line.
As abortion rights and access face an existential crisis, we must take bold action to secure reproductive freedom for every body. NARAL and our members were made for this moment—and we won’t back down when our rights are on the line.