Opinion | With Trump appointing anti-abortion judges, the fight for reproductive freedom is critical – Street Roots News

Planned Parenthood PAC of Oregons director urges Oregonians to remain united against the White Houses harmful policies

Donald Trump has broken plenty of campaign promises, but this summer, we were reminded of one that he kept. He pledged to appoint justices who would overturn Roe v. Wade and he has been making good on that promise.

Trump has spent the past four years pushing policies that threaten our health, our rights and our lives. He and his right-wing allies are putting our lives at risk every single day they are in office,and Planned Parenthood PAC of Oregon is committed to doing everything we can to vote them out in November.

As the nation grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic and stands up to state-sponsored violence against Black people, its clearer than ever the public wants engaged, competent leaders who will work to keep us safe and increase healthcare access not undermine it.

We know we can win this. Weve done it before, and we will do it again.

Just look at 2018, when our collective power brought in a sea change, radically shifting whos in office. We elected the first pro-reproductive health majority to the U.S. House of Representatives, and here in Oregon, we soundly defeated the anti-abortion Ballot Measure 106.

But, all of those achievements could be undermined by judges who will affect our rights for generations to come. Since 2016, the courts have often become the last and sometimes only line of defense against dangerous and unconstitutional attacks on basic rights. Yet Trump has remade the federal courts with judges hostile to the right to access sexual and reproductive health care. To date, he has appointed nearly 200 judges to the federal bench, with 20% of the federal judiciary appointed by his administration.

In June, the U.S. Supreme Court narrowly struck down an anti-abortion law in Louisiana that was identical to a Texas law that was ruled as unconstitutional four years earlier. The Louisiana law would have forced abortion providers to obtain local hospital admitting privileges, a medically unnecessary move meant to make abortion more difficult to access. Surprisingly, Chief Justice John Roberts joined the majority not because hes newly supportive of abortion rights, but because he felt bound by the Texas precedent.

While access is protected for now, more than a dozen other abortion lawsuits are one step away from the court. These cases include a dangerous Arkansas law that would ban medication abortion, as well as a deeply unethical policy by the Trump-Pence administrations Office of Refugee Resettlement that seeks to prevent young, undocumented women in government custody from accessing abortion.

And its not just abortion. All reproductive care is on the docket. Last month, the Supreme Court upheld Trump administration rules that allow employers and universities to push their religious or moral beliefs on employees and students by denying them access to insurance that covers birth control.

Birth control should not be controversial. Nearly nine in 10 women will use it in their lifetimes. It is essential, time-sensitive care that treats serious conditions and allows people to plan if and when they get pregnant.

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This year marks not only the 100th anniversary of womens right to vote, but also the 60th anniversary of the FDAs approval of the first birth control pill. Since that historic moment, access to birth control has been responsible for one-third of womens wage gains relative to mens. The ability to get the pill before age 21 has been found to be the most influential factor enabling women already in college to stay there.

The Affordable Care Acts birth control benefit expanded contraceptive coverage with no out-of-pocket costs for more than 62 million women. Now, because of the Supreme Courts ruling, many of their health plans may no longer cover birth control based on the personal objections of bosses and universities.

On top of that, the Trump administration has dismantled Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act. It has pushed ineffective abstinence-only-until-marriage programs. It has denied care to immigrants. It has gagged Title X health providers and forced Planned Parenthood health centers out of the federal program that provides affordable reproductive health care to people with low incomes.

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Opening the door to reduced health care access would have been a mistake in any environment. But as we struggle against the dual public health crises of COVID-19 and systemic racism, the dire implications of this decision are clearer than ever.

Our ability to control our own bodies and futures lie in jeopardy like never before. Fortunately, Oregonians have elected leaders and have passed landmark laws that will safeguard us from many of Trumps harmful policies. Thats why we must remain vigilant to continue holding politicians accountable for their records targeting our health, rights and safety.

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Opinion | With Trump appointing anti-abortion judges, the fight for reproductive freedom is critical - Street Roots News

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