Statement by NOW President Christian F. Nunes
Washington, D.C. – Today marks International Safe Abortion Day. This global day of action emphasizes the importance of legal access to safe care and the need to destigmatize the medical procedure and those who seek it.
NOW members have advocated for reproductive justice since our founding. Today, we reflect on the steps backward the United States has taken in the last year, but also think about abortion access – or lack thereof – around the world.
When the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June 2022 and ended federal protections for abortion, the United States joined Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Poland in the list of countries rolling back legal protections for women. Since the Dobbs decision, 22 states have banned or restricted abortion care. Many of these limitations stem from misconceptions and misunderstandings about the ban’s consequences.
Anyone who can get pregnant may need to end their pregnancy. Limiting access to an option that can be as simple as taking a pill threatens women’s physical and mental well-being. These bans can force pregnant people to find themselves in actual life-or-death scenarios or resort to unsafe options that can lead to dangerous consequences.
Women deserve better. No one should force women to be pregnant against their will. Women deserve support – not judgment – in their reproductive health care decisions.
Women who need to terminate a pregnancy should find this type of healthcare without interference from the government or ideologies that often misconstrue the actual medical facts.
As we observe International Safe Abortions Day, we must remember to stand for the truth. Governments, healthcare providers, and communities must ensure that women have the right resources and support to make choices about their bodies – not be barriers to women’s options. More than 60 countries have liberalized their abortion laws. Until lawmakers find a way to stop the federal ban and put the United States back on the correct country list, we must hold states accountable to let women access safe abortion care.