All people should have the agency to make decisions regarding their bodies, their lives, and their futures. These decisions should be free from coercion, violence, and political restrictions. These decisions are deeply personal and not a political game. With today’s decision from the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade, states across the country are now being given a path to make those decisions on behalf of individuals.
People who identify as migrant and rural women have long experienced the challenges of obtaining reproductive health care, including access to abortion. For those who are low-paid workers or immigrants, their ability to care for themselves, their health and to exercise their bodily autonomy is often further constrained by the inability to seek timely medical services due to their lack of access to healthcare providers, difficulties posed by their work schedules, their health coverage, their economic means, and documentation status.
Migrant women have multiple identities. They are rural, immigrants, survivors, essential workers, and much more. Each of these identities carries its own challenges when it comes to health care in this nation. The failure of the Supreme Court to uphold one’s constitutional right to abortion poses yet another barrier. This decision and the devastating ripple effect that it will have creates additional threats to their human and civil rights, including the ability to live and work with dignity.
Furthermore, we must consider the fact that the decision to overturn Roe v. Wade will expand the number of people who are migrating: some to seek abortion and reproductive health care, some are providers that will be forced to seek new employment, and others to support loved ones who are navigating either or both of these challenges. We know that this is not a new phenomenon. Survivors and rural community members have been forced to move for decades to find quality care and services. However, the scale at which this decision will cause movement, and the subsequent impact on our communities, is not something that should be overlooked.
It is an unfortunate truth that attacks on abortion and the ability for migrant women to make decisions regarding their own bodies is something that communities have long been facing, even with the presence of the Roe v. Wade court decision. There are lessons that we can learn from leaders–women and people of color– who have been navigating lack of access and safety for decades and we should listen to them.
We join millions in supporting the organizations and organizers leading in reproductive justice across the country. We will continue to push alongside migrant women for their rights to reproductive health care and justice. Join us by attending a Decision Day Mobilization in your community and donate to independent abortion providers. To our community: our commitment is unwavering in the face of this fight for reproductive rights. We are with you and will support you by directing you to local resources with accurate information to ensure that you have what you need.