43 Years after Roe v. Wade, safe, legal, affordable abortion access still not a reality for many
On January 22, we commemorate the anniversary of the Supreme Court decision that affirmed the right to abortion. Yet the promise of Roe v. Wade remains out of reach for millions of people, including LGBTQ people. From the reactionary wave of so-called “religious freedom” laws, to government defunding, to violent attacks on healthcare centers, opponents of equality continue do everything they can to undermine sexual health and freedom.
Many of us — cisgender women, transgender men, two spirit, intersex, and gender-non-conforming individuals, among others — can get pregnant, and rely on a full range of reproductive health options, including abortion care. LGBTQ people already struggle to access vital health services: We are under-insured compared with other demographics, we experience certain health challenges at higher rates, and we are outright denied care because of who we are. We can’t afford to ignore attempts to undo Roe and turn back the clock on reproductive rights.
The movements for LGBTQ equality and reproductive rights are inseparable: we are all working for the right to choose who and how we love and how we use our bodies—without government abuse and intrusion. Those who oppose comprehensive and affordable reproductive healthcare are often the same forces that want to control what we, as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, gender non-conforming, intersex, and queer people, do with our bodies and our access to healthcare.
Now more than ever, it is important that we build strong, inclusive coalitions to win progressive change. Join us during Roe anniversary week by following the hashtag #ReclaimRoe, telling your friends and family about why everyone should support reproductive rights, and if you’re at Creating Change, attending one of the reproductive justice sessions—because the fight for reproductive health, rights, and justice are an LGBTQ issue.
by Zsea Beaumonis, National LGBTQ Task Force Reproductive Justice Fellow