Resolution to Affirm and Protect Reproductive Healthcare Rights, Including the Right to Abortion Care

Resolution to Affirm and Protect Reproductive Healthcare Rights, Including the Right to Abortion Care

Whereas, access to reproductive healthcare services, including a woman’s right to choose to obtain abortion care, is a Human Right; and

Whereas, the Supreme Court, in Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973), guaranteed federal constitutional protections of abortion rights and a subsequent 1992 decision Planned Parenthood v. Casey maintained that protection; and

Whereas, Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, 136 S. Ct. 2292 (2016) reaffirmed that a woman’s right to decide to have an abortion is founded in the United States Constitution; and

Whereas, the majority of Americans support the reproductive rights promulgated in Roe v. Wade; and 

Whereas, abortion is an essential part of reproductive health care, a common medical intervention, and roughly one-quarter of women in the United States will need access to abortion care in their lifetime; and 

Whereas, In June 2022, the Supreme Court of the United States is expected to issue a decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization predicted to undermine the federal right to abortion provided in Roe v. Wade; and

Whereas, according to an initial draft majority opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito, circulated inside the court in February 2022, and recently confirmed to be valid by Justice Roberts, the Supreme Court has taken a preliminary vote that would strike down the landmark Roe v. Wade decision, allowing states to decide to restrict or ban abortion care; and

Whereas, the Supreme Court decision would mean that 26 states are likely to ban or severely restrict access to abortion services should Roe v. Wade  be overturned ; and   

Whereas, across the United States, in the first quarter of 2022, anti-abortion politicians have introduced over 531 abortion restrictions, including legislation that copies Texas’ 2021 Senate Bill 8 which bans abortion after six weeks of pregnancy; and 

Whereas, the majority of abortion patients are Black, Hispanic, Asian, or Pacific Islander, and 75% of those seeking abortion are living at or below 200% of the federal poverty level; and

Whereas, people of all genders have sexual and reproductive health needs including women, transgender individuals, nonbinary individuals, and those who are otherwise gender-diverse; and 

Whereas, where abortion is illegal or highly restricted, pregnant people resort to unsafe means to end an unwanted pregnancies, including self-inflicted abdominal and bodily trauma, ingestion of dangerous chemicals and reliance on unqualified or predatory abortion providers; and 

Whereas, before 1973, approximately 800,000 US women resorted to illegal abortion each year, resulting in preventable complications and death, and after the ruling, mortality as a result of septic unsafe abortion decreased precipitously; and 

Whereas, New York State has codified reproductive healthcare and access to abortion into law with the passage and signing of the Reproductive Health Act legalizing abortion past 24 weeks of pregnancy if the woman’s health or life are at risk, or if the fetus is not viable; and 

Whereas, in response to the alarming national trends, the New York State legislature can strengthen current laws and work to expand access to reproductive health services, including safe and legal abortion, to impacted New Yorkers and those coming from out-of-state; and

Whereas, other rights that are not explicitly named in the US Constitution, including the right to contraception, interracial marriage, same sex marriage, LGBTQIA rights, and more are under attack; therefore be it  

Resolved, that the Four Freedoms Democratic Club actively supports lawmakers affirming and protecting reproductive healthcare rights, including the right to abortion care, and responding to the forthcoming Supreme Court decision that will overturn Roe v. Wade with appropriate action including:

Introducing and supporting legislation to further expand reproductive healthcare, safeguarding abortion by enshrining it in our New York State Constitution, protections for abortion providers, establishing safe haven protections for out-of-state people to gain access to a safe and legal abortion, increasing state funding for abortion care, making statements and organizing rallies in cooperation with pro-choice organizations; and condemning the US Supreme Court, federal, state or local NYC municipal actors that threaten or further weaken human rights and access to reproductive healthcare and abortion care.

This resolution is written in honor of Patricia Rose Schwartz for her tenacity, courage and leadership in advocating for abortion rights in New York State (6/24/1933 - 4/22/2022). Patricia Schwartz is mother of Amy Schwartz, FFDC Board member and co-chair, Activism and Policy Committee

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