Press Releases

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Senate Votes Down 20-Week Abortion Ban that would Threaten Latina Health

Press Release
Loretta Kane, Camino Public Relations Phone: 917.410.7242 Email:

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today members of the Senate voted down a bill that, if enacted, would ban all abortions after 20 weeks with only narrow and inadequate exceptions. The National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH) and 31 reproductive justice organizations sent a letter to the Senate opposing the ban that would have disproportionately harmed women of color, LGBTQ individuals, young people, and low income and rural communities. 
As stressed in the letter, state restrictions have increased barriers in accessing reproductive healthcare, resulting in added time and cost to obtain needed reproductive health services, and making it more difficult for women and others to receive the care they need. Women of color are more likely to face employment discrimination and low wages, often limiting their ability to pay for out-of-pocket healthcare costs. The time needed to raise funds, secure time off of work, find childcare, and transportation barriers can ultimately take more than 20 weeks, leaving communities with few other options for securing care. Today, 42 senators stood with our communities and made it clear that access to healthcare will not be denied for women of color and their families.
NLIRH Executive Director Jessica González-Rojas responded to news of the defeat of the ban by saying:
“Latinas and other women of color are disproportionately impacted by these types of abortion bans, which make it more difficult for us to plan the timing and spacing of our families.  This is especially infuriating given that many in our community, including young, immigrant and low-income Latinas in particular, already face severe barriers to accessing healthcare.  These bans exacerbate the already untenable legislative obstacle courses that our community members must navigate. 
“The Latino community supports the ability of Latinas to make personal decisions about abortion without interference from politicians. I applaud the senators who stood strong and voted to support our communities and who understand that we need policies to improve and expand—not limit—access to a full spectrum of healthcare, including abortion.”
The National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health is the only national reproductive justice organization dedicated to building Latina power to advance health, dignity, and justice for 26 million Latinas, their families, and communities in the United States through leadership development, community mobilization, policy advocacy, and strategic communications.