Latinos and Abortion

This article was originally published in the New York Times.

To the Editor:

Re “In California Race, a Latina Democrat Carries Hopes of Her Party and People” (news article, May 5):

It’s disappointing to see myths perpetuated about Latino attitudes toward abortion, which was the case when, as you reported, Representative David Valadao, a Republican running for re-election to California’s 21st District, said he believes that his conservative politics on issues like abortion and taxes appeals to Hispanic voters.

This isn’t just incorrect; it also serves to shame and silence Latinos who support abortion access or who have had an abortion themselves.

Latinos hold compassionate views on abortion; according to our polling, three of four Latino voters believe that a woman should be able to make her own decision about abortion and pregnancy without the interference of politicians.  I talk to Latinas every day who are struggling to care for their families, protect their health and make the best decisions about their futures. What they need is more access to quality health care services, not political grandstanding based on stereotypes.

Executive Director, National Latina
Institute for Reproductive Health
New York, May 7, 2014

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