California Forum

Trump’s Supreme Court is this close to ending the right to abortion. Will you fight?

Planned Parenthood supporters rally in 2015 in Los Angeles for access to reproductive health care. The Trump administration has used Congress and the courts to erode access to legal abortion, contraception and family planning services.
Planned Parenthood supporters rally in 2015 in Los Angeles for access to reproductive health care. The Trump administration has used Congress and the courts to erode access to legal abortion, contraception and family planning services. AP

We are fed up. Over the past decade, the assault on women’s reproductive rights has accelerated rapidly.

Most recently, in a devastating 5-4 decision, the Trump administration’s stealthily engineered Supreme Court majority of misogynistic males and corporate lackeys voted to allow predatory faith-based pregnancy “clinics” coerce and misinform pregnant women. Next week, the president has vowed, he will name an anti-choice nominee to succeed retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy.

These events threaten to have a devastating impact on American women and their families for generations to come. The Republican Party has been systematically conniving to undermine and threaten women’s hard-won right to self-determination over our own bodies for years.

Let’s just look back to May’s “gag rule,” which will prevent patients from obtaining birth control or preventive care from reproductive health care providers like Women’s Health Specialists in rural California or Planned Parenthood, nationally – effectively silencing doctors, nurses and hospitals from referring patients for abortion and providing life-saving information on a legal medical procedure and violating medical ethics.

We cannot shrink from these attacks against women. As our right to abortion and contraception is chipped away in the states, and now in federal law by the Supreme Court, anti-choice extremists are approaching their ultimate goal: ending women’s right to abortion.

With Roe v. Wade in the crosshairs of the most powerful assault on women’s rights in our lifetime, we must stand strong and stand together.

For more than 40 years, Women’s Health Specialists in Northern California has stood up for women’s reproductive rights – surviving multiple arson and chemical attacks, ongoing threats, vandalism and harassment on a daily basis. As an independent reproductive health clinic, we realize that this moment in history is the crucial step that will ensure or doom the hard-won reproductive freedom our foremothers fought for.

We call on women and our allies across the country to resist the administration’s fascist assault on women’s bodily integrity and independence. Pledge to support your local women’s clinic – volunteer, spread the word, advocate for safe spaces.

Help to get out the vote and pledge to hold candidates accountable to preserve women’s full reproductive rights, from contraception to abortion. Stand up and speak out – together.

Let’s seize this moment and flood the halls of power and the streets to protect our right to choose. In the future, when we look back on this crisis, we’ll remember where we stood and what we stood for – and so will our daughters and granddaughters.

Katrina Cantrell is executive director of Women’s Health Specialists of Northern California. Reach her at kcantrell@cawhs.org.

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