We The People Activists and Supporters:
WE THE PEOPLE is a campaign of, by, and for all the people of Pennsylvania. Our goal is to ensure that everyone can thrive, no matter whether they are Black, brown, or white; native-born or immigrant; Asian or Latinx; poor or rich, and live in cities or suburbs or rural areas, and no matter their sexual orientation or gender identification. We seek an inclusive community and sustainable economy.
And that is why we must speak out on the abortion issue. Other groups will speak more on the threat to the fundamental right to personal autonomy posed by a Supreme Court decision overturning Roe. We want to point out that restricting or eliminating the right to an abortion will affect people unequally, and generate greater inequality.
Restricting abortion harms people unequally. Those with high incomes already have greater access to abortion. They can travel to other states or, if necessary, foreign countries where abortion is available. Those who are struggling financially, who are young, who are LGBTQ, or who are people of color, today have less access to the reproductive health care they need. Disparities in access to vital health care will be made far worse if abortion is made illegal.
Restricting abortion generates inequality. While children are a blessing to those who want them, it is costly to raise children well. Having an unwanted child or additional child makes make the struggle out of poverty more difficult. Some parents of young children find it difficult to work or further their education, especially in a country that does so little to provide child care or early education. Denying the right to an abortion in Pennsylvania means that more families will be impoverished, and more of our children limited by the problems of growing up in poverty.
Restrictions on abortion are thus contrary to the goals of We The People–PA as is overturning the Supreme Court precedent that prohibits them.
– Marc Stier, Director, PA Budget and Policy Center
– Nick Pressley, Director of Campaigns
Among the rights that are critical to all human beings is the right to personal autonomy—that is the right to make fundamental choices about our bodies and the course of our lives. There is no choice as life-defining as that of whether to bring a new child into the world. Without the right to have an abortion and access to the procedure, pregnant people are denied the autonomy and freedom to make decisions about their own health, well-being, and the course of their lives. Banning abortion would limit the rights of half the population: women, transgender, nonbinary, and gender non-conforming people, undermining their ability to be full participants in our political, social, economic, and cultural life.
If those who oppose the right to abortion were seriously concerned about the well-being of fetuses and their potential to become children, they would focus their attention on ensuring that all families, including those who are pregnant or are mothers, could afford health care and child care and that every child could live in a safe, clean community with parks, recreation centers, and good schools. And if those who oppose the right to an abortion were serious in their efforts to limit it, they’d enact these and other policies that we know would drastically reduce the number of abortions.
If Roe v. Wade is overturned, the Pennsylvania General Assembly will move quickly to limit the right to an abortion and, possibly, ban it entirely. And that will have dire economic, as well as personal and political, consequences.
Restricting abortion harms people unequally. People with higher incomes already have greater access to abortion and can travel to other states or, if necessary, foreign countries where abortion is available. Those who are struggling financially, who are young, who are LGBTQ, or who are people of color have less access to the reproductive health care they urgently need. These disparities in access to vital health care will be greatly exacerbated if abortion is made illegal.
Having children is a wonderful experience for parents who want them and are able to care for them. It is also an economic burden, which can make the struggle out of poverty more difficult. Those who are denied abortion care are more likely to fall into poverty than those who receive the care they need. The odds of being unemployed are three times greater for people who have been denied an abortion than those who are able to obtain one. Denying the right to an abortion in Pennsylvania means that more of our children would grow up in poverty and suffer all of the problems that come with doing so.
PBPC works toward the goal that everyone in Pennsylvania will have quality housing, food, and health care, as well as an equal opportunity to secure an education that enables them to use their talents and abilities in ways that benefit themselves and others. A state that limits or eliminates the right to an abortion is one in which the goal of an equitable Pennsylvania is even more distant. That is why we speak out today.
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