Like many Americans, we are still processing what the recent Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade means for families. We are grateful for the advocacy led by Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights (COLOR) and Cobalt on the Reproductive Health Equity Act HB22-1279, which protects pregnant people’s rights to access reproductive care, including abortion, in Colorado.
Children do well when their parents, caregivers and communities do well. Ensuring pregnant people have accessible and responsive reproductive and maternal health care is crucial to family well-being. Research shows that abortion access increases educational attainment and workforce participation among women and improves outcomes for children.1 Protecting women’s and families’ ability to determine and exercise their own reproductive choices equates to advancing broader economic equity and social justice for women and families for generations to come and is all the more important for people who already face systemic obstacles to health care and economic opportunity.234 Access to concrete supports in times of need—including comprehensive health care that is inclusive of abortion services—is a research-based protective factor that lowers the risk of child abuse and neglect, and is a key way to ensure that families get off to the best possible start.
At Illuminate Colorado, our values and foundations call us to focus on ensuring people have the supports and resources they need to thrive – not dictating what people can decide about their bodies and their futures. In particular, our organizational foundation of being Family and Community Driven means that we believe families and communities are experts of their own experiences and should be in the driver’s seat of their lives. While we are disheartened by the Supreme Court’s decision, we are also motivated. Together, we remain committed to advocating to ensure all families can determine their pathway to parenthood, which ultimately will lead to more safe, healthy and thriving families.
1) The Economic Effects of Abortion Access: A Review of the Evidence, The Institute for Women’s Policy Research, iwpr.org/iwpr-issues/reproductive-health/the-economic-effects-of-abortion-access-a-review-of-the-evidence/
2) Linking Reproductive Health Care Access to Labor Market Opportunities for Women, Bahn, Kugler, Mahoney, Corley, and McGrew 2017.
3) The Costs of Reproductive Health Restrictions, The Institute for Women’s Policy Research, iwpr.org/costs-of-reproductive-health-restrictions/
4) The Turnaway Study, ANSIRH, www.ansirh.org/research/ongoing/turnaway-study
Jade has served as the Executive Director of Illuminate Colorado since its inception in 2015, following 7 years as the Executive Director of founding partner agency, the Colorado Alliance for Drug Endangered Children.
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