The Rights of Minority Women Are Under Attack
The message below went out on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 to Standing on the Side of Love supporters. You can sign-up for these emails here.
All across the country, attacks on women’s reproductive rights are in the news. Last week, as we celebrated International Women’s Day and the achievements and power of women, we again found ourselves defending against an onslaught of dangerous, anti-choice legislation proposed by some in Congress. As the Women’s Issues Program Associate at the UUA’s Washington Office, I am asking for your help in standing up for reproductive justice against one of the most offensive, paternalistic, and racist attacks we have seen in some time.
H.R. 3541, The “Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act” (PreNDA), as it was originally titled, is already moving forward in the U.S. House of Representatives. Introduced by Republican Arizona Rep. Franks and co-sponsored by a host of legislators with terrible civil rights records but impeccable anti-choice records, PreNDA would criminalize doctors and other medical professionals who provide abortions to women who seek care based on the race or sex of the fetus. Not only does this legislation unfairly target immigrant women and women of color based on stereotypes, it would dangerously erode the trust between patients and their doctors and jeopardize women’s health by removing even more providers from the system.
This year is already full of attacks on reproductive choice, immigrants and minorities, so we need to make a strong stand against PreNDA now. Please write to your representative and let them know that you oppose this racist, anti-immigrant, anti-choice legislation as a person of faith.
Click here to send your message.
The UUA and the UU Women’s Federation are two of many faith-based and secular organizations working to defeat PreNDA. As the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights writes in their opposition letter, “We oppose this bill because it does not in any way address discrimination on the basis of sex or race. Rather, it is a veiled attempt to restrict health care for women of color under the guise of civil rights.”
As Democratic California Rep. Judy Chu stated:
[S]ex selection is a real concern, especially in other countries, but the answer is not PRENDA…The Republican co-authors of this bill are engaging in blatant stereotyping. Some immigrants come to this country searching for the freedom that America offers, to have the family of their dreams, and to give their daughters more opportunity to succeed here. Stereotyping immigrants will only cause providers to avoid taking minorities as patients, because of the possibility of criminal liability in a decision on reproductive choice.
The U.S. House of Representatives has never had an opportunity to vote on an abortion bill about fetal race and selection, though it is a type of proposal that is likely to be seen again soon at both the state and federal level. PreNDA has already passed out of the House Judiciary Committee and is ready to be debated and voted on the House floor.
Please write to your representative today and let her or him know that you do not support PreNDA or the racist, sexist logic that it intends to legislate.
Click here to send your letter today.
Program Associate for Women’s Issues
PS: For more information about the bill, or information about how to organize locally in support of reproductive justice, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.