As a long time resident of Northeast and North Portland and a woman of low-income, I've benefited from the services of the Planned Parenthood clinic on Northeast Fremont in accessing care for low or now cost. I am alarmed at Oregon Right to Life's recent attempts to keep a Planned Parenthood clinic from being opened on Northeast MLK and curtail poor women's access to much needed health care services.
Oregon Right to Life can only be emboldened by the recent Supreme Court decision against a specific abortion procedure, which broadens the attack on women's reproductive health. This determination was made on the outrageous grounds that women are not capable of making decisions about their own bodies. The ruling also takes away doctors' judgment in prescribing what may be the safest procedure for women who are dealing with risky pregnancies. Those who are the least able to access abortion — young girls, the poor, immigrants and women of color — will be hit the hardest by this ruling and will pay with their lives. In 1977, after the Hyde amendment banned federal funds for abortion, the first woman to die from a back-alley procedure was Rosie Jimenez.
The Bush administration and its religious fundamentalist allies have targeted women's rights as a concerted way to limit the rights of all working people. If women's lives can be regulated then any worker will be subject to similar treatment. This U.S. Supreme Court ruling sends the clear message that women's lives are not their own. We disagree. It took a militant, in the streets, multi-issue movement to win reproductive rights. Radical Women calls on all feminists to fight for the rights of all women, demanding safe working conditions, affordable housing, reproductive justice, universal healthcare, government funded childcare, and safe and accessible abortion.