House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20510
On behalf of our 3 million members—78 percent of whom are women—we urge you to VOTE YES on the Women’s Health Protection Act (H.R. 8296) and Ensuring Access to Abortion Act (H.R. 8297) to preserve the right of women to control their own bodies, including reproductive healthcare; the ability of healthcare providers to treat patients from other states; and to prevent restrictions on legal medications and procedures. Votes on these issues may be included in NEA’s report card for the 117th Congress.
Family planning and reproductive health decisions should be left to individuals. Having a child is one of the most important and personal decisions anyone makes—a decision with lifelong consequences for education, health care, employment, and earnings that affect entire families. As a result of the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, women are losing the right to make that decision based on their own conscience and family considerations, in consultation with a physician or other healthcare provider.
Women living in poverty and women of color will suffer disproportionately due to lack of access to healthcare and family planning services—the consequences of an unplanned pregnancy can be dire not just for them, but the entire family. Unplanned pregnancy can also undermine mental and physical health—possibly for life. For example, the risk of death associated with childbirth is approximately 14 times higher than that with abortion.
Healthcare providers in states where abortion is legal must be allowed to treat any woman, regardless of where she lives. A 10-year-old child, six weeks pregnant as a result of rape, recently got an abortion in Indiana after she was denied one in her home state of Ohio. Forcing a child to carry her rapist’s child to term is unspeakably cruel, yet that is what some states are doing. Women all across America deserve—and need—access to reproductive healthcare.
For all these reasons, we urge you to VOTE YES on the Women’s Health Protection Act (H.R. 8296) and the Ensuring Access to Abortion Act (H.R. 8297).
Rebecca S. Pringle
National Education Association