Last week the United States Supreme Court undermined a fundamental human right by overturning Roe v. Wade. With the announcement of this decision, I think of the high school student with dreams of college, the young person who has been raped, and the parent who wants autonomy over how to grow their family among the many who will be impacted by this decision. Women, transgender people, and non-binary people across the nation have been robbed of the ability to decide what’s best for them, their families, and their futures.
I share your sadness, your disappointment, and your anger. But importantly, I want to share with you my commitment to fight for and protect the right to choose in the District.
Now that the Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade, many states will move forward with onerous restrictions that will prohibit access to abortions. People across the country, particularly those who are poor and persons of color will be severely impacted and harmed by this decision. As we have seen with legislation in Texas, more jurisdictions with trigger laws will force people to travel extraordinary distances in order to access important reproductive health care.
Despite the Supreme Court decision, abortion is legal and accessible in the District. Attorney General Karl Racine has shared important information about the status and accessibility of abortion in DC here. Because DC lacks statehood, Congress prevents Medicaid from covering abortion in most cases. This is another reminder that statehood is long overdue for District residents and Congress must act to codify the right to abortion.
Together with my Council colleagues, I am committed to ensuring that the District remains a safe place to access abortions. After writing to you about the leaked Supreme Court decision in May, I have since co-introduced three additional bills to enhance abortion protections in the District. The four bills pending before the Council that I have co-introduced to protect the right to choose include:
On Friday, I was proud to stand with Planned Parenthood, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, Mayor Bowser and my Council colleagues reaffirming the District’s commitment to protecting the right to choose. You can watch my remarks here. Together we stood in solidarity to continue the fight for reproductive healthcare in DC and across this country. We won’t sit idly by and accept this abuse of dignity and human rights.
Yours in service,
Note: This newsletter has been updated with inclusive language.