Massive national mobilization included 500+ events in all 50 states, signaling significance of reproductive freedom as key issue in 2020
For Immediate Release: May 22, 2019
Today NARAL Pro-Choice America President Ilyse Hogue, along with Destiny Lopez of All* Above All Action Fund, Dr. Leana Wen of Planned Parenthood Action Fund, Randi Gregory of SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW, and Anthony Romero of the ACLU, held a press call following a surge of activism in response to the wave of abortion bans sweeping the country, including Alabama’s total abortion ban signed into law last week. The call comes after Tuesday’s nationwide Day of Action to Stop the Bans, in which tens of thousands of people in all 50 states, including DC and Puerto Rico, mobilized to send a clear message that they reject extreme, unconstitutional attacks on reproductive freedom and justice.
“Yesterday was the beginning of a new day in this country. Women and our allies all across the country made it clear that these demeaning and dangerous abortion bans sweeping the nation will forever be remembered as a tipping point,” said NARAL Pro-Choice America President Ilyse Hogue. “The unprecedented outpouring of activism should send a clear message to those seeking to roll back our fundamental freedoms: if you continue to use our fundamental freedoms as a political weapon, expect an army of women ready to make you pay the price.”
“I want to be clear: abortion care is still legal in all 50 states and Planned Parenthood’s patients can still receive the care they need. We’ll make sure of that today, tomorrow, and beyond,” said Dr. Leana Wen, President of Planned Parenthood Action Fund. “As a doctor, I am focused on the devastating impact anti-women’s health politicians are having on the health and well-being of women and families. Yesterday, we saw hundreds of thousands across the country stand up and speak out against unprecedented threats to our rights and freedoms—that’s not going to stop. The vast majority of Americans are on our side and Planned Parenthood will continue to lead the charge to fight back against these dangerous laws—no matter what.”
Yesterday, tens of thousands of people joined together as part of the Stop the Bans Day of Action to stand up for reproductive freedom and justice and denounce this wave of extreme bans on abortion sweeping the nation. More than 500 events took place outside of state capitols, in town squares, courthouses, and elsewhere, including a flagship event held in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. with major reproductive justice, rights, and healthcare leaders and Members of Congress.
“Let’s be clear: abortion is a constitutional right and today it is still legal in all 50 states. We at the ACLU are doing everything we can to make sure it stays that way,” said Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director at the American Civil Liberties Union. “This is the most recent front in a war to protect civil rights and civil liberties from a hostile Trump administration that has enabled ideologues to push the same agenda at the state level. We all have a constitutional right to abortion, and we will continue to fight for it in courts, in legislatures, and in communities across this country.”
“After years of pushing abortion care out-of-reach for people on the margins, especially for poor women and young folks, transgender people and people of color, what we’re seeing now are anti-abortion politicians who are rushing through a wave of outright bans,” said Destiny Lopez, Co-Director of All* Above All Action Fund. “But we are meeting these cruel bans on abortion care head on. We won’t be bullied or shamed or punished. I know that we can meet their extremism with the strength and power of the majority in this country who believe abortion should be safe, legal, and available and without shame or stigma—and we will meet their extremism with our votes.”
A new wave of extreme bans on abortion has moved across the country, explicitly designed to undo Roe v. Wade while outlawing abortion and punishing women. Alabama’s passage of a total abortion ban marked a tipping point, prompting women to stand up and be counted. The backlash to Donald Trump and the Republican Party’s political overreach has been swift and forceful, proving that any elected official that continues to attack reproductive freedom should expect to pay the consequences in 2020 and beyond.
“Here in Georgia and throughout the Southeast, we plan on continuing to engage our base, engage folks around what’s happening, because ultimately we want people to be engaged around these abortion bans, and we want people to be engaged around reproductive justice in general,” said Randi Gregory, Director Of Programs at SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW. “We’ve really seen a surge of folks at the capitol really being engaged around this bill. So what we know is we’re going to continue to fight with our partners. We don’t want people to be complacent.”
Anti-choice Republicans continue to push unconstitutional and extreme bans on abortion despite the fact that Roe v. Wade is more popular than ever. The reality is that seven in 10 Americans support Roe and believe a woman should have the freedom to make decisions about her life and her health and momentum is growing to protect reproductive rights and justice.
NARAL Pro-Choice America and its network of state affiliates and chapters are dedicated to protecting and expanding reproductive freedom for all. For more than 50 years, NARAL has worked to guarantee that every woman has the right to make personal decisions regarding the full range of reproductive choices, including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and choosing legal abortion. Since 1969, NARAL has made history, grown to over 2 million members, and met the moments that have defined this fight with action, power and freedom. In recognition of its work defending our constitutional right to choose, Fortune Magazine described NARAL as “one of the top 10 advocacy groups in America.”