Latina Travels to Capitol Hill to Demand Abortion Access for Low-Income Families

Latina Travels to Capitol Hill to Demand Abortion Access for Low-Income Families

More than 200 reproductive rights activists from across the U.S. joined on Capitol Hill on Thursday to urge Congress to lift bans that deny abortion coverage for low-income people.

MORE: #ShoutYourAbortion: Latinxs Talk About Their Abortions, Hope to End Stigma

Organizers came together for All* Above All’s, a public education campaign, Capitol Hill Day. Among them were Ana Rodriguez DeFrates, the Texas Latina Advocacy Network (TX LAN) State Policy and Advocacy Director at the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health.

The Argentine Texan met with lawmakers in the House and Senate and their staff to discuss the need to eliminate abortion bans, like the Hyde Amendment, and show her support for the Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance (EACH Woman) Act, which, if passed, would ensure that those who receive care or insurance through the federal government are covered for all pregnancy-related care, including the right to end one.

Rodriguez DeFrates talked with Latina about All* Above All’s third annual Capitol Hill Day, why repealing the Hyde Amendment is crucial for low-income immigrants and women of color, and how Latinas can support the EACH Woman Act.

What is All* Above All?

It is a campaign, started in 2012, made up of more than 90 organizations representing 25 states united to lift bans that deny abortion coverage. We are uniting around a theme that the reproductive rights movement of the past has neglected to take up and fight. For nearly 40 years, there has been a restriction on abortion for federally supported plans, and that’s the Hyde Amendment. That means that low-income women have been denied that care for that long, so my organization, the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, is involved in a leadership capacity. Jessica González-Rojas, our executive director, is co-chair of this campaign because we know that passing the EACH Woman Act would be such a huge step for reproductive health equity for Latinas.

How does All* Above All work to ensure that safe abortion care is available to everyone, despite their income?

When it’s a legislative session, we are here on Capitol Hill talking with representatives, sharing our stories and showing them why low-income people need access to the abortion care that only a small few can afford. But when it’s not a legislative session, the campaign is working to change the dialogue. A lot of conversations are happening in person and online about stigma and a culture shift that needs to happen.

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