February 4, 2020
Contact: Liza Dee ([email protected], 860-304-2294)
Statement from Andrea Miller, president, National Institute for Reproductive Health (NIRH) and the NIRH Action Fund
New York – In an extreme State of the Union address tonight, President Trump continued to wage war on abortion access by spreading misinformation in an effort to score political points and further his agenda of depriving people of the right to make their own decisions about their bodies, lives, and futures. Calling on members of Congress to enact extreme legislation banning abortion, Andrea Miller, president of the National Institute for Reproductive Health (NIRH), released the following statement:
“With his historically unpopular agenda increasingly vulnerable at the ballot box, the president has once again spouted anti-abortion rhetoric in hopes that it will activate his extreme anti-choice base,” said Andrea Miller, president of NIRH and the NIRH Action Fund. “The reality is that every day, people face the deeply personal decision of whether to continue their pregnancy. And at every point in pregnancy, a person’s health and specific circumstances should drive important medical decisions. The vast majority of people in this country support safe and legal access to abortion care without politicians getting in the way.
“The message at the ballot box is clear: voters are ready to protect and expand access to abortion care,” Miller continued. “In traditionally red Kentucky, Gov. Andy Beshear toppled one of the president’s staunchest anti-abortion allies. In Virginia, abortion has gone from a Trump talking point to an issue that candidates are running and winning on. And in 2019, states moved forward an unprecedented number of proactive bills to protect reproductive freedom.”
Read on below for the important facts on abortion access that you didn’t hear from Trump tonight:
FACT: WOMEN HAVE ABORTIONS LATER IN PREGNANCY FOR A HOST OF REASONS THAT ARE BEST DECIDED BY THEM AND THEIR MEDICAL PROVIDER
- In some cases, health issues or a fetal diagnosis may lead to an abortion later in pregnancy. In others cases, it is not possible for someone to get an abortion as soon as they decide. Many things can stand in someone’s way, from not being able to afford it, travel distance to a clinic, or restrictions that have been put in place.
- At every point in pregnancy, a person’s health and specific circumstances should drive important medical decisions. When serious medical complications arise, medical providers need access to the full range of medical treatment options, including C-section, induction, or abortion if that is the safest course — all based on a person’s specific medical circumstance. This is what laws like New York’s Reproductive Health Act, passed in 2019, ensure.
FACT: MEDICAL EXPERTS AGREE THAT ABORTION ACCESS LATER IN PREGNANCY IS IMPORTANT FOR WOMEN’S HEALTH
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has put out guidance stating the health necessity and benefits of access to abortion care later in pregnancy. Anyone who has decided to have an abortion should have access to the best medical care and expertise, based on their professional judgment and acting under ethical and medical guidelines. Arbitrary, one-size-fits-all restrictions put in place by politicians have no place determining medical care.
FACT: WE ARE SEEING A WAVE OF PROACTIVE LEGISLATION NATIONWIDE
Following the passage of New York’s RHA last year, eight additional states enacted legislation to protect and expand abortion rights and access. Among these wins, Illinois, Rhode Island, and Vermont all enacted laws to codify a fundamental right to abortion. Maine guaranteed Medicaid coverage for abortion, and Nevada repealed a criminal ban on self-managed abortion. All in all, states enacted a record 146 bills to protect and advance reproductive freedom, according to NIRH’s report Gaining Ground: Proactive Reproductive Health and Rights Legislation in the States. And already in 2020, Virginia — which Trump disparaged in last year’s State of the Union — has passed proactive abortion protections through both houses of the legislature.
The National Institute for Reproductive Health builds power at the state and local level to change public policy, galvanize public support, and normalize women’s decisions about abortion and contraception.
Using a partnership model, NIRH provides state and local advocates with strategic guidance, hands-on support, and funding to create national change from the ground up. We form strategic partnerships with a wide range of organizations to directly impact the reproductive health and lives of women across the country. Each year, NIRH works in about half the states and more than a dozen localities; to date, NIRH has partnered with 175 reproductive health, rights, and justice organizations in 43 states and 64 localities across the country.