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WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 04: Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D-FL), Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), Rep. Sylvia Garcia (D-TX), Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA), Rep. Andy Levin (D-MI), and Rep. Lori Trahan (D-MA) participate in an abortion rights rally outside of the Supreme Court as the justices hear oral arguments in the June Medical Services v. Russo case on March 4, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 04: Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D-FL), Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), Rep. Sylvia Garcia (D-TX), Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA), Rep. Andy Levin (D-MI), and Rep. Lori Trahan (D-MA) participate in an abortion rights rally outside of the Supreme…

Fighting for our freedom

I fight for my hermanas Latinas’ rights to abortion because I believe in freedom. Reproductive freedom means the ability to determine our future.

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As a Latina immigrant myself, I am well acquainted with this government’s efforts to restrict our choices. Visas, work permits, travel bans and increased ICE enforcement have already restricted our choices and ability to move freely. Now the Supreme Court's latest case threatens our right to the most intimate space we can control – our own bodies. I know all too well the challenges our communities already face in accessing reproductive care. Economic barriers, time restraints, language barriers, anxiety around an unfamiliar health system and low rates of insurance coverage make it hard for our people to access healthcare. I

This year, the Supreme Court will decide at least three major cases that determine our rights, our health, and our futures. Just this week the Court heard the first case, June Medical Services vs. Russo, a case about a Louisiana law that would impose medically unnecessary restrictions meant to make abortion inaccessible.

While this case will decide a Louisiana law, it has national ramifications. If the Court rules the wrong way, it could open up the floodgates to restrictions across the country, essentially rendering Roe v. Wade meaningless. Less than four years ago, the Supreme Court ruled that an identical Texas law was unconstitutional in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt. The very fact that the court agreed to take up this new case means it is willing to revisit that.

This spring, the Supreme Court will also rule on a law that would allow employers to restrict birth control access. If the idea that something so basic as birth control access is now up for debate surprises you, you’re not alone. But it’s not isolated — since taking office, we’ve seen the Trump administration push policy after policy to take away our health and our rights — trying to restrict access to birth control, cut the effective Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program, and even keep patients from accessing basic preventive care at Planned Parenthood. The administration even backed a lawsuit intended to gut the Affordable Care Act along with its protections for preexisting conditions, no-cost birth control, and affordable health coverage—a case the Supreme Court will also hear later this year.

If the courts restrict our access to care even further, our Latinx/os communities will feel the impact. And it’s not what any of us want to see. Like the majority of Americans, Latinos support access to safe, legal abortion — 67 percent of Latino voters do not want to see Roe v. Wade overturned, and 82 percent agree that women should make their own decisions on the issue without political interference.

That is why us Latina advocates for reproductive rights will not back down. This is bigger than a restriction on our bodies.

I grew up hearing over and over that lo difícil se hace inmediatamente, pero lo imposible lleva un poco más de tiempo, which is why we will not stand for these attacks on our reproductive rights, not now, not never. I believe in the commitment of Planned Parenthood Action Fund to continue working to ensure every person can access the care they need, no matter who they are, where they live or what language they speak.

*Johanny Adames is the Associate Director of Latino Media at Planned Parenthood Federation of America
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