It is the end of Roe as we know it

And we do not feel fine

The leaked document indicating the imminent end of the protections of Roe has been a gut punch for so many. The rights that pregnant people have had for almost 50 years are about to evaporate. If Alito's opinion holds, we may also see the end of contraceptive freedom, marriage equality and the further erosion of rights for transgendered Americans.

And while we mourn the loss of Roe, we must also remember that it never protected everyone. The Hyde Amendment, which Congress reauthorizes annually, restricts abortion funding under Medicaid, the Indian Health Service, Medicare, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, the military’s TRICARE program, federal prisons, the Peace Corps, and the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program. In 2017, the state of Oregon began paying the federal portion for people with the Oregon Health Plan but we still have many Oregonians unable to access abortion.

We can and must fight to enshrine our reproductive rights with legislation from Congress. This could involve narrow legislation that only targets abortion. However I believe that it should be wrapped up in the bigger and more inclusive fight for healthcare for all.

"Activists and those supporting abortion rights should seize this moment of increased awareness and support for abortion rights and join forces with another struggle gaining momentum and widespread support: the fight for Medicare for All. By organizing to prioritize reproductive health care in a single-payer health-care system, we have the chance to reintegrate abortion back into the medical establishment and increase access, especially for working-class people and those in rural areas." says Anne Rumberger in Jacobin. Furthermore, while there may have been good historical reasons for it, "having abortion care completely separated from the medical establishment has made clinics vulnerable to financial and physical attack and helped maintain the stigma around this routine procedure."

If we are serious when we say that abortion and reproductive services are essential healthcare, then we must fight for Medicare for All. And while Oregonians may be protected from the worst of the fallout from the end of Roe, we must always recognize that an injury to one is an injury to all.

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