Roadmap includes priorities for Asian American and Pacific Islander women

August 14, 2020
Contact: Donna De la Cruz

Washington, D.C. — Today, the Blueprint for Sexual and Reproductive Health, Rights, and Justice released First Priorities, a detailed list of executive and agency actions for the opening days of an incoming administration. First Priorities is based on the Blueprint, a proactive policy agenda to advance sexual and reproductive health, rights, and justice released last year and developed by a diverse coalition of more than 90 organizations including the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum. 

In a 2019 poll, 80 percent of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) women voters agreed that candidates should support women making their own decisions about their reproductive health. Given the threats to our reproductive health and rights, to our rights as immigrants and people of color, and to our economic well-being, AAPI women need bold policymaking that supports our ability to thrive.  

The roadmap lists specific actions centered around six key points and milestones, including items that would have a particular impact on AAPI women:

1. On day one, issue an Executive Order unequivocally committing to reproductive health care, rights and justice. Specifically, the Executive Order must: 

  • Direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services to issue guidance to lift the FDA’s in-person dispensing requirement for mifepristone for the duration of the public health emergency, consistent with similar directives and waivers issued to reduce risk of COVID-19.  

2. Publicly commit the U.S to re-engaging on a global scale to advance the health and rights of individuals worldwide and re-engage with international organizations. 

3. Propose a budget that demonstrates a commitment to sexual and reproductive health. 

  • The budget must end the Hyde Amendment and related restrictions, and ensure that everyone has abortion coverage, regardless of their income or source of insurance. For more than 40 years, the Hyde Amendment has disproportionately denied women of color the agency to decide when and how to start their families by banning abortion coverage for people enrolled in Medicaid health insurance. Nearly one fifth of AAPI women rely on Medicaid. 

4. Nominate and appoint individuals for executive branch positions who are experts in their field and possess a positive record on reproductive health, rights, and justice.

5. Halt all non-final regulations that limit access to reproductive health care, including abortion, and initiate the process of rescinding harmful regulations, including:

  • Inadmissibility Based on Public Charge Grounds, expanding and weaponizing the concept of “public charge” to discourage immigrants from accessing basic services and public programs. Immigrant women are disproportionately affected by these restrictions. Nearly half of immigrant women of reproductive age who live in poverty are uninsured.

  • Nondiscrimination in Health and Health Education Programs and Activities, Delegation of Authority, revising the regulations for the Section 1557 Health Care Rights Law to undermine the statute’s protections. Section 1557 ensured that historically discriminated against communities — immigrants, LGBTQ folks, and people with disabilities — were not locked out from accessing health care. Health care discrimination has happened to AAPI women and other people of color throughout this country’s history.

  • Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan Program, excluding DACA recipients from benefits under the ACA, including tax credits, cost sharing, and the marketplaces. AAPIs make up 10 percent of the population eligible for DACA.

6. Within 90 days of assuming office, institute key agency policy and practice changes that advance reproductive health care, rights, and justice. These changes ran the gamut from HHS to the State Department to the Department of Justice and include:  

  • The Department of Justice must not investigate, arrest, or prosecute individuals under the federal criminal code for any act or omission with respect to their own pregnancy, and must end its policies and practices that place people at risk of criminal charge for any act or omission with respect to their own pregnancy. AAPI communities face numerous barriers in accessing health care and AAPI women’s reproductive decision-making continues to be highly scrutinized. 

First Priorities can be found at:

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The National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) is the only multi-issue, progressive, community organizing and policy advocacy organization for Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) women and girls in the U.S. NAPAWF’s mission is to build collective power so that all AAPI women and girls can have full agency over our lives, our families, and our communities.