For Immediate Release
September 20, 2021
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) and Asian Americans Advancing Justice – AAJC (Advancing Justice – AAJC), filed an amicus brief urging the nation’s highest court to reject a call by the state of Mississippi to overturn Roe v. Wade and allow individual states to ban or end the legal right to abortion.
The amicus, or the “friend of the court” brief, represents 29 community and civil rights organizations, as well as bar associations, representing the interests of Asian American and Pacific Islander women in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. The Dobbs case is a challenge, brought by the independent and sole abortion care provider in Mississippi, represented by the Center for Reproductive Rights, to the state’s 2018 ban on abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.
“Our brief focuses solely on the experiences of Asian American and Pacific Islander women in the United States,” said Sung Yeon Choimorrow, Executive Director, National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF).
“We know that abortion access is already difficult for AAPI women. The cultural stigma and shame that comes with talking about abortion, let alone getting one, is compounded with significant language and economic barriers that can make accessing abortion care a harrowing and terrifying experience,” said Choimorrow. “This is especially true for AAPI women who are over-represented in low-paying, service jobs and are more likely to not have health care coverage to begin with.” In 2020, AAPI women experienced the highest rates of long-term unemployment among minority women since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Given that AAPIs are among the fastest-growing populations nationwide with nearly two-thirds of the population being foreign-born, we have grave concerns about the impact of this case on our community,” said Niyati Shah, Advancing Justice – AAJC’s Director of Litigation. “The anti-immigrant sentiment will only further stoke the fear of AAPI women that they will face adverse consequences regardless of their immigration status.”
Overturning Roe v. Wade will effectively end legal abortion in at least 22 states, several of which are home to large and growing AAPI communities. For instance, the AAPI population in Georgia, Texas, and North Carolina, has grown 138%, 128%, and 154%, respectively, since 2000. The rolling back of reproductive rights by banning access to abortion care will jeopardize the well-being and financial stability for millions of AAPI women and families.
The amicus brief filed today emphasizes the unconstitutionality imposed by pre-viability abortion bans and the need to protect the constitutional right for continued access to abortion care for AAPI women. The barriers to safe reproductive care will become even more profound if Mississippi’s pre-viability abortion ban is upheld due to laws that unfairly target pregnant AAPI women for criminal prosecution.
A full copy of the amicus brief is available here: napawf.org/dobbsbrief
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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.
The mission of Asian Americans Advancing Justice – AAJC is to advance civil and human rights for Asian Americans. Advancing Justice | AAJC is a national 501 (c)(3) nonprofit founded in 1991 in Washington, D.C. Advancing Justice | AAJC is the voice for the Asian American community – the fastest-growing population in the U.S. – fighting for our civil rights through education, litigation, and public policy advocacy.