For Immediate Release: October 2, 2021
(Houston, TX, Tampa, FL, & Washington, DC) — The National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF), along with its numerous chapters across the country, organized Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) women to join and participate in today’s national rally for abortion justice. Often overlooked in the abortion fight, AAPI women are making their voices heard.
“Anti-abortion attacks threaten every person who can get pregnant. But these attacks will mean low-income people will suffer. People of color will suffer. Immigrants, especially undocumented people, will suffer,” said NAPAWF’s Executive Director, Sung Yeon Choimorrow, as part of her remarks at today’s main rally in Washington, DC.
“And at the intersection of these communities is one too often ignored, my community, Asian American and Pacific Islander women. AAPI women overwhelmingly support abortion access and we demand that our voices be heard. Ninety-three percent of AAPI women believe that women should have the right to make their own reproductive choices.”
“My entire life changed when I made the choice to have children, and it’s excruciatingly hard, but I have solace in the fact that I made this choice. It makes me angry when this decision — this choice — is taken away. We suffer physically, emotionally, mentally, and financially, when we lose the right to make our own choice,” said NAPAWF Florida member Christina M., who participated in a sister march in Tampa.
“I am advocating for an end to laws that shame, pressure, and punish a woman for having an abortion. I am demanding our elected officials enact policies for affordable and accessible health care for all regardless of immigration status. The experiences of Asian American and Pacific Islander women have gone unacknowledged and unaddressed by mainstream culture throughout our history in this country. But we refuse to be silent.”
“Right now, in Texas, people are being turned away from abortion clinics if they’re just a single day over the deadline. In Texas, 11% of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders live below the poverty line, 12% are uninsured, and 17% are undocumented. Many of us are also immigrants and don’t speak English as our first language. These compounding barriers make it extremely difficult for us to know what resources are available to us, including access to abortion care, on top of the stigma associated with sexual and reproductive health in our communities,” said NAPAWF’s Texas Outreach Coordinator, Anvita Kandru, who participated in a sister march in Houston. “Adding medically unnecessary restrictive laws makes it nearly impossible for us to access the reproductive care we need. This is exactly what the opposition wants: to take away our resources and our agency. They want us to feel like we don’t have options.”
In a midnight ruling last month, the Supreme Court rejected an emergency request to block Texas’ abortion ban, setting off the largest threat to abortion access in a generation. On December 1, the nation’s highest court will hear arguments for Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. At risk, is the overturning of Roe v. Wade which will effectively end legal abortion in at least 22 states, several of which are home to large and growing AAPI communities.
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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.