For Immediate Release: May 13, 2022
Washington, D.C. – Earlier today, the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF), in partnership with Ethnic Media Services (EMS), hosted a press conference featuring Congresswoman Judy Chu (D-CA), Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), NAPAWF Executive Director Sung Yeon Choimorrow, HEART Women and Girls Co-Executive Director Aliza Kazmi, and Asian Americans Advancing Justice-AAJC President & Executive Director John C. Yang.
A replay of the press conference can be viewed here: https://fb.me/e/3bVwAnUkg
A leaked draft of a Supreme Court opinion in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson’s Women Health Organization indicated that a majority of justices intend to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 landmark decision which has established a constitutional right to abortion for nearly fifty years. If overturned, the impact would be swift and devastating and would severely limit abortion access in at least 26 states and territories, leaving nearly 40 million individuals without access to a crucial part of reproductive care.
Congresswoman Judy Chu, D-California:
“Now, more than ever, it is imperative we protect our right to choose and access safe and legal abortions –especially in the midst of the growing assault on abortion access and, most recently, with the leaked draft opinion by Justice Alito signaling intention to overturn Roe v. Wade.
This week’s failed vote in the Senate to move forward the Women’s Health Protection Act is not the end. It is just the beginning. For nearly fifty years, in poll after poll, a majority of Americans support access to abortion. So, we are just getting started in our fight to protect abortion access, and I am especially invested in this fight as I know that the impacts of these abortion bans are felt most acutely by communities of color, including the Asian American Pacific Islander community. That is why we will march this weekend in support of abortion rights. We will march for the right to make decisions about our own bodies. And we will march to the polls this November to protect the rights of every person, in every state, for their right to an abortion.”
Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, D-Washington:
“I am one of the one in four women in this country who have had an abortion. Terminating my pregnancy was a difficult choice, but it remained my choice. Every pregnant person deserves to have that choice if they want it.
Our most vulnerable communities, including people of color, low-income communities, and survivors of abuse will bear the brunt of the consequences of this unlawful and unjust rollback of set precedent. We cannot and will not go back on decades of reproductive freedom because of extremist, right-wing Justices trying to infringe on our constitutional right to choose.”
Sung Yeon Choimorrow, Executive Director of the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF):
“The leaked opinion speaks to the unprecedented and alarming nature of the assault on our reproductive rights. Banning access to abortion care further jeopardizes the well-being and financial stability for millions of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) women and families.
Roe cannot and must not fall. The path to proper abortion care is already arduous for AAPI communities – filled with language barriers, cultural stigmas, and low rates of insurance for our most vulnerable members. Although opportunities to defend abortion rights in court are shrinking, we can still protect abortion access state by state.
At NAPAWF, we are committed to grassroots organizing, building electoral power and supporting those who provide and access abortions.”
Aliza Kazmi, Co-Executive Director, HEART Women and Girls:
“As the most ethnically diverse faith group in the country (including the fact that one in three Muslims in the US are Black), it’s important to note that a majority of Muslims believe that abortion should be legal in all or most cases. This is unsurprising given that Black, low-income, queer, disabled and other most impacted Muslims already have generations of lived experience where our sacred bodily autonomy continues to be violated through state surveillance, policing, criminalization, and incarceration. In spite of these harms, we have always taken care of our communities—and will continue to do so. We’re not going to continue to be criminalized for exercising our bodily autonomy without a fight.”
John C. Yang, President and Executive Director, Asian Americans Advancing Justice – AAJC:
“Abortion rights are civil and human rights. Overturning Roe v. Wade and banning access to abortion care will jeopardize the well-being and financial stability for millions of AAPI individuals and families, especially women. We stand in firm support with our allied communities of color to protect reproductive rights and access to care for all.”
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.