FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 2, 2024
WASHINGTON, D.C. – This week, Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian American Justice Center (Advancing Justice – AAJC) and the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) filed an amicus brief on behalf of themselves and other AAPI, Black, and immigrant women’s organizations urging the U.S. Supreme Court to protect access to medication abortion.
In the case U.S. Food and Drug Administration v. Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine, the justices are deciding whether to overturn or restrict FDA approval of mifepristone, one of the pills commonly used in medication abortion. The brief filed jointly by Advancing Justice – AAJC and NAPAWF explains that for many women of color, medication abortion is the only abortion care to which they have access. The brief further underscores the medical, social, and personal importance of medication abortion to women of color, and that if the Supreme Court ruling requires in-person dispensing of the product, that access to critical abortion care for women of color will be severely threatened.
Mifepristone is one of two medications used in the most common medication abortion regimen in the U.S. It is safe, effective, and has been used by more than 5 million people since it was approved by the FDA more than 23 years ago.
“Medications do not reach people by chance,” said Niyati Shah, Director of Litigation at Advancing Justice – AAJC. “Requiring women to appear in person to access mifepristone will put it firmly out of reach for many, disproportionately for AAPI women and other women of color. Medication abortion care and access to that care is vital for those communities, which have been disproportionately impacted by the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade. Considering that medication abortion accounts for over half of all abortions in the United States, restrictions on it are tantamount to restrictions on all abortion. For millions of women of color, access to mifepristone is essential—and, often, the only access to abortion possible for them. As a result, it is crucial that access to this medicine and subsequent care is not limited, but instead made more readily available.”
More than 15 million women of color live in the 26 states that have banned or are likely to ban abortion. A report by NAPAWF confirmed that AAPI communities continue to face significant barriers to accessing medication abortion care.
“Even before Roe was overturned, AAPI women faced cultural, economic, and systemic barriers to abortion care, including language access, cultural stigmas, and low rates of insurance,” said Sung Yeon Choimorrow, NAPAWF’s Executive Director. “Women and girls of color, including those in the AAPI community, bear the brunt of the impact when abortion options are further restricted.”
The brief titled, “Brief of AANHPI, Black, and Immigrant Women’s Organizations in Support of Petitioners,” was joined by nine nonprofit organizations serving and advocating for the rights of women of color.
Organizations that signed on to the amicus brief are the In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda, National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA), Apna Ghar, Inc., Asian/Pacific Islander Domestic Violence Resource Project (DVRP), Daya Inc., Empowering Pacific Islander Communities (EPIC), Jahajee Sisters, Laotian American National Alliance (LANA) and KAN-WIN.
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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.
Asian Americans Advancing Justice – AAJC has a mission to advance the civil and human rights of Asian Americans and to build and promote a fair and equitable society for all.