FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 30, 2023
CONTACT: Virginia Lucy, firstname.lastname@example.org
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday, the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) held a virtual community briefing, One Year After Dobbs: Abortion Access for Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders, to reflect on the ongoing impacts of the Dobbs decision on Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities.
This June marks one year since the United States Supreme Court overturned nearly 50 years of legal precedent on federally protected access to abortion. Further, the Dobbs decision has emboldened states to enact their own abortion restrictions and bans, yet another blow to AAPI women seeking abortion care.
“Abortion access is and will always be a critical part of our reproductive lives,” said Isra Pananon Weeks, NAPAWF’s Interim Executive Director and Chief of Staff. “Yet even before Roe was overturned, the path to getting an abortion for many in the AAPI community was marked by cultural, economic, and systemic barriers, including language barriers, deep cultural stigmas, and low rates of insurance. And since Dobbs, women of color, including AAPI women, continue to be disproportionately impacted by the end of Roe and abortion bans.”
Overturning Roe cut off access to abortion care and put the well-being and financial stability for millions of AAPI women and families at risk. The community briefing served as a critical reminder of the importance of holding conversations that center the experiences of AAPI communities.
Panelists offered their insights into the ways that the Dobbs decision continues to affect AAPI communities and how the community can chart a path forward:
“We know that we have public opinion on our side. NAPAWF, NARAL, and all of our partners in the reproductive rights and health and justice coalitions have been raising the alarm since Planned Parenthood v. Casey that Roe was always the floor, not the ceiling,” said Mini Timmaraju, President of NARAL Pro-Choice America. “Roe provided essential fundamental protections but that access to abortion was the critical piece missing for women of color, marginalized communities, limited English proficient communities, and immigrant communities. AAPIs sit squarely in the intersections of many of those identities.”
“It was really important to me to write this piece about abortion and access and reproductive justice in the AAPI community because in a large part of my advocacy, one of the things I want to get out to our communities is that reproductive justice is an AAPI issue,” said Jenn Fang, Founder and Editor at Reappropriate. “I want us to reframe this fight both from a context of how reproductive justice issues can better include AAPIs, but I also want us to reframe the way we think about AAPI racial justice as something that needs to include abortion access.”
“One of the most devastating things about the fall of Roe is that bans on abortion are just one more tool for abusers to use in their efforts to exert power and control over their partners,” said Shivana Jorawar, Jahajee Sisters’ Founding Member and Co-Director. “We know that people who abuse often force their partner to get pregnant and give birth through preventing abortion care, through sexual assault and coercion, or by sabotaging birth control.”
“The trends we are seeing from the past legislative session and the past year and in particular the attacks on prosecutorial discretion illustrate the intersectionality of our issues and the need for us to organize our communities and build a powerful voter base,” said Seri Lee, NAPAWF’s National Campaign and Membership Director. “They highlight the threats to the separation of powers as well as the increased importance and urgency for cross movement building to move progressive issues forward and strengthen a politically educated voter base.”
“NAPAWF has joined other reproductive justice advocates working on a ballot initiative. This ballot initiative started in May and is to protect and codify abortion access and reproductive health care for all Floridians in the Florida constitution,” said May Thach, NAPAWF’s Florida Organizing Manager. “The ballot initiative needs close to one million petition signers and, after just launching last month, we’ve already had over 250,000 petitioners.”
To see the full list of speakers and a recording of the briefing, visit: https://www.napawf.org/dobbsoneyear
# # #
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.