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Op-Ed Calls on Progressive Lawmakers To Support EACH Woman Act

Op-Ed Calls on Progressive Lawmakers To Support EACH Woman Act

October 23, 2015 — "This week, people across the country will mobilize in support of the EACH Woman Act [HR 2972] -- a bill that will restore funding for abortion for millions of women covered by public and private health insurance," Erin Matson and Pamela Merritt, founders of Reproaction, write in an opinion piece for The Hill's "Congress Blog."

Matson and Merritt write, "Anti-choice politicians constructed economic barriers that forced millions of low-income women to make choices about their pregnancies based on their bank accounts rather than what's best for themselves and their families." However, "[a] small, vocal group of congresswomen are leading the charge to tear down those barriers," the authors write. According to Matson and Merritt, the EACH Woman Act "is one critical piece of an economic justice agenda that truly includes everyone, because restricting access to abortion boils down to taking away opportunities from people because a vocal group of outsiders object to the basic facts of human sexuality."

The authors continue, "It's not good enough to claim to be pro-choice yet refuse to champion legislation like the EACH Woman Act. A failure to support this bill is a failure to support women's economic well-being, period." They write, "Funding abortion is a basic obligation of a just society," adding, "Everyone -- especially low-income people and women of color -- must be free to determine the direction of their own lives, or they are not free."

"The right to abortion is meaningless if people can't afford it," Matson and Merritt state, adding, "Since 1976, Congress has been permitted to discriminate against women by limiting their healthcare choices and using health insurance as a weapon." The authors call on progressive lawmakers to end Congress' "reprehensible ... economic attacks on women's dignity," adding that "as a movement, we are going to embrace a true progressive vision, one that confronts every limit to human dignity and economic opportunity" (Matson/Merritt, "Congress Blog," The Hill, 10/21).