Women, and all others that have the capability to bear children, have a right to reproductive freedom which is critical for countries around the world to uphold. In 1973, the United States Supreme Court ruled in Roe v. Wade granting the right to have an abortion under the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, balancing the viability of the fetus in the third trimester.
Since the Court’s decision, states across the country have slowly begun to chip away at this right that even international courts hold to be important.
If someone wants to get an abortion in Louisiana, they must do so before they reach 22 weeks into their pregnancy. They have to undergo state-directed counseling designed to discourage abortions and then they have to wait an additional 24 hours before they have access to the procedure. They must undergo an ultrasound and see the fetus prior to the abortion. The provider is required to describe to them the fetus.
If they have health insurance from the state’s health care marketplace, their abortion will not be covered.
These standards are unnecessary, burdensome, and cruel, but they won’t even matter if Roe v. Wade gets overturned by the Courts since Louisiana will ban abortion if they can.
Gary is committed to protecting reproductive freedom and preserving the right to choose.
1. Gary would work to codify Roe v. Wade to protect reproductive rights across the United States.
Gary supports measures like the Women’s Health Protection Act which codify Roe v. Wade’s provisions into law and ensure that people have access to abortions until the fetus is viable. The Women’s Health Protection Act would have additionally outlawed other measures like mandatory ultrasounds, biased counseling, and waiting periods all of which directly affect Louisianans access to abortions.
2. Gary would vote to repeal the Hyde Amendment.
The Hyde Amendment which bans the use of federal funds to pay for an abortion except to save a woman’s life or in the case of incest or rape needs to be repealed. Women have the right to choose, and we need to ensure that all people have access to all of the healthcare that they need. Abortions are healthcare.
3. Gary would vote to fully fund Planned Parenthood, Title X, and other initiatives that protect people’s access to reproductive healthcare including contraception, STI testing, and abortion services.
Reproductive rights don’t just include abortion, but also access to the full spectrum of reproductive healthcare. Ensuring that Planned Parenthood is fully funded to distribute the full spectrum of healthcare services that they offer is critical, as is continuing to fund Title X. Contraception, STI testing, and general reproductive health are critical to maintaining our broader health.