Threats to Accessing Reproductive Health Care
For more than a decade we have seen a slew of relentless attacks on reproductive and sexual health play out on a national and state level. For example, since 2011, nearly 500 laws restricting and banning abortion have passed across the country, causing significant access barriers for many. The most recent of these passed on September 1, 2021, when a Texas law went into effect banning abortion after 6 weeks and effectively overturning Roe v. Wade for people across the state.
But abortion bans aren’t the only barrier that many people now face. Birth control coverage and access has also weathered attacks with efforts to undermine the ACA’s no co-pay contraception rule, blocks limiting access to quality family planning services for people of low income, and the loss of more than 900 health centers offering affordable family planning through the Title X program due to the domestic gag rule.
Early in October, Ms. Magazine hosted a panel conversation on the current threats to access reproductive health care in the US. Moderated by Roxy Szal, the panel included:
- Dr. Raegan McDonald-Mosley, CEO of Power to Decide and a widely recognized expert in sexual and reproductive health with experience as a practicing ob-gyn. Prior to joining Power to Decide, Dr. Raegan worked in various roles at both Planned Parenthood of Maryland and Planned Parenthood Federation of America for over a decade.
- Rachel Fey, VP of Policy and Strategic Partnerships at Power to Decide, manages the organization’s engagement with Congress, the executive administration, and state and local partners to advance policies that ensure all people have the power to decide their futures.
- Jennifer Blasdell, VP of Public Policy and Strategic Partnerships at Physicians for Reproductive Health where she was formerly the Director of Government Relations and Senior Director of Public Policy. Jennifer is responsible for the organization’s vibrant public policy program, advocating at the national and state levels for access to comprehensive reproductive health care.
- Jennifer Driver, Senior Director or Reproductive Rights at State Innovation Exchange where she centers her work around addressing systems that add burdens or barriers to accessing full reproductive health information and services. Jennifer is an award-winning reproductive health, rights, and justice policy and advocacy leader with nearly 15 years in the field.