January 22, 2015

WASHINGTON – Today, the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF) commemorated the 42nd anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade, which makes legal a woman’s right to choose to have an abortion.

“This year’s anniversary comes at a time when some in Congress are again redoubling efforts to erode Roe,” said Kathy Ko Chin, APIAHF president and CEO. “We must continue working to ensure all women have access to the full range of reproductive health services they need. So often low-income women and women of color face unacceptable barriers to health care due to a labyrinth of restrictions surrounding abortion, unfair funding rules and an overall environment that is hostile to women’s health.”

Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander women, many of whom are immigrants, already experience roadblocks to accessing high quality, and culturally- and linguistically-appropriate health care. “Restricting abortion and reproductive health care only adds to that burden and makes it more difficult for a women to make the best decision for her and her family,” added Ko Chin. “All women must have the right to access the care they need, no matter their income.”

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) takes the important step of including protections for women from discrimination in the health setting as well as establishing near-universal coverage for the full range of contraceptives. Opponents, however, continue to attack these important provisions in Congress and the courts. At the state level, lawmakers have brought forth a number of challenges to women’s health, from attacking the ACA to erecting new barriers such as so-called sex selective abortion bans.

APIAHF is committed to advancing the health and well-being of all Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders in the United States, its territories and jurisdictions, and believes that all communities should have access to quality, affordable care that meets their needs. APIAHF will continue to urge lawmakers to expand and restore coverage for the full range of reproductive health services, rather than creating harmful restrictions that undermine a woman’s ability to make her own health care decisions. APIAHF welcomes the reintroduction of the Women’s Health Protection Act in the 114th Congress, a much needed bill that would put women’s health first.