Muchisimas Gracias: Latinas Thank Abortion Providers
Every day, it seems there is a new article highlighting the growing number of restrictions on abortion and reproductive health care. We are only a few months into most states' legislative sessions, yet in Alabama and Mississippi, we're already seeing a revival of "personhood" and TRAP laws, which threaten to prevent medical professionals from providing care. In Texas, lawmakers continue to try to find more ways to block women from basic health services.
Like all women, Latinas need, and seek, reproductive health care, including abortion, contraception, sex education, and prenatal care. In spite of outdated stereotypes perpetuated in the media, our data shows that Latino/as are in favor of protecting women's health, and have compassionate views on abortion. Eight in 10 Latinos say they would support a close friend or family member who had an abortion.
A Latina who decides to end a pregnancy should have our community's support and respect. But even with the support of friends and family in place, structural barriers, including poverty, discrimination, immigration status, and language prevent many Latinas from accessing these health care services. It doesn't help that 87 percent of U.S. counties have no identifiable abortion provider, according to the Guttmacher Institute.
Providing abortion can present significant challenges to doctors, nurses and clinic staff. Many of these providers face hostile, life-threatening environments, threats to their families, invasions of privacy, and endless legal assaults, creating tremendous obstacles to treating their patients. In spite of that, they go to work each day and provide the care that women urgently need. That's why at the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH), we are taking the time to thank and reflect on the invaluable service these providers give their patients.