It is with great concern, one week after the Dobbs v. Jackson Supreme Court ruling, that we write this letter. We are doctors, health leaders, and community professionals who have dedicated our lives to health equity, many of us identify as women, and almost all of us have experienced the dangers of unequal health care access either in our personal or professional lives.
We write in solidarity, not only with the many organizations working at the front lines of this fight, but with the many generations of individuals who will be negatively affected by this careless decision. We stand behind the Project Access NOW staff, who recognized when this decision was leaked, the potential impact on communities of color and those experiencing poverty. We know those made vulnerable by our social systems stand to suffer the most. This decision puts our rights as Americans in danger, as well as the lives of many of our fellow citizens.
However, it is not with despair that we write this letter. Project Access NOW has fought for 15 years for equal access to health care and we know, despite barriers, it is the will of Oregonians (and the American people) that this fundamental right to a woman’s choice over her body will prevail. It is by honoring this right – and the right to health care which we continue to fight for – that will allow us all to move upstream and address the true drivers of poor health.
In our personal lives, we will be speaking to our elected officials, marching in protests, and serving on boards for organizations like PANOW who fight tirelessly for the health rights of the un- and underinsured. In our professional lives, we will be speaking up in our workplaces, examining the ways in which our organizations can affect change, and ensuring our colleagues feel safe and protected. As an organization, we partner with staff to explore ways to expand our C3 Community Assistance Program to deliver the services needed by someone traveling to Oregon to receive an abortion. We ask that you take time to consider what you can do to continue the fight for equity in our country.