This Is Not the End: Rising Voices’ Statement on the Supreme Court Decision Overturning Roe v. Wade
DETROIT, MI - Rising Voices strongly condemns the Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade. The ending of over 50 years of protected reproductive rights will have a devastating impact on the lives of women and persons who can become pregnant, including those in the Asian American community. In Michigan, were it not for a preliminary injunction to prevent enforcement the reinstatement of a 1931abortion ban would immediately expose women and nonbinary persons to criminalization merely by seeking health care. This temporary protection is all that stands between Asian American women, transgender and nonbinary persons and the violence of this Supreme Court decision.
The attack on abortion rights is a racialized attack on the rights of women and persons of color, especially those in low-income communities who will bear the catastrophic consequences of this law without means to seek reproductive health services elsewhere. It is social control over poor and working class, queer and trans, disabled Black and Brown and Asian Americans in Michigan and the rest of the nation.
Across the nation, Asian American women, transgender and nonbinary persons are already limited in their access to reproductive health due to language barriers, cultural restrictions, and lack of sex education that would enable them to seek out resources. Asian Americans are less likely to use birth control and have some of the highest rates of breast and other preventable cancers. Foreign-born residents fearful of reporting will also avoid reproductive health providers out of fear of punishment and deportation.
At Rising Voices we recognize that the subject of abortion is a deeply personal issue that involves the complex cultural, religious and societal experiences of every individual. Within Asian American communities, abortion is a nuanced issue with varied perspectives and no monolithic solution of either acceptance or prohibition.
We recognize, however, that no matter what we may feel as individuals or groups the right to end a pregnancy must be made available to all who may need to make that difficult decision, one often made with agony and hardship in circumstances knowable only to those directly involved. Whatever those circumstances might be, the incontrovertible right of bodily autonomy cannot be gainsaid.
We at Rising Voices believe that when women (cis, trans, gender non-conforming and femme-identifying) lead, our communities move. Rising Voices will continue its work to organize and develop the leadership of Asian American women in Michigan and demand universal access to reproductive healthcare and abortion services. We call on our elected officials to do their parts in ensuring that the most vulnerable of us are protected, and we will continue to promote efforts such as the Reproductive Freedom for All ballot initiative to enshrine reproductive rights in the Michigan state constitution. We will stand with Black and Brown communities and continue to work for healing, wholeness, and collective liberation. We know that unless and until all people have agency over their bodies in pursuing self-determination, our Asian American communities will never be free.