YWCA Northeast Kansas Supports Reproductive Justice for All

For more than fifty years, YWCA USA has supported the reproductive freedom of all people to make fundamental decisions about whether and when to have children. We are striving to create a world in which all women—especially women of color—are free from racism and sexism, and can thrive. We refuse to sit on the sidelines during this historic moment.

On June 24, United States Supreme Court officially reversed the landmark Roe v. Wade decision, stripping people of the federal constitutional right to abortion. Make no mistake: YWCA stands in support of reproductive freedom for all. Click here to read YWCA USA’s amicus brief in the Supreme Court case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.

On August 2nd, Kansans overwhelmingly voted to retain the constitutional right to an abortion as protected by a 2019 Kansas State Supreme Court decision. Abortion remains legal in Kansas. YWCA Northeast Kansas is committed to working for the protection of reproductive rights, and the advancement of reproductive justice in our state. Read more on our blog about this historic vote, and how YWCA Northeast Kansas will continue working for gender equity and the rights of all birthing people.

Reproductive Justice Is Racial Justice

Quality, affordable, culturally-competent health care is critical to everyone. But for many women, children, people of color, and trauma survivors, getting the medical care and insurance coverage they need is a struggle. Moreover, unequal access to health care is a driving factor in racial disparities in maternal and other health outcomes in the U.S.

The effects of increased abortion restrictions and bans will be felt most by young women and women of color, LGBTQ+ persons, immigrants, and other populations who experience barriers to accessing healthcare services. In addition, people of color, especially Black people, have a higher risk of pregnancy complications, maternal mortality, and infant mortality (CDC). It is crucial that efforts to protect abortion rights are rooted in racial justice, and address the racist structures within the healthcare system and healthcare policy.

Voices for Reproductive Justice

On July 20, 2022, six local leaders, advocates, and providers held a panel discussion on the state of abortion rights in Kansas and what is at stake in the August 2nd election. This discussion was streamed from St. David’s Episcopal Church in Topeka, and made possible in partnership with the League of Women Voters of Topeka – Shawnee County, Women for Kansas – Northeast Chapter, and Kansas Women Attorneys for Freedom. View the full replay below.

YWCA Discusses Reproductive Rights with Planned Parenthood Great Plains

In May 2022, YWCA’s Regina Platt, Allison Marker, and board member Megan Williams sat down with Dr. Iman Alsaden to discuss the state of abortion rights in Kansas. Watch the conversation below to learn more about the history that led us to this point, and how you can be a part of the effort to protect reproductive rights for all.

What You Can Do to Support Reproductive Justice

Our CEO Kathleen Marker was one of the first in line ready to testify on behalf of YWCA Northeast Kansas when the state legislature voted to put the anti-choice constitutional amendment on the ballot. Click here to read her testimony for the House Federal and State Affairs and Senate Judiciary Committees.

See how you can support reproductive healthcare in our communities.

In Kansas, there are several organizations working together to make sure that the majority of Kansans who support abortion access have their voices heard, and that Kansans continue to have the freedom to make their own reproductive decisions.

At the national level, YWCA has been fighting for gender and racial justice for decades. 30 years ago, YWCA joined the pro-choice demonstration March for Women’s Lives in Washington, D.C., in April 1992, at that time one of the largest protest marches in the nation’s capital. And we won’t stop any time soon.

Learn more about the state of abortion rights in the United States, and how you can get involved in national efforts to stand for women:

  • The Women’s Health Protection Act (S. 1975/H.R. 3755) protects the right to access abortion services. Solidifying the right to access abortion care is fundamental and must be protected! Add your voice to YWCA USA’s call for action, and tell your members of Congress to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act TODAY! TAKE ACTION NOW
  • SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective is a national coalition working to improve institutional policies and systems that impact the reproductive lives of marginalized communities. Learn more about their work here
  • The Guttmacher Institute is a primary source for research and policy analysis on abortion in the United States.