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Home / Opinion / Commentary / Overturning Roe V. Wade after 49 Years will have devastating impacts on young women 

Overturning Roe V. Wade after 49 Years will have devastating impacts on young women 

This artist sketch depicts Mississippi Solicitor General Scott Stewart, standing while speaking to the Supreme Court, Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021, in Washington. (Dana Verkouteren via AP)

January 22, 2022 marks the 49th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade. But this year, young women/people facing pregnancy could face significant harm as the first generation in half a century to enter adulthood without the fundamental right to make the decision whether to continue a pregnancy.

Debbie Esparza

In the last 50 years, we’ve made tremendous strides in improving the economic outcomes, educational attainment, health and safety for women in this country. All of that stands to be undermined by the Supreme Court. 

Women/people who are denied an abortion are four times more likely to live in poverty than women who can access care. Restrictions on abortion care will hurt working-class and low-income women/people the most.

Punitive abortion restrictions like those in Texas disproportionately affect women of color, LGBTQ persons, young women, immigrants, low-income people, and others who have difficulty accessing health services. 

The YWCA is a trusted voice to some of the most vulnerable communities in the country. Here in Arizona, YWCA Metropolitan Phoenix provides important programming for women, people of color, and seniors, and we’ve been doing it for the last 110 years.

Our programs include preparing and distributing meals to home-bound and isolated older adults. We also help women and their families gain financial independence by providing free financial education courses and financial coaching. We challenge systemic inequality through our advocacy program by hosting workshops for the public to attend, partnering with organizations like the Women’s March to advocate for women’s rights, and supporting bills like the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to dismantle barriers and ensure freedom, justice, peace, and dignity for all. 

Every person has the constitutional right to make decisions regarding their reproductive health.

Congress needs to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act and solidify the right to access abortion services free from burdensome and often medically unnecessary restrictions. This bill will also protect providers, ensuring everyone has continued access to safe abortion care. 

You can support the Women’s Health Protection Act to make sure no one has to cross state lines to receive this critical medical care. Write to your members of Congress today.

Debbie Esparza is the YWCA Metro Phoenix CEO.

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