Crime & Justice

Latinas are women of color most affected by abortion bans

Los Angeles, Oct 11 (EFE).- Latinas are the largest group of women of color affected by state abortion bans in the United States after the Supreme Court struck down federal protections for the procedure, according to a study released Wednesday.

Nearly 6.7 million Latinas, 43% of all US Latinas ages 15 to 49, live in 26 states that have banned or are likely to ban abortion, according to the analysis by the National Partnership for Women & Families and the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice.

This number makes them the largest group of women of color affected by abortion restrictions.

More than 3 million Latinas living in these 26 states lack economic security, meaning they are unlikely to be able to afford to travel to another state to receive abortion care.

Women who are denied this type of medical care are significantly more likely to fall deeper into poverty.

Nearly half of all Latinas living in these 26 states are already mothers, including 852,800 who have children under the age of three.

According to another 2018 study, the lack of access to abortion for women who are mothers negatively impacts the economic security and development of their existing children.

More than 1 million Latinas living in the surveyed states speak no English or speak it poorly, a language barrier that poses significant problems in obtaining culturally competent abortion care.

Latinas have one of the largest wage gaps among women, earning only 52 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men; they are also overrepresented in low-wage service jobs such as waitresses, cleaners and janitors, which contributes to their economic insecurity.

The research shows that more than 1.4 million Latinas in the 26 states surveyed work in these types of jobs, which are less likely to provide access to abortion care, economic security, paid sick days, and flexible scheduling, among other benefits.

Latinas who are veterans of the US armed forces also do not fare well when it comes to access to abortion, with about half of them living in states that have banned or are very likely to ban abortion after the Supreme Court overturned the 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision that protected this right.

While the US Department of Veterans Affairs has policies in place to expand access to abortion care, not all veterans are eligible for or use VA health care.

The research highlighted that abortion bans also increase the “threat of criminalization” that many Latino communities face.

Anti-immigrant laws and anti-Latino policing “prevail” in many of the 26 states that have banned or are likely to ban abortion.

The harms of these bans are exacerbated by rampant disinformation targeting Latino communities, as evidenced by messages delivered in Spanish and featuring images of black and brown people.

This misinformation includes false information about the legality of abortion, as well as medically inaccurate claims about the health effects of abortion.

This onslaught of disinformation further erodes trust between Latinas and health care providers and exacerbates disparities in reproductive health outcomes and access to abortion.EFE


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