Delaware Water Gap, PA – Women’s Resources of Monroe County believes in every person’s right to bodily autonomy and to make decisions about what’s best for their lives. Women’s Resources of Monroe County strongly opposed any actions—legislatively or otherwise—that limit a person’s right to access a full range of reproductive healthcare services, including abortion care. We believe consent and bodily autonomy are fundamental rights no person, law or government should violate. These beliefs are integral to our mission and work.
Domestic and sexual violence affects nearly one-third of women in the United States, and abusers maintain power and control within their relationships by undermining their partners’ health, safety, economic security, and autonomy to make reproductive and sexual health decisions. Coercive control and reproductive coercion are tactics used regularly in domestic violence situations. Victims risk being trapped in violent relationships if they cannot access safe abortion care. This entrapment can lead to heightened abuse during pregnancy or the abuser killing the victim.
Reproductive choice must not be limited for anyone, regardless of who they are or what their story is. For victims of sexual violence and intimate partner violence, restricting their private healthcare decisions pending the trauma of disclosure is coercive and inappropriate. Privacy is fundamental to everyone, including survivors seeking safety and health care; they rely on this protection to feel safe seeking help and accessing services. The overturning of Roe vs Wade by the Supreme Court puts the constitutional right to privacy in jeopardy and puts survivors at risk of additional harm.
Reproductive coercion, forced pregnancies, forced abortions, and rape resulting in pregnancy are all risk factors that undermine victims’ physical and psychological safety and well-being. Options, choices, and empowerment help to restore a victim’s sense of control and safety after an assault. We do not support any actions that limit those options and allow government to dictate what choices a person can make about their personal lives and bodies.
Three million women experience rape-related pregnancy, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Carrying a pregnancy to term is not always a safe option for all people. Reasons include intimate partner violence, which can escalate during pregnancy; health disparities related to racial and economic inequalities; a person’s medical history or complications that elevate their risk for maternal morbidity; or other reasons.
Women’s Resources supports actions and policies that prevent domestic and sexual abuse and invest in the health and safety of all. Advocating for broad access to safe abortions includes advocating for strengthening the systems that support individuals and families so that everyone can lead healthy and stable lives free from violence. The right to affordable, equitable and quality health care, including abortions, should be the right of everyone and that right should be guaranteed by law.
Women’s Resources of Monroe County has provided over 41 years of safe emergency shelter, 24-hour crisis hotline, support, counseling, education, legal advocacy, and community outreach to Monroe County victims and survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. The 24-hour crisis hotline can be reached at 570-421-4200. To learn more about Women’s Resources of Monroe County please visit www.wrmonroe.org.