For Immediate Release:
April 12, 2023
WASHINGTON – On Friday, a Trump-appointed federal judge in Texas with ties to the anti-abortion movement ruled against the longstanding Food and Drug Administration approval of the abortion drug mifepristone. On the same day, in an effort to keep mifepristone on the market, a Washington state judge issued a decision banning the FDA from pulling the abortion drug. Shortly after, the Department of Justice stepped in and issued an appeal to the Texas ruling, arguing that the judge’s ruling is “unprecedented.”
The Alliance for Youth Action Network is committed to ensuring that young people across the nation have access to reproductive care, vital information, and the resources needed to fight for our reproductive rights to be codified into law. The Alliance Network stands in solidarity with young people across the country and demands their reproductive rights be defended through federal action.
For more than two decades, pregnant people have had access to the abortion pill. However, recent data shows that 40 million people would lose access to abortions if the Texas ruling is upheld. Meanwhile, 68% of young people aged 18-29 believe abortion should be legal according to a survey by the Public Religion Research Institute. Resulting from the conservative judge’s ruling, millions of people’s health and livelihoods are in jeopardy, with young people and Black, Indigenous, and people of color taking a disproportionate brunt of the decision’s impact.
Leaders from across the Alliance Network released the following statements:
“The decision to have an abortion should be in the hands of our communities, period,” said Executive Director of MOVE Texas Claudia Yoli Ferla. “Young people deserve abortion care when they need it, on the timeline they choose, and in the community they trust — without shame or stigma. Despite this decision, young people will continue to demand safe abortion care and the human right to create the families they want, when they want, if they want them.”
“This grueling decision out of Texas reinforces the harsh reality of the state of reproductive rights in this country,” said Executive Director of Mississippi Votes Arekia Bennett-Scott. “It’s up to us to fight and demand our rights be defended. What we saw last June after the Roe repeal was only the beginning. Since then, Mississippi Votes and the Mississippi Abortion Access Coalition have been mobilizing our communities forward to ensure the future is one where abortion access is protected and young people have a voice.”
“Yet again, those in power have wielded their ability to control other people’s bodies without recourse. The dangers of restricting access to a medical pill that has been on the market for more than 20 years cannot be understated,” said Executive Director of New Era Colorado Nicole Hensel. “Colorado leads the Mountain West in protecting reproductive health care, and we’re not backing down. Young people aren’t afraid to advocate for safe, affordable, and accessible health care. We’re showing up at the Colorado legislature to protect and expand reproductive health care this year, and we’ll show up at that national-level, too.”
“Last year, Kansans took to the ballot and overwhelmingly voted to protect reproductive rights across the state,” said Advocacy Director of Loud Light Melissa Stiehler. “That shouldn’t be a microcosm. Throughout the country, people believe as we do in Kansas that the freedom to choose must be protected by law. Our democracy should not be stonewalled by politically-appointed judges in other states. We must respect the will of the people and defend our right to choose.”
Youth organizers across the Alliance Network will continue to fight for reproductive rights on the national stage and in their own communities. We demand our elected officials in Washington hear the demands of young people and enact legislation protecting our access to abortion. We won’t stop until every person, regardless of race, class, or zip code is guaranteed that right. Let us not forget that young people will continue to be a hugely influential voting bloc at the ballot box for years to come.
If you are interested in speaking with Claudia Yoli Ferla, Arekia Bennett-Scott, Nicole Hensel, Melissa Stiehler, or any leaders within the Alliance for Youth Action Network, please reach out to Carmel Pryor, Vice President of Communications and Engagement (email@example.com).