A Message from Amy Hagstrom Miller on Roe v. Wade's 46th Anniversary
Today marks the 46th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. When we opened the first set of doors at Whole Woman’s Health, Roe was only 30 years old and we had no idea what the future held. Standing in the clinic on that first day, there’s no way any of us could have imagined where we’d be today – operating clinics that provide the highest standard of compassionate, holistic abortion care in six states, serving as plaintiffs in six different court cases after winning a landmark case in the Supreme Court, operating a separate nonprofit that advocates for abortion access and helps patients pay for their care, and watching abortion access disappear before our eyes despite our best efforts to stem the powerful tides of abortion stigma.
Like us, the promise of Roe has changed with age. From the Hyde Amendment to Casey to Whole Woman’s Health vs. Hellerstedt and the hundreds of state-level regulations and laws designed to chip away at abortion access, those of us who care about abortion access have never had a day off from this fight.
As we look forward, I wish I could say that the hard work is done. Unfortunately, it’s becoming clear that the coming years will be the hardest. Due to the hostile and volatile political environment we’re in, Roe faces an existential threat that we’ve never seen before. Even with Roe’s protections still in place, many states have successfully made abortion too difficult or even impossible for many women who seek our care.
Whole Woman’s Health isn’t going anywhere. Our passion and dedication to the patients and communities we serve has only gotten stronger over the years. We’ve suffered some scrapes and we have some new wrinkles, but we’ve made unbelievable progress too. Today, we’re joining our allies in proudly reaffirming our commitment to protecting abortion access for everyone who needs it. That starts, but doesn’t end, with protecting Roe v. Wade. We have to push for more. We have to push for racial justice so people of color can access abortion care without more barriers than white people. We have to push for economic justice so we never hear of another woman deciding against abortion simply because she couldn’t pay for it or take time away from work. We have to push for environmental justice so we have safe, sustainable, healthy communities in which to raise the families we want and plan for.
Please read this letter from our Development Director, Karen Chapman Development Director for Whole Woman’s Health Alliance, who shares a birthday with Roe v. Wade, about why protecting abortion access is so important to her. People like Karen drive our work forward and keep our patients centered in every decision we make. As we dive back into our work for another year, know that we aren’t going to stop until Roe is safe and everyone has access to the abortion care they need. We’re so proud to be your partner in this fight.
Yours in choice,
Amy Hagstrom Miller