Washington, DC – Today, the United States Conference of Mayors (USCM), under the leadership of President and Reno (NV) Mayor Hillary Schieve, launched a new bipartisan Task Force on Women’s Health and Reproductive Rights. Mayor Schieve has appointed Tucson (AZ) Mayor Regina Romero and USCM Past President Burnsville (MN) Mayor Elizabeth B. Kautz to serve as co-chairs of the Task Force, which the full body of the organization voted to create during the Conference’s 91st Annual Meeting in June.
Announcing the creation of the Task Force, Mayor Schieve made the following statement:
“As states across the country continue to enact stricter limits on abortion access in the wake of last year’s Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, America’s mayors are committed to safeguarding women’s access to reproductive healthcare and the ability to make decisions about their own bodies. Access to safe and legal abortion isn’t only about reproductive healthcare and bodily autonomy — it’s also about women’s economic freedom.
“Mayors have been staunch advocates in support of women’s reproductive rights for decades, and this new bipartisan effort makes it clear that we’re not backing down now. As long as there are laws that put the health of women at risk, we will continue to use our shared voices and collective power to fight for a woman’s right to choose — to consult with their doctor, family, and faith about personal, private medical decisions.”
The Task Force is charged with developing a comprehensive national strategy to protect women’s healthcare and reproductive rights. It will focus on public awareness, advocacy, and fostering partnerships to safeguard women’s autonomy over their bodies and healthcare decisions.
“Bodily autonomy is one of our fundamental freedoms. The attacks on the rights of some people in this country to make decisions about themselves and their own bodies, including access to abortion and reproductive healthcare, disproportionately affects women, people of color and those with low incomes. I am proud to co-chair the Task Force on Women’s Health and Reproductive Rights with the U.S. Conference of Mayors,” said Mayor Romero.
“Protecting access to women’s reproductive health is now more important than ever. I am pleased to join Mayor Romero in leading this new Task Force and support the longstanding policy of the Conference to advance women’s rights,” said Mayor Kautz.
The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization last summer has heightened attention to the urgent need for action. This decision reversed a nearly fifty-year constitutionally protected right to safe, legal, and accessible abortions. In its wake, nineteen states have banned or restricted abortion as of April 2023.
The U.S. Conference of Mayors has long supported women’s reproductive rights at the federal and state levels, adopting two additional policy resolutions at its 2023 Annual Meeting. See here and here.