Support Women's Reproductive Rights

Adopted at the 80th Annual Meeting in 2012

  • WHEREAS, Americans believe that women should be able to consult with their doctor, family, and faith about personal, private medical decisions; and

    WHEREAS, states enacted twice as many anti-choice laws in 2011 as they did in the previous year, including laws that force women who choose abortion care to undergo a forced ultrasound procedure against their will and even if their doctors do not recommend one; and

    WHEREAS, eight states since 2010 have enacted laws that ban abortion at 20 weeks, regardless of the women's situation, without exceptions to protect her health, and in violation of the right to privacy guaranteed under Roe v. Wade; and

    WHEREAS, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to defund Title X, the only federal program exclusively dedicated to family-planning and reproductive-health care, and Planned Parenthood, jeopardizing access to birth control, cancer screenings, and other basic health care for millions of Americans; and

    WHEREAS, the U.S. House of Representatives also passed a bill that could spur the Internal Revenue Service to audit rape survivors who choose abortion care and another bill that would allow hospitals to refuse emergency abortion care to women who could die without it; and

    WHEREAS, the debate around women's access to reproductive-health services, like contraception, has drawn offensive rhetoric; and

    WHEREAS, reproductive-health care and the overwhelming majority of services provided by Planned Parenthood health centers is basic health care for women, including cancer screenings and breast exams; and

    WHEREAS, for many women with limited incomes, Planned Parenthood clinics are their point of entry into the health care system and their ongoing source of primary care services; and

    WHEREAS, if these services disappear, more women are likely to contract diseases that will imperil their lives and lead to highly expensive Medicaid and Medicare bills borne by taxpayers; and

    WHEREAS, these programs are essential to reducing rates of unintended pregnancy and preventing the increase of the number of women with cervical and breast cancers who are not diagnosed until the cancers are in the late stages; and NOW THEREFORE

    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors affirms the importance of women's reproductive rights; and

    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors urges Congress and the states to pursue a positive agenda that reaffirms fundamental rights and improves women's access to safe and comprehensive reproductive-health care.

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