Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez will appear at a rally in Denver Thursday to oppose the repeal of Obamacare.
In advance of Perez’s appearance at the demonstration, scheduled for 10 a.m. at the Colorado capitol, Cristina Aguilar, director of Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights (COLOR), issued a statement reminding Perez and other Democrats not to “roll back their commitment to access to abortion.”
“Last month we won an important battle in the fight to save the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and keep millions from being denied health coverage,” said Aguilar in a statement. “We called. We rallied. We kept speaking out and showing up. But the fight is far from over, so we will keep showing up!
Millions of people in our community gained insurance through the ACA. This has helped us to make huge gains in addressing health disparities and improving health outcomes for people with chronic health conditions. This ensures that more people can see a doctor when they need to instead of waiting or going without the services that they need. That is why we will continue to organize and to rally to oppose rolling back the gains that have been made, but we will also speak out for the work that still needs to be done to truly protect our care.
Democratic National Committee Chair, Tom Perez will join the local efforts to reject the repeal. He will be here at a time when the Democratic Party is debating the ill-conceived idea of weakening their stance in support of abortion and pushing candidates who do not believe that we should all be able to make our own health decisions and plan our own futures.
The ACA allows each state to decide whether they will include abortion coverage in their exchange and federal policy permits each state to determine if they will provide abortion to people who use Medicaid benefits. Unfortunately, many states have pushed through policies that withhold coverage for abortion. Here in Colorado we have a ban on Medicaid coverage and public employees are not able to access care through their insurance. We also have a harmful policy that forces young people to notify their parents before they are able to seek abortion care. While most young people involve a parent or trusted adult to support them whether they choose adoption, seek abortion or become a parent, the fact is that some people simply cannot and pushing them to do so can put them in challenging or even dangerous circumstances.
The commitment to reproductive health care is a matter of health and dignity for my community. Women of color have a higher rate of pregnancy complications and Black women are four times as likely to die in childbirth right here in this country. Latinas face a higher number of unintended pregnancy due to systemic barriers to contraception and restrictions on abortion have a disparate impact on women of color and low-income communities.
We should be eliminating barriers to the healthcare people need, not creating more or letting political agendas get in the way. We need to make sure people have health coverage, but we also need to get rid of the obstacles that make it tough to get care to manage our health, plan our families and take care of us and the people we love. That means fighting hard to save the ACA and stave off cuts to Medicaid, but it also has to mean staying strong to oppose limits on contraception and abortion.
We are proud to be part of a coalition of health care advocates, labor organizations, and community groups rallying in defense of health care, but for us it is critical that this work DOES NOT exclude continued efforts to ensure access to the full range of care that women and families need.
If Chairman Perez wants to fight for health care he can go a long way by making sure the Democratic Party does not roll back their commitment to access to abortion.