Statement by Noreen Farrell, Executive Director of Equal Rights Advocates (ERA), which fights for gender justice in workplaces and schools across the country

National — Sen. Lindsey Graham’s (R-S.C.) proposed national abortion restriction bill, which would ban abortion after 15 weeks, is outrageous and out of touch. Millions across the country, including corporate employers, had risen up to oppose the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade and state restrictions on abortion bans that soon followed. Republicans in Congress are not listening. This proposed national abortion ban doubles down to turn back progress on reproductive health care access critical to women’s economic security and progress in the workplace. Not surprising, and by design, this policy will harm women of color and low paid working women most, exacerbating existing economic inequality. 

Studies confirm that women forced to carry pregnancies to term face greater health risks, especially Black women, who are three times more likely to die during childbirth than their white counterparts. Forced births also have a dire impact on the economic security of women, as well as transgender and nonbinary parents. One in four working women have abortions. Women who are denied abortions are three times more likely to leave the workforce. They are more likely to live in poverty, accumulate debt, and have fewer employment options and the resulting financial harm affects the economic wellbeing of their children.

The decades-long attack on the constitutional right to abortion has never been just about abortion. It’s about keeping women in restricted gender roles—raising children instead of working, dependent on male breadwinners, and isolated at home from the political process affecting their lives. This is evident in the context of the Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Association. What’s more, legislators across the nation are refusing measures that support women in the workplace, including mothers and caregivers. These include subsidized child care, family income support, paid family leave, a living and equal wage, and prohibitions against gender-based violence and harassment that ensure women and other parents stay in the workplace, out of poverty, and economically secure. 

Our elected leaders must make it clear that they will not entertain policies that have such a blatant disregard for our human rights and bodily autonomy. They should stand up for women and families by introducing a constitutional amendment to protect women’s health and abortion access and keep fighting until it’s passed. 

To speak to Noreen Farrell, please contact Nazirah Ahmad at nazirah@emccommunications.com or 704-290-6869. 

About Equal Rights Advocates

Equal Rights Advocates fights for gender justice in workplaces and schools across the country. Since 1974, they have been fighting on the front lines of social justice to protect and advance rights and opportunities for women, girls, and people of all gender identities through groundbreaking legal cases and bold legislation that sets the stage for the rest of the nation.