On Tuesday, IWHC joined nearly 300 advocates, activists, organizers, and experts in Washington, D.C. for a day of strategy, solidarity, and discussion. As the incoming Trump Administration assembles a Cabinet committed to rolling back women’s rights and access to health, 90 organizations stood together to say that we are ready to fight for the rights of women and girls, both in the United States and around the world.
Over the past year, IWHC has worked with a wide range of organizations to prepare for the end of the Obama Administration. While we had hoped to be able to present a vision for progress on our issues, we now stand ready to fight any effort to roll back the hard-won gains of the past eight years. This week, we gathered to reaffirm our belief that access to health is a basic human right, and to restate our shared commitment to advancing sexual and reproductive health, rights, and justice.
We face a difficult road forward over the next four years. The incoming presidential administration has made it clear that women’s bodies and rights will be under fire from Day One. The Republican party platform specifically calls for a reversal of many of the policies that have been critical for women – particularly low-income women – seeking full access to health care. Tentative gains toward the protection of sexual rights of all people – particularly people of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities – have been targeted for rollback. U.S. government funding, which lowers barriers to healthcare access for marginalized and low-income women in the United States and around the world, is under fire.
The United States is also now positioned to join a growing bloc of conservative countries working through the United Nations and other multilateral spaces to reverse international consensus on sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights.
In the face of these challenges, we came together to show our power and our commitment. We outlined our core beliefs, and we issued a set of demands. We stated, in one voice, that we will fight for policies that protect and expand access to sexual and reproductive health services, education, and care – including advancing abortion access and rights. We underlined our belief in fairness and equity and our commitment to responding to the needs and priorities of those who face disproportionate barriers to accessing quality healthcare.
Our shared statement outlines our way forward: we will continue to fight, mobilize, and stand together. Together, we are powerful, and this week we commit to using that shared power defeat attacks on women’s bodies; to stand with progressive allies and work with other movements in support of human rights and justice; and to work together to create the world we want – a world where all people can fully exercise their rights and have the resources they need to thrive.