Not surprisingly, there has been no recent coverage by our media of the reproductive health or rights of immigrant women. Fortunately, this week is an opportunity to make news. August 1-5 is Latina Week of Action for Reproductive Justice. Organized by the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, the theme of the week is Caminamos: Justice for Immigrant Women.
Immigrant women’s reproductive rights are threatened by our nation’s laws and attitudes. Immigration policies and enforcement, as well as health and social policies limit their access to services. Social attitudes create cultural and linguistic barriers to those who seek to care for the most fundamental, but intimate, aspect of their well-being.
Many clinics and organizations, such as Planned Parenthood, provide low-income women with contraception, STI testing and abortion. In some states, such as California, any woman is eligible for family planning services. However, even in California and in all other states, undocumented women cannot receive Medicaid. Throughout the nation, green card holders or naturalized citizens who receive Medicaid are experiencing roll-backs in their health coverage because of draconian budget cuts. Immigration enforcement, such as the Secure Communities Program, endanger the safety of victims of domestic violence, sexual abuse, workplace sexual harassment or community violence who are deterred from seeking protection from the police due to fear of deportation. Mothers, because of their immigration status, primary language or lack of knowledge of resources, also face challenges. They may have a hard time finding low-cost or subsidized child care or may not know about or feel comfortable asserting their right to breastfeed in the workplace.
This week is a critical opportunity to bring attention to how our immigration and health systems affect the reproductive health of immigrant women. The National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health has several suggestions. You can also write a letter to the editor of your local paper, submit an opinion piece or comment here on the Curious Ostrich or other blog. Take a moment this week to help make some news!
In other news:
AB 130 will allow the UC, California State University and California Community Colleges to provide financial aid to undocumented students from their financial aid reserves. While it will not allow undocumented students to receive state financial aid, Governor Brown has indicated he could support a future bill that extends financial aid.
This blog post reviews recent news and analysis of who has been deported under the Obama administration. The facts show that a large proportion of the near 400,000 individuals deported during Obama’s presidency were not “the worst of the worst”, as Obama claims. At the same time, President Obama continues to claim that he supports immigrants, including a recent appearance at the National Council de la Raza.
This report discusses the challenges for immigrants seeking visas for themselves of their families. Specifically the process and timeline associated with reuniting families and spouse. The report includes simple infographics that clearly explain the various visa problems.