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AMWA Attends White House Event with Vice President Kamala Harris and Chrissy Teigen on Reproductive Freedoms

Ahead of the two-year mark of the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade, Vice President Kamala Harris participated in a moderated conversation with Chrissy Teigen to discuss the continued fight for reproductive freedom. President-elect Dr. Eileen Barrett represented AMWA at this event.

View the video of this event here.

The event opened with a testimonial by reproductive rights advocate Amanda Zoroski, a resident of Texas, who shared her poignant experience about the harmful impact of extreme abortion bans. She had become pregnant with the help of fertility treatments, but sadly at 18 weeks, complications resulted in the pregnancy no longer being viable. Texas law, however, did not allow an abortion until the mother’s life was in danger. As a result, Amanda went into septic shock twice, and only when her life was in danger, could she receive the necessary care. Because of those delays, she unfortunately lost the function of her reproductive organs.

Her story highlighted the important work of healthcare practitioners in providing comprehensive reproductive healthcare, and the harm to patients around the country by similar restrictive laws. Moreover, the impact is not just on reproductive rights but also on contraception, IVF, and more.

Chrissy Teigen shared her personal story as well. When she became pregnant in 2020, there was so much hope and excitement in the pregnancy but complications of placentia abruption and bleeding ensued, requiring blood transfusions and ultimately a life-saving abortion. In reflecting on her own experience, which she had viewed as a miscarriage at the time, she highlighted the importance of access to the full spectrum of reproductive healthcare, including abortion care.

Vice President Kamala Harris spoke of the importance of these health clinics which provide not only abortion services but also vital healthcare screening and prevention. She is the first Vice-President to have visited a an abortion clinic, which should be recognized as a safe place for patients – a place of support, love, and care.

The event ended on a note of hope from Vice-President Harris.

“The real strength of  the character of a leader is based on someone who has some level of concern and consideration and care for the well-being of other people and takes it upon themselves to do something about it. And I’m looking at an audience full of people who are just those leaders. And that gives me hope. We are not going to passively watch this happen. We are in the midst of a movement, a movement that was started…back in the day with those who fought for Roe v. Wade, and we are the ones who have now been handed the baton in this movement to move it forward.”

The Vice President also highlighted the message of Coretta Scott King, that “the fight for civil rights…must be fought and won with each generation” and reminded us that “What the court took, Congress can put back in place.” “Know the power of your voice.”

Chrissy Teigen emphasized the important work of so many groups across the country. AMWA was one of the organizations specifically acknowledged, along with The Feminist Women’s Health Center, Planned Parenthood, Reproductive Freedom for All, the Abortion Care Network, and Physicians for Reproductive Health. She reiterated the importance of life-saving reproductive healthcare and the importance of fighting “for justice unapologetically and without fear.”

Learn more about AMWA’s work through the Reproductive Health Coalition and join our event on June 24, reflecting the two-year mark of the overturn of Roe v. Wade, Voices from the Silenced: Pre-Roe Abortion Stories.

 

Dr. Eileen Barret (L) with Annelise Silva (R, AMSA)

 

 

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