All* Above All
A few years back, it was my privilege and pleasure to visit Washington D.C. during a stop on what All* Above All, a group of abortion rights advocates, called a Be Bold Road Trip. These advocates covered nearly 10,000 miles and 12 cities, taking their message across the country. They wanted legislators to lift bans on abortion coverage for low income women. Additionally, they would be asking members of Congress and others to sign a Be Bold Declaration in support of finally including insurance coverage for this legal medical procedure under Medicaid and other federal plans.
Medicare recipients would be affected, along with federal employees and their dependents; Peace Corps volunteers; Native American women; women in federal prisons and detention centers; immigration detainees; and low-income women in the District of Columbia.
All* Above All was formed to create united reproductive health, rights, and justice organizations, secular and faith-based, in a steadfast effort to make abortion economically accessible to all women. They particularly acknowledged hardships for poor women, immigrant women, young women, women of color, transgender people, and gender-nonconforming people.
The organization’s motivation is grounded in the basic values of autonomy—being able to make personal life decisions without interference from politicians—and improving women’s health and fair treatment.
The amount of money a woman has or doesn’t have, organizers declared, should not prohibit her from having an abortion. However we feel about abortion, they maintain, politicians shouldn’t be allowed to deny a woman’s health coverage just because she’s poor. They observed that, in many cases, denying Medicaid and other federal plan coverage accomplishes the real agenda of anti-choice legislators—to make abortions unaffordable and therefore unattainable for large numbers of women.
The UU Women’s Federation signed on to All* Above All in 2014. This is a bold and brave group of people committed to not settling for just keeping abortion legal if the procedure becomes impossible to obtain due to access and economic reasons. Along with more than 50 other groups, we have signed a letter to the chair and ranking members of the House Committee on Appropriations asking them to reject policy riders (stipulations) in the fiscal year 2018 appropriations legislation that would withhold insurance coverage and funding for comprehensive reproductive health care, including abortion.
I continue to applaud this tenacious, ambitious, “woke” coalition. As the letter reminds our elected officials, “These policies have harmed our families, our communities, and our health far too long.”