Melina Nath, Print Editor-in-Chief conducted this Q & A for the Issue 8 cover story “The Outcome of the Overturn”.
Q: How has your role in advocating for the interests of the liberal Bay Area, especially specific for abortion rights, changed in a Republican-controlled house?
A: My commitment to protecting a woman’s right to choose is stronger than ever. Luckily here in California voters passed a constitutional amendment to ensure women have a right to abortions and reproductive freedoms, but the ability to make one’s own health care decision should not be determined by what state you live in. Nationwide 61% of all Americans are supportive of abortion rights. Yet, a total of 19 states have moved to ban or restrict abortion following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade (Dobbs decision) and end all federal protections for abortion.
Q: In what ways have you seen the need for your advocacy for abortion rights change in recent years in the House?
A: Even prior to the Dobbs decision, state legislatures around the country have been ramping up their attacks on reproductive healthcare. Following the Dobbs ruling last summer, there is more need than ever to protect safe abortions. We must codify the right to abortion by passing federal legislation. While that is unlikely in a Republican-controlled House, House Democrats will continue to fight for it and would immediately pass legislation if we win back Control of the House in 2024.
Q: What is it like/what does it feel like to be a participant in these discussions in the House about abortion?
A: First and foremost, women’s rights are human rights. Ensuring equitable access to healthcare, including abortion access, is a top priority for me in Congress and I will continue working with House Democrats to protect reproductive freedoms.