Today, the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and Casey v. Planned Parenthood on the grounds that abortion was not “deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition.” The desire to control fertility exists in nearly every historical society, and contraception and abortion have been tools used across time and across the world. Midwives have always served the multitude of needs of childbearing people. Historically, midwives throughout the world did not limit their services to pregnancy and birth, but rather managed several aspects of what we would now call gynecologic care, including use of drugs and procedures to regulate fertility by promoting, suppressing, or ending pregnancy. Abortion predates medicine; it predates the U.S. Constitution; and it predates political manipulation. Abortion, like midwifery, is as old as time.
The Midwives’ Association of Washington State (MAWS) recognizes and supports an individual’s right to bodily autonomy, and to make choices for their own health and well-being, and that of their family. We recognize that today's Supreme Court decision is oppressive and violating for all childbearing people, and will most deeply impact our vulnerable communities that already experience violence and inequity at the hands of the reproductive healthcare system. Abortion restrictions are deleterious to perinatal health outcomes and such restrictions increase the risk of non-evidence-based and coerced pregnancy interventions. Midwives have long been advocates for pregnant people and their infants, and know the impact that political oppression can have on the health outcomes for families. We reiterate our commitment to that advocacy today, and support each individual’s choice to make autonomous healthcare decisions suited to their needs and well-being.
We will be posting a list of resources on our website and updating it in the coming days. We are here to open space for our community, to listen and provide support however needed. Please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We came together this past Thursday evening to celebrate life, each other and the passing of SSB 5765; which is such a tremendous win for Washington midwives and their clients. The Midwives’ Association of Washington State would like to take this time to recognize the tragedies that have recently occurred in New York, California and Texas, and hold space for those who need support. The practice of midwifery is to help bring life into this world. These violent acts against children and BIPOC communities go against everything that we, as midwives and as an organization, advocate for. MAWS condemns all acts of violence and stands with our community and those who are grieving from the recent events, including those who have been affected by gun violence in any capacity. We actively uphold our mission: “To support Washington State midwives and the profession of midwifery by promoting reproductive justice, well-being, and access to care through professional development, advocacy, and community-based action.” We must acknowledge the issues harming our children and communities by continuing to hold ourselves and those around us responsible for our actions, and by speaking to our legislators to demand laws that combat these issues.
Freedom from gun violence is part of reproductive justice. MAWS will continue to fight for that freedom and stand with those who are doing the same. We have included resources below for those who have been impacted by gun violence, as well as additional information on organizations that are working toward more gun control. Please feel free to reach out to us with questions or additional resources that you would like to highlight.