Feb 13, 2024 - News

Latinas’ abortions get less attention

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Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Abortion advocates say Latinas and other women of color are disproportionately impacted by bans and restrictions, but when it comes to lawsuits and news coverage, their stories are less likely to get attention, Axios Latino's Astrid Galvan writes.

Why it matters: The reality underscores the limited resources that Hispanic women have in accessing abortion care, especially since the fall of Roe v. Wade.

  • A recent analysis found that since Texas enacted severe abortion restrictions in 2021, the fertility rate for Hispanic women and teens soared, while it dropped for their white counterparts — suggesting the restrictions have had an outsized effect on Latinas.

Details: The Center for Reproductive Rights in March 2023 filed a lawsuit alleging the Texas abortion ban's exceptions for emergencies were vague and led to people being denied critical health care.

  • An analysis by Muck Rack Trends at Axios' request showed one Hispanic plaintiff netted about 44% fewer news stories than a white plaintiff in the same suit, even though they testified in court on the same day.
  • Roughly 20% of plaintiffs are Latinas, though Hispanics make up 40% of the Texas population.

What they're saying: Lupe M. Rodríguez, executive director of the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice, says the same barriers Hispanic women face when seeking abortions — less access to health care; low-wage jobs with little or no paid time off; in some cases, their immigration status — hinder them from participating in lawsuits.

Molly Duane, the lead Center for Reproductive Rights attorney in the Texas lawsuit, is acutely aware that some of the populations most affected by restrictions are least represented in lawsuits — and she says the contrast in the health care system's treatment of some of her Latina clients and the treatment of her white clients is stark.

  • "It's painful to me that some of those stories aren't getting told as much," Duane says.

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