Although the writing had been on the wall, it was still with shock and horror that people around the world watched America’s Supreme Court overturn Roe v Wade. Immediately numerous states put total bans on abortion, including in cases of rape and incest, and abortion clinics in those areas had to call thousands of patients to cancel necessary medical procedures.
Social Justice Bermuda would like to add our voices of support to our comrades in America fighting for reproductive justice. Activists fought long and hard for rights that are being crushed overnight, and we are watching in real time as our closest neighbour’s socio-political structure shifts drastically. We are devastated at how this will disproportionately impact Black, brown, poor, LBGTQ+, immigrant and other vulnerable residents of America.
America’s culture and influence is always felt in Bermuda, so SJB wanted to issue this statement about our views on the island’s local reproductive justice system.
In Bermuda, abortions are legal. There are only two doctors who will perform the procedure, and those seeking abortions must get a medical form signed which speaks to your ‘mental fitness’, a form which stays in your records. In some cases, women have reported being told their ‘husband has to give permission’. It is a tedious and lengthy process and, if someone is under/uninsured, it is prohibitively expensive. As many Bermudians know, for decades people have flown to the United States to have this medical procedure instead of going through the agonising wait.
SJBs platform states, “We believe that healthcare is a right, and that every person should have access to the resources they need to stay well.” Abortion care is healthcare and access to healthcare is a basic human right. Nobody in any country, regardless of their personal socioeconomic status or their country’s GDP, should be denied medical procedures under any constitution.
As we watch what is unfolding across the Atlantic, it is imperative that Bermudians continue to push for an expansion of our rights and fight for a decolonised healthcare system.
In the coming weeks, Social Justice Bermuda will meet with legislators and key healthcare stakeholders to advocate streamlining the process, adding on the option for medical abortions and ensuring that access to all healthcare is protected under the constitution of Bermuda.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Let your MP know that this issue is important to you. Find their email addresses here. http://parliament.bm/about/
If you would like to donate to a fund to help provide people in Bermuda with financial support to access abortions OR if you are in need of this support, please contact Social Justice Bermuda firstname.lastname@example.org
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