During its 4th Annual Latina Week of Action, the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health joined the California Latinas for Reproductive Justice (CLRJ) and the Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights (COLOR) to say “15years is Too Long to Wait: Health and Justice for Immigrant Women Now!”
As the nation moves forward on immigration reform to create a path to citizenship for the nation’s 11 million undocumented immigrants, the health care needs of immigrant women and children have been left behind. Today, immigrant women and children may have no health care options at all. Under the immigration bill that just passed the Senate, these families would be forced to wait 15 years or longer before seeing a doctor. This is unfair, unwise, and un-American.
For a woman with undiagnosed cervical cancer or other untreated illness, 15 years could be the difference between life and death. Latinas and immigrant women are actively engaged in shaping our families, our communities, and our future. But they aren’t always seen as a powerful constituency. Policy makers must listen to immigrant women and families, so that reforms allow aspiring citizens the opportunity to fully contribute to their families, communities, and economy. Latinas are demanding immigration reform that respects human dignity and supports reproductive justice, health, and dignity for all families.