This week, people across the country will mobilize in support of the EACH Woman Act – a bill that will restore funding for abortion for millions of women covered by public and private health insurance. The legislation, spearheaded by Reps. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) and Diana DeGette (D-Colo.), is a long-overdue step toward dignity for women.

Anti-choice politicians constructed economic barriers that forced millions of low-income women to make choices about their pregnancies based on their bank accounts rather than what’s best for themselves and their families. A small, vocal group of congresswomen are leading the charge to tear down those barriers. This legislation is one critical piece of an economic justice agenda that truly includes everyone, because restricting access to abortion boils down to taking away opportunities from people because a vocal group of outsiders object to the basic facts of human sexuality.


But where are the rest of the leaders, especially in the Senate? There are many examples of speeches and rhetoric from Democrats in Congress and in the White House claiming they are committed to confronting the scourge of income inequality in this country. But those words are meaningless when reproductive justice is left out. There is no hope for equality without ensuring the right of everyone to parent, not to parent, and to raise families in safe and healthy communities.

We hear the passionate cry from progressives in support of paid family leave, an end to wage theft and calls for pay equity – all worthwhile causes that touch at the economic issues facing women in this country.  But it’s not good enough to only support the issues that test well in public opinion polling. It’s not good enough to claim to be pro-choice yet refuse to champion legislation like the EACH Woman Act. A failure to support this bill is a failure to support women’s economic well-being, period.

At Reproaction, a new direct action organization dedicated to expanding access to abortion and securing reproductive justice, we understand the critical importance of ensuring the rights of women from across the economic spectrum. Funding abortion is a basic obligation of a just society. Everyone – especially low-income people and women of color – must be free to determine the direction of their own lives, or they are not free.

The right to abortion is meaningless if people can’t afford it. Since 1976, Congress has been permitted to discriminate against women by limiting their healthcare choices and using health insurance as a weapon. It is reprehensible - and for too long, progressives have let its leaders off the hook by allowing wealthy, elitists in Congress get away with economic attacks on women’s dignity.

This is changing: as a movement, we are growing to embrace a true progressive vision, one that confronts every limit to human dignity and economic opportunity.

And just like the groundbreaking work accomplished by the leaders of the #BlackLivesMatter movement, activists are staking our ground for women’s reproductive justice.  We are demanding action to secure unlimited access to health care choices. We are demanding respect for women’s dignity and voices. We are pulling back the curtain to expose leaders who offer nothing more than tepid lip service to pro-choice voters.

The sponsors of the EACH Woman Act are taking the bold action women deserve to see from every elected pro-choice politician in Congress.

Women across the country taking notice and looking toward the rest of Congress to watch and see if and when others stand with them to fight for this legislation.  The reproductive justice movement is waiting.

Matson and Merritt are the founders and co-directors of Reproaction, a new direct action group forming to increase access to abortion and advance reproductive justice. Learn more at