Congresswoman Sydney Kamlager-Dove, center, poses with attendees at the event. (Courtesy photo)

The week of Feb. 19, Congresswoman Sydney Kamlager-Dove (CA-37) hosted a reproductive justice roundtable with Kindred Space LA, Black Women for Wellness, Planned Parenthood LA, and California Latinas for Reproductive Justice, to discuss their continued efforts to support Black and Brown women, mothers, and mothers-to-be post the repeal of Roe v. Wade.

“I thank each of the women, mothers, and justice advocates for participating in this critical discussion as we continue to navigate the post-Roe era,” said Kamlager-Dove. “Even in California, women’s rights are threatened after the Dobbs decision. We need to continue to talk about the women in California who are forced to go through the journey of motherhood without the adequate resources to provide for themselves, such as young mothers, incarcerated women, and women living in shelters.

Roe v. Wade was the floor for women in America – not the ceiling. Without the protections of Roe, advocates are wondering how to push for the basic resources they need. As someone who has devoted a career to fighting for women and children in Los Angeles, I vow to take the stories I heard this week back to Washington and continue pushing back against the assault on women’s basic human rights,” continued Kamlager-Dove. “Passing the Women’s Health Protection Act and the Momnibus package are important first steps to improve health care and health care outcomes for women, but we must keep working to ensure our mothers and babies have the full spectrum of care that they deserve.”

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“Congresswoman Kamlager-Dove is a strong advocate for abortion rights and reproductive freedom. As a proud member of the Pro-Choice Caucus, she has co-sponsored legislation that would enhance abortion access across the country. Congresswoman Kamlager-Dove is fighting to restore Roe’s protections nationwide by passing the Women’s Health Protection Act,” said Allegra Hill, Licensed Midwife at Kindred Space LA.

“As a midwife, one of our clients’ biggest problems is access. If there was a government bucket that could go towards giving people access to this type of care, that would make a big difference. The financial incentive system of Medi-Cal (and all insurances) is to intervene more for billable services. That system does not work for out of hospital midwives dealing with low risk pregnancies where very few and sometimes no interventions are used. We’ve had to learn how to be fundraisers, taking away from our time as providers to help our clients be able to benefit from funding from private organizations, donors, capital, GoFundMe, etc, to help cover their prenatal, birth, and postpartum care costs. Pregnant people fear becoming another statistic. We have to remind them that maternal and infant mortality rates are hospital based statistics, not midwifery based. Midwifery care is evidence based, and a better way to care for the whole person and their pregnancy.”

“Black women’s lives are on the line, with the repeal of Roe v. Wade, each state has an opportunity to protect or endanger the lives of women seeking the basic human right of bodily autonomy,” said Janette Robinson Flint, founder and executive director of Black Women for Wellness.

“Black women need more than simple access to abortion, attention to our maternal and infant mortality is critical, as well the resources that support entry into culturally affirming care. Providers need training with open pipelines fo rBlack women into health care professions. It is our intention to support Congresswoman Kamlager Dove as she hears our concerns and brings them to the deliberations happening at the national table. 2024 is an important election, Black Women for Wellness is all in on having  not only a fully informed voter as well as lifting our concerns to our elected leadership. Our roundtable is very much part of that process. Kudos to the Congresswoman for staying in touch and engaged with our community.”

“Extremist attacks on reproductive rights across the country put women and all people who can become pregnant in danger. These attacks also exacerbate inequities in reproductive care and shortages in family planning health care,” said Celinda M. Vázquez, Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Advocacy Project Los Angeles County. “That is why I was proud to participate in yesterday’s discussion on reproductive justice – we must center Black and Brown voices on this critical issue and ensure we mobilize nationwide to protect and expand reproductive rights and health care access for all.”

“It was important to gather with the Reproductive Justice LA family and Congressmember Kamlager-Dove to share our concerns and shared commitment to our Repro Justice values. It was especially wonderful to have a member of our Young Parent Leadership Council share their challenges and hopes,” said Laura Jiménez, Executive Director for California Latina’s for Reproductive Justice.