American Women and LGBTQ People Are Under Attack. We Must Remain Vigilant.

2017 Women’s March, New York City

A Wider Bridge condemns the continued assault on women’s rights and LGBTQ rights in America. These policies most deeply impact the most marginalized in our communities: low-income, women, transgender people, and people of color, and are clearly rooted in dehumanization and control. The Alabama Senate’s draconian legislation to ban abortion echoes similar efforts to legislate control over our bodies, such as the Administration’s ban on transgender people in the US Military. And while the passage of the Equality Act (a bill that extends civil rights protections to LGBTQ people in the US) in the House was a milestone achievement, the Senate’s inevitable opposition to its passage will stall much-needed protections LGBTQ Americans need today.

“We are concerned about the administration’s rollback of our rights – including reproductive choice and LGBTQ equality,” said Ronit Bezalel, Communications Director. “These interrelated issues are an assault on our bodies and who we love. This is unacceptable: we must have full autonomy over our bodies and our families, without government interference.”

In this somber moment, we turn to the example set by our friends in Israel, a country with a strong track record on reproductive justice and laws regulating our bodies. Israel provides legal, accessible and state-funded access to abortion. The government funds the majority of reproductive care, including family planning services through childbirth. Transgender Israelis are allowed to serve openly in the military, and have free access to gender confirmation surgery, should they choose to pursue it. In 1992, the Human Dignity and Freedom law passed the Knesset, granting equal opportunity for LGB Israelis in the workplace, among other social rights.

In the US, and in Israel, we are committed to work toward fundamental human rights — health, justice and human dignity. All people, regardless of gender, sexual orientation or gender identity, deserve the freedom of self-autonomy of our bodies and the freedom to live fully authentic and open lives.