- June 22, 2022
-- Since 1973, the landmark ruling of Roe v. Wade by the Supreme Court granted women in the United States, the fundamental right to make their own sexual and reproductive health care decisions, to include access to abortion care. Should Roe v. Wade be struck down, "trigger laws" banning access to abortion care would be activated across 13 states in less than a month, widening disparities in health care access, which would largely impact communities of color. A recent survey* conducted by the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice (2022) found that 74% of Latino registered voters agree that a woman has a right to make her own personal, private decisions, relating to reproductive health choices.
The National Association of Hispanic Nurses (NAHN) supports the right for privacy and the right for all persons to make the best decisions about their own health, with evidence-based information, access to high quality clinical support and without coercive treatment. It is within a nurses' scope of practice to share with their patients in an unbiased manner all relevant information about their reproductive choices that are available to them and to support that patient regardless of the decisions that patient makes. Nurses do have the right to refuse to participate in sexual and reproductive care based on ethical grounds, as long as patient safety is assured, and alternative sources of care have been arranged (ANA, 2021).
NAHN will continue to advocate for state and federal policies that improve access to safe and timely reproductive care. As nurses, the most trusted profession in the country for the 20th consecutive year in a row, our role in advocating, educating, and guiding our patients on issues related to nursing care and sexual and reproductive health is essential.
*Survey Link: https://www.latinainstitute.org/en/latinopoll