What COVID-19 Means for Immigrants’ Reproductive Health

Sheila Desai, Guttmacher Institute Goleen Samari
Reproductive rights are under attack. Will you help us fight back with facts?

First published on Colorlines:

This year is a clarifying moment for many people. We see how structural racism and state violence terrorize Black communities. We see how the COVID-19 pandemic is tearing through our communities, hitting people of color and those with the fewest resources hardest. And even with a Supreme Court decision that extends protections for DACA recipients, we know that anti-immigrant policies continue to prevent families from accessing essential health care for fear of arrest, detention and deportation.

As researchers, women of color and immigrants, we know that these crises are not separate threads, but part of the same tapestry of racism and xenophobia that have long shaped the health of people of color and immigrants.

The Trump administration has always been clear in its disdain for immigrants but has dug even deeper into its xenophobic agenda by unjustly blaming migrants for the COVID-19 pandemic, exploiting this public health crisis and effectively prompting a shutdown of the U.S. immigration system. It is no accident that immigrant communities—particularly immigrants of color—are among the hardest hit by this virus in the United States, and are also being denied many of the COVID-19 relief efforts that Congress is extending to other communities.

Among countless harms, new research shows that the bigoted pandemic response also impacts immigrants’ access to sexual and reproductive health care—a basic human right that should not be denied or delayed under any circumstance, including a pandemic.

The full op-ed is available at Colorlines.