Every single day, I talk to Latinas and immigrant women across the Rio Grande Valley, listening to their stories, hearing about their families, and teaching them how to stay healthy. Last month, I had the opportunity of a lifetime. I was able to travel to Geneva with our allies from the Center for Reproductive Rights(CRR) and speak before the UN Human Rights Committee on behalf of all of the women in my Texas community who are suffering from a lack of reproductive health care. It was my opportunity to tell them everything I have heard and spotlight the urgency of this health-care crisis—not only for the women in the Valley but for millions of other women in the country.
I was honored to tell the stories of my friends, neighbors, and sisters in the struggle. I was also proud to share the joint human rights report the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health and the CRR recently completed, Nuestra Salud, Nuestra Voz, Nuestro Texas: The Fight for Reproductive Health Care in the Rio Grande Valley.
Quality, affordable reproductive health care is a fundamental human right that is being denied to Latinas and immigrant women across Texas and the country. These conditions are dangerous to the health of Latinas and immigrant women. It’s true that many women in the Valley are in desperate situations. They report living with lumps in their breasts, chronic pain from untreated conditions, the inability to afford the contraception they need, and fear that they have undetected cancer. They’re forced to decide between paying for birth control and keeping food on their tables.