Attending a town hall? Public debate? Meet and greet? Ask these important questions before you cast a ballot!
Vote to Protect and Expand

Reproductive Freedom in 2022

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark case securing abortion access, puts at least 26 states at risk to ban or heavily restrict abortion access. It’s more important than ever for Delaware to ensure that we remain a safe haven for access to care – for Delawareans, and for those who are forced to leave their state to receive the care they need.

The ability for Delaware to remain a state with safe and legal abortion access hinges on the outcome of the upcoming midterm elections. Right now, we have the opportunity to support candidates who will work to enhance abortion protection and expand access to abortion services and other reproductive healthcare policies. Becoming a part of the rising tide of people in Delaware standing up for abortion rights and reproductive freedom means casting ballots that reflect these priorities at the polls this election season.

Our Reproductive Freedom Platform

Learn more about what to consider when casting a pro-reproductive freedom ballot.

Medicaid Funding of Abortion and Doula Services

The cost of abortion places financial hurdles in front of patient care – those who can afford to pay or have insurance that covers abortion can receive care, while those who can’t afford the cost of care either can’t receive it or are forced to find other avenues.

That’s why Medicaid funding of abortion care and doula services is one of our goals. Funding abortion care through Medicaid will help break down socioeconomic barriers, and funding doula services will ensure that patients are supported while making decisions about their reproductive health. Access to patient supporters and advocates such as doulas may also help Delaware address racial disparities in reproductive health.

Delaware needs lawmakers who will work to require that all private insurance covers abortion and does not add out-of-pocket expenses. Even people with health insurance may not be able to shoulder the additional cost of a medical procedure, meaning they may have to shift critical funds for rent, food, childcare, transportation, or other medical expenses.

Explicitly Enshine Reproductive Rights in the State Constitution

In 2017, Delaware lawmakers wisely codified access to abortion in state law, meaning that even with the overturning of Roe v. Wade, pregnant people can still access care in the First State. However, because it is only protected in state law, a future General Assembly could take away that right with a simple majority vote and the signature of a Governor.

Explicitly enshrining the right to reproductive liberty in the state constitution would protect that right from attack in the future. Beyond the right to access an abortion, other rights such as use of contraceptives, access to gender-affirming care, and use of IVF treatments could be under attack by a hostile U.S. Supreme Court.

We need legislators who are willing to protect our right to bodily autonomy from attacks at the federal and state level. A state constitutional amendment to explicitly protect those rights is the most durable way to ensure they are not encroached upon in the future.

Allow Young People to Access Abortion Freely and Safely

Another area in need of expansion is young peoples’ rights. Currently, Delaware mandates parental notification if a patient is under 16 years of age. In many cases, parental notification can be detrimental to a patient’s safety or wellbeing. State law allows for young people to obtain a judicial bypass if telling their parents or guardians may be difficult or dangerous, but the process is difficult to navigate and rarely used. Removing the parental notification requirement will ensure that all pregnant people, regardless of their age, have autonomy over their own bodies.

With abortion access potentially being slashed in over half of states, it is even more critical that elected officials in Delaware ensure all people who need an abortion can obtain it easily and confidentially.

Address Disparities in Reproductive Healthcare Access for Black Delawareans

Systemic racism touches many aspects of our lives, and reproductive healthcare access is no exception. With Black maternal mortality rates reaching two to three times the rates of white maternal mortality, and with barriers to abortion access disproportionately impacting communities of color, Delaware must uncover and mitigate the root causes of these disparities.

Recent legislation in Delaware would address issues such as implicit bias in the healthcare industry, allow people who receive government assistance to continue to receive it in the months after childbirth, and ban the use of shackles for incarcerated pregnant people. In addition, more progress is needed to expand the use of paid family leave in Delaware, infuse more funding into data-driven healthcare interventions for infant and maternal mortality, and expand access to substance abuse disorder treatment for pregnant people or those who have recently given birth.

Black people continue to face a number of barriers when they access reproductive healthcare. We need state leaders who are ready to acknowledge, address, and take action to eliminate racial disparities in reproductive healthcare access.

Pledge To Vote In The 2022 Primary And General Elections

The issues you care about are on the ballot in 2022. Sign on to our pledge to receive updates about our ACLU Voter campaign, including opportunities to assist with voter registration, education, and candidates’ forums.