At the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health we encourage our Latinx community — many of whom are immigrants — to embrace their power and fight for access to health care in their communities. But for many of the people we work with, fulfilling their basic human right to health care is not easy. The Trump administration seemingly tries every opportunity to scapegoat, brutalize and instill fear in our immigrant communities — the challenge to access health care is greater than ever.
Fear of raids from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and family separation policies has a chilling effect in many immigrant communities. Many immigrants are avoiding reproductive health care for fear of deportation. This is especially concerning because for many women with low incomes who rely on family planning programs such as Title X, their OB-GYN appointments are their only regular visit to the doctor and an entry point for a range of preventative care from checking blood pressure levels to screening for breast and cervical cancer.
Sadly, their fears are based on lived experiences. Take the case of Blanca Borrego. In 2015, Blanca, an undocumented immigrant and mother of three, was arrested in her gynecologist’s office. Blanca went to her doctor for a cyst that caused her abdominal pain. She left in handcuffs, facing the risk of being deported. […]