Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department Supports Women’s Sexual and Reproductive Rights – The Suburban Times

Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department press release.

Sexual and reproductive health services are a matter of public health. Washington State recognizes that all people have the right to choose to have an abortion. At the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department, we agree with the American Public Health Association, which states that “the ability to terminate a pregnancy safely and legally is both an individual’s constitutional right and a public health problem”.

“The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade harms women and public health as a whole,” said Dr. Anthony LT Chen, director of health for the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department. “Health is the state of complete physical, mental and social well-being. At the same time, we know that every woman is different and every pregnancy is different. What may be the happiest event in one person’s life may have tragic medical, emotional or social consequences for another. When we understand these concepts, we understand that we must provide the full range of options so that every woman can achieve her highest possible level of health.


Data and evidence confirm this. Mothers, infants and children in states with the most restrictive abortion laws have the worst health outcomes. These states rank highest in infant mortality, preventable deaths, and children without age-appropriate medical care. In addition, adverse social, environmental and economic impacts occur for women forced to bear unwanted pregnancies.

Maternal and child health is fundamental to the Ministry of Health’s vision for healthy people in healthy communities. Without the full range of options, including abortion, women can no longer plan their lives in a way that will give them the best health outcomes.

This decision will disproportionately affect black and brown women, who already experience discrimination and a lack of proper health care. Forcing them to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term means that they will see the greatest consequences of this prohibition. In the United States, black women are 3 times more likely to die during pregnancy or after childbirth than white women. This number will undoubtedly increase if more black women are forced to carry babies to term.

DuPont Museum Pancake Breakfast

Some of the risks women face if they are forced to carry an unwanted or unhealthy pregnancy include:

  • The Depression.
  • Poor results at birth.
  • Violence.
  • Psychological distress.
  • Living in poverty.
  • Lack of financial support like housing and nutrition.
  • Raising their children alone.

Abortion remains legal in Pierce County and Washington State, but today’s decision could put that at risk. We want to make sure everyone has access to the free resources Washington has to offer.

If you are enrolled in an organization managed by Apple Health (Medicaid), you have the following options:

Find more resources on Black Maternal Health and how the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department supports Black mothers and their babies.

Pierce College

Banning abortion is a ban on human rights. Our job is to keep everyone in Pierce County safe and healthy.

About the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department: The mission of the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department is to protect and enhance the health of all people and places in Pierce County. As part of our mission, the Department of Health addresses known and emerging health risks through policies, programs, and treatments to protect public health. We are one of 163 accredited health departments nationwide and one of only six in the state to have met or exceeded Public Health Accreditation Board quality standards. Learn more at www.tpchd.org.