The National Association of Peer Supporters (N.A.P.S.) recognizes bodily and reproductive autonomy as fundamental rights that all human beings deserve and which deserve to be protected. This can include making decisions about which treatments to participate in, which medications to take, and the right to a safe and legal abortion. The Supreme Court’s recent decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, a byproduct of which is that abortion is now illegal or soon will be in 16 states, is in opposition to some of the core values behind peer support. Notably, these include autonomy and self-determination, voice, choice, and control, and determining for oneself the life one would like to lead.
Peer support as a service originates from a long history of experiencing harm and oppression at the hands of systems. This has included forced treatment and medication, seclusion and restraint, and forced sterilization. Psychiatric survivors and ex-patient movements, among others, played large roles in advocating for the rights of people navigating behavioral healthcare systems to have control over their own bodies and many peer roles come from these movements as well.
We are still not in a place where every person has the right to make decisions about their own body. N.A.P.S. recognizes that those most impacted by abortion restriction, and those most likely to die from not having access to care, are people from historically marginalized communities; in particular Black and Indigenous women. As long as people who can become pregnant (however they identify) lack their basic human rights, N.A.P.S. will continue to stand alongside them for the restoration of those rights. We strongly encourage all peer supporters to do the same.
For additional information about abortion laws in your state please visit these links:
For additional information about peer support values, please visit the National Practice Guidelines at the link below: