Statement from In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda
WASHINGTON — Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2019 (HR 4). Marcela Howell, founder and president of In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda, issued the following statement in response:
“We applaud the House of Representatives for passing the Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2019. The wholesale disenfranchisement of voters threatens our democracy. Conservative lawmakers across the country are pulling out all the stops to prevent people of color — especially Black people — from exercising our right to vote.
“Gerrymandering, unfair voter ID laws and intimidation at the polls, are among the tactics being used to prevent voters of color — U.S. citizens — from casting our votes. Today’s passage of the Voting Rights Advancement Act by the House is a first step toward restoring our democracy.
“We didn’t march and die fighting for our right to vote only to have that right denied us in this new Jim Crow era — fueled by the racist policies of conservative state legislators and the terrible decision in Shelby v. Holder by the Supreme Court that reinforced these oppressive laws.
“We call on Sen. Mitch McConnell to follow the leadership of Speaker Pelosi to stop the assault on voting rights by scheduling a Senate vote on the Voting Rights Advancement Act as soon as possible. We encourage voters across the country to unite in resistance by holding their elected representatives accountable and, most of all, by exercising their right to vote in local, state and federal elections.”
In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda is a national reproductive justice organization focused on lifting up the voices of Black women at the national and regional levels in our ongoing policy fight to secure reproductive justice for all women and girls. Our eight strategic partners include Black Women for Wellness, Black Women’s Health Imperative, New Voices for Reproductive Justice, SisterLove, Inc., SisterReach, SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW, The Afiya Center and Women With A Vision.