For Immediate Release
May 15, 2017
Contact: Amy Lebowitz, Camino PR
Statement from In Our Own Voice
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the U.S. Supreme Court let stand the decision of lower court in the North Carolina voting rights case, which ruled that the 2013 voting law discriminated against African Americans “with almost surgical precision.” Marcela Howell, founder and executive director of In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda, issued the following statement in response:
“The Supreme Court’s refusal to hear the North Carolina voting rights case is a small step in the right direction for civil rights. Efforts to suppress Black voters have ramped up across the country and must be stopped.
“Overturning five provisions in the onerous North Carolina voter ID law is a small dent in this country’s voter suppression machine. Predatory voter ID laws, gerrymandering and intimidation at the polls threaten to disenfranchise voters of color across the country. Black communities must be able to exercise our rights at the ballot box.
“Of concern is Chief Justice Roberts’ statement emphasizing that nothing should be read into the court’s decision not to intervene. Instead warning against assumptions, the High Court should be signaling to states that racist voter suppression will not be tolerated.
“The legitimacy of our democracy requires equal voting rights. Every legislator and judge in this country should be working double time to reverse the recent onslaught of attacks on Black voters’ rights. Black votes matter and we will not stop until every single Black vote is cast and counted.”
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.