Black women leaders stand against latest version of Trump’s “gag rule” on reproductive health care

For Immediate Release
May 23, 2018
Contact: Alexa Mauzy-Lewis, Camino PR
alexa@caminopr.com / 212-255-2575

Statement from In Our Own Voice
WASHINGTON – last night, the Trump administration released a draft notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) that would deny federal funding to family planning providers and health clinics that provide abortion care or related services, including referrals. Marcela Howell, founder and executive director of In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Agenda, issued the following statement in response:

“The NPRM confirms the worst of what we anticipated about Trump’s new ‘gag rule.’ This policy would dismantle Title X and block access to health care, effectively stripping women of their right to make healthy, informed decisions about their reproductive health. In addition to hindering access to safe and legal abortion, this attack from Trump’s anti-choice Department of Health and Human Services will essentially make it impossible for women to receive birth control or preventive care from Planned Parenthood and other family planning providers

“The ‘gag rule’ will be especially detrimental to low-income women and women of color. At least one-third of Title X patients are people of color. The rule additionally redefines what “low-income” means, widening the severe health care gap and targeting communities of color who depend on these health care providers.

“Black women specifically have already been historically and systematically denied the resources, services, and information they need to make these important and personal health decisions. We account for 27.6 percent of all U.S. abortions and because of social and economic inequality, women of color are disproportionately likely to depend on federally funded health care. Increasing restrictions on our reproductive care hurts our ability to raise healthy families and further oppresses our communities. We already face heightened barriers to family planning resources. HHS is gambling with our lives, putting Black women at even greater risk.

“With elections around the corner, In Our Own Voice calls on voters to hold this administration, and lawmakers everywhere, accountable for protecting and expanding our access to abortion and other vital health care services. We are tired of politicians infringing their anti-choice agenda on our lives. When Black women lead, we empower all women with the resources to make their own best decisions and foster sustainable communities.”

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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.