In Our Own Voice Blog

Black Women applaud selection of Dr. Leana Wen as new president of Planned Parenthood

WASHINGTON- Today, Planned Parenthood Federation of America announced the appointment of Dr. Leana Wen its new president. Marcela Howell, founder and executive director of In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda, issued the following statement in response:

“Congratulations to Dr. Leana Wen on her new position as president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. We applaud the appointment of a doctor, an advocate and an immigrant to lead an organization that is a trusted provider of quality, affordable health care, especially for women of color and underserved communities.

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34 Reproductive Justice organizations and allies call on Senate Judiciary Committee to oppose the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 6, 2018 Contact: Loretta Kane (917-410-7242 or loretta@caminopr.com) WASHINGTON- Today, In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum and the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health led the submission of a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee demanding that they oppose the […]

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Black women leaders urge Congress to block Kavanaugh Supreme Court nomination

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE JUL 10, 2018 Contact: Alexa Mauzy-Lewis, Camino PR alexa@caminopr.com / 212-255-2575 Statement by In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda Founder and Executive Director Marcela Howell WASHINGTON – Yesterday, President Trump announced Brett Kavanaugh as his nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court vacancy. In Our Own Voice: National Black […]

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Black women leaders urge Supreme Court to protect Roe V. Wade after Kennedy retirement

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE JUN 27, 2018 Contact: Alexa Mauzy-Lewis, Camino PR alexa@caminopr.com / 212-255-2575 Statement by In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda Founder and Executive Director Marcela Howell WASHINGTON – Today, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy announced that he will be retiring from the Supreme Court, paving the way for President Trump […]

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Black women stand with Muslims

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 26, 2018 Contact: Alexa Mauzy-Lewis, Camino PR alexa@caminopr.com / 212-255-2575 Statement by Marcela Howell, founder and executive director of In Our Own Voice WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, in a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Trump administration’s Muslim travel ban. Marcela Howell, founder and executive director of In Our […]

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Black women denounce latest attack on reproductive health and rights

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 26, 2018 Contact: Alexa Mauzy-Lewis, Camino PR alexa@caminopr_com / 212-255-2575 Statement by Marcela Howell, founder and executive director of In Our Own Voice WASHINGTON- Today, the U.S. Supreme Court in a 5-4 vote on the NIFLA v. Becerra declared that lies and trickery can pass for reproductive health care for women. […]

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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 […]

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Black women leaders denounce Trump’s “domestic gag rule” on reproductive health care

For Immediate Release May 18, 2018 Contact: Alexa Mauzy-Lewis, Camino PR alexa@caminopr.com / 212-255-2575 Statement from In Our Own Voice WASHINGTON- Today, the Trump administration announced plans to reinstate a Reagan­era policy that would deny federal funding to family planning providers and health clinics that provide abortion care or related services, including referrals. Marcela Howell, […]

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2018 Earth Day — black women are leading the fight against environmental racism

BY MARCELA HOWELL AND JANETTE ROBINSON-FLINT, OPINION CONTRIBUTORS — 04/22/18 10:30 AM EDT Environmental policy in the age of the Trump administration and Scott Pruitt’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proved to be devastating, with a long list of first year actions designed at dismantling basic protections. These actions range from rolling back Obama-era regulations […]

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Groundbreaking reproductive justice report outlines action agenda for Black women’s rights

MEDIA ADVISORY April 2, 2018 Contact: Alexa Mauzy-Lewis, Camino PR alexa@caminopr.com / 212-255-2575 Activists, artists and local legislators gather for policy briefing on the health and wellbeing of Black women and girls in Ohio CLEVELAND – The Cleveland office of New Voices for Reproductive Justice (NVRJ) will host a Women of Color Political Luncheon and […]

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#WhenBlackWomenlead campaign highlights the most impactful leaders of our time: Black women

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 2, 2018 Contact: Alexa Mauzy-Lewis, Camino PR alexa@caminopr.com / 212-255-2575 In Our Own Voice celebrates Women’s History Month by lifting up the Black women who are changing history WASHINGTON – Throughout Women’s History Month, In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda is launching a social media campaign, #WhenBlackWomenLead, […]

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January Is a Month to Recommit to the Struggle for Reproductive Justice

Opinion:”We have come a long way. We’ve made gains against impossible odds. We have much to celebrate and much more to do.” by Marcela Howell, January 16, 2018 With the 45th anniversary of Roe v. Wade—the U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion—and the one-year anniversary of the Women’s March quickly approaching, this is a […]

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Black women applaud TIME’s Person of the Year 2017

Statement of In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda Founder and Executive Director Marcela Howell WASHINGTON, D.C. – TIME Magazine has named “the silence breakers’ as its 2017 Person of the Year, celebrating those who championed the #MeToo movement and came forward publicly to name and condemn sexual assaulters. Marcela Howell, founder […]

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Black women denounce high court’s decision to allow North Carolina to stall redistricting

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Jan. 19, 2018 Contact: Loretta Kane (917-410-7242 or loretta@caminopr.com) Statement from In Our Own Voice WASHINGTON – Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court granted a request from North Carolina’s Republican legislative leaders to stay a lower court’s ruling that called for the redrawing of congressional district maps. Marcela Howell, founder and executive director […]

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Black women denounce new HHS “office of discrimination,” under disguise of conscience protections

For Immediate Release January 18, 2018 Contact: Alexa Mauzy-Lewis, Camino PR alexa@caminopr.com / 212-255-2575 Statement from In Our Own Voice WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Trump-Pence administration provided cover for those who would discriminate against women and transgender people seeking critical health care service. Marcela Howell, founder and executive director of In Our Own Voice: […]

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New poll results reveal support for women’s reproductive health and rights among Dallas’ Black communities

MEDIA ADVISORY December 14, 2017 Contact: Alexa Mauzy-Lewis, Camino PR (alexa@caminopr.com or 212-255-2575) Groundbreaking reproductive justice report outlines action agenda for Black women’s rights DALLAS – The Afiya Center will host a policy briefing to review new polling data from across Texas and to discuss the latest In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive […]

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Black women applaud TIME’s Person of the Year 2017

For Immediate Release December 5, 2017 Contact: Alexa Mauzy-Lewis, Camino PR alexa@caminopr.com / 212-255-2575 Statement of In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda Founder and Executive Director Marcela Howell WASHINGTON, D.C. – TIME Magazine has named “the silence breakers’ as its 2017 Person of the Year, celebrating those who championed the #MeToo […]

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Pittsburgh City Council Passes Will of Council Supporting Insurance Coverage for Abortion Care

For Immediate Release: November 20, 20I7 Contact: Sara Innamorato, sara@newvoicespittsburgh.org. 412.736.0938 Pittsburgh is now the thirteenth locality to send a strong message in support of affordable access to abortion care PITTSBURGH – Sending a strong signal in support of affordable access to health care, including abortion care, the Pittsburgh City Council today passed a Will […]

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Philadelphia Reps. Morgan Cephas and Christopher Rabb speak at briefing on the state of Black women’s rights

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE October 30, 2017 Contact: Alexa Mauzy-Lewis, Camino PR alexa@caminopr.com / 212-255-2575 New Voices for Reproductive Justice hosts Philadelphia reproductive justice report briefing in partnership with In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda PHILADELPHIA- Friday, the Philadelphia office of New Voices for Reproductive Justice hosted a policy briefing on the […]

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Groundbreaking reproductive justice report examines the lives of Black women

MEDIA ADVISORY October 23, 2017 Contact: Alexa Mauzy-Lewis, Camino PR alexa@caminopr.com / 212-255-2575 New Voices for Reproductive Justice hosts Philadelphia report briefing in partnershie_ with In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda PHILADELPHIA- The Philadelphia office of New Voices for Reproductive Justice will host a policy briefing on the new In Our […]

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Black women denounce Trump’s latest attack on health care access

For Immediate Release October 12, 2017 Contact: Alexa Mauzy-Lewis, Camino PR (alexa@caminopr.com / 212-255-2575) Statement of In Our Own Voice Executive Director and Founder Marcella Howell WASHINGTON -Today, Trump issued an executive order that undercuts the Affordable Care Act. Marcela Howell, founder and executive director of In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice […]

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Black women denounce Trump’s new hurdles to birth control access

For Immediate Release October 6, 2017 Contact: Alexa Mauzy-Lewis, Camino PR alexa@caminopr.com / 212-255-2575 Statement from In Our Own Voice Executive Director and Founder Marcela Howell WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Trump revoked an Obama administration rule that required employers to birth control coverage in employee health plans. Now, employers can refuse to cover birth control […]

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New opinion survey of African Americans to be released at ‘When Black Women Lead’ conference

MEDIA ADVISORY September 22, 2017 Contact: Alexa Mauzy-Lewis, Camino PR alexa@caminopr.com / 212-255-2575 Data show most do not think it is a good time to be Black in America WASHINGTON – In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda will release data from a national poll of Black adults, ”The lives and Voices […]

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Black women leaders strategize to change business as usual in politics

MEDIA ADVISORY September 20, 2017 Contact: Alexa Mauzy-Lewis, Camino PR alexa@caminopr.com / 212-255-2575 ‘When Black Women Lead’ conference to focus on policies to advance Black women’s rights WASHINGTON – In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda will host a four-day summit in Washington, D.C. The conference theme, “When Black Women Lead,” will […]

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Black women leaders to brief the Congressional Black Caucus on the state of Black women’s reproductive health

MEDIA ADVISORY September 14, 2017 Contact: Alexa Mauzy-Lewis, Camino PR alexa@caminopr_com / 212-255-2575 Groundbreaking reproductive justice report findings to be presented at the Caucus’s annual conference WASHINGTON – In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda will conduct a policy briefing on the state of Black women and reproductive health as part of […]

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Black women denounce suspension of Obama investigative rules on campus rape

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 7, 2017 Contact: Alexa Mauzy-Lewis (212-255-2575 or alexa@caminopr.com) Statement of In Our Own Voice Founder and Executive Director Marcela Howell WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Department of Education Secretary Betsy Devos announced plans to end the Obama administration’s rules for investigating allegations of sexual violence on campus. In criticizing President Obama’s […]

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Black women stand with Dreamers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 5, 20I7 Contact: Alexa Mauzy-Lewis, Camino PR alexa@.caminopccom / 212-255-2575 Statement from In Our Own Voice WASHINGTON, D.C. -Today, the Trump administration announced plans to end the Obama administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which protects undocumented immigrant children from deportation by allowing them to work and attend school […]

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Black women continue fight for economic justice while Trump abandons equal pay protections

For Immediate Release August 31, 2017 Contact: Alexa Mauzy-Lewis, Camino PR alexa@caminopr.com / 212-255-2575 Statement from In Our Own Voice WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday, the White House revoked an Obama administration equal pay rule that required employers to disclose the amount they pay their workers by employee demographics. Despite her call for equal pay for […]

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National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda Condemns Racist Violence

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE August 12, 2017 Contact: Loretta Kane (917-410-7242 or loretta@caminopr.com)  In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda Condemns Racist Violence, Calls on Trump administration to take action Statement of Founder and Executive Director Marcela Howell  WASHINGTON — In response to the deadly attack on civil rights protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia today, In Our Own […]

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In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda condemns racist violence, calls on Trump administration to take action

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE August 12, 20I7 Contact: Loretta Kane (9 I 7-4 I 0-724 2 or loretta@caminopr.com) Statement of Founder and Executive Director Marcela Howell WASHINGTON – In response to the deadly attack on civil rights protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia today, In Our OWN Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda Founder and Executive Director […]

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Black Women Are Still Fighting for Our Lives Even if GOP Health Care Bill Fails

Republicans have now tried and failed three times to pass health care bills that would dismantle the Affordable Care Act — and potentially cut access to health care for millions. We’ve seen the introduction of hundreds of new reproductive health restrictions and insistent efforts to defund Planned Parenthood. In the midst of the GOP’s attack […]

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GOP healthcare attack is a vendetta against President Obama

After the final nail was hammered in the coffin of the zombie-like Republican healthcare bill in the Senate, President Trump suggested that his party wait out the collapse of the federal insurance market, repeal the Affordable Care Act in the meantime, and eventually introduce a new plan “that will start from a clean slate.” 

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New report outlines action agenda for interlocking issues of reproductive, racial, criminal justice

For Immediate Release: June 27, 2017 Contact: Amy Lebowitz, Camino PR amy@caminopr.com / 212-255-2575 Report briefing puts human face to Black women’s reproductive justice challenges WASHINGTON — Today, In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda launched its groundbreaking new report on the state of Black women and reproductive justice. The report offers […]

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Black Women Denounce Killing of Charleena Lyles by Seattle police

Statement of In Our Own Voice Founder and Executive Director Marcela Howell WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Sunday, June 18, 2017, Charleena Lyles was shot dead, in her own home, by two white, Seattle police officers, who responded to her report of a burglary. Lyles was a 30-year-old Black woman. Her four children were in the […]

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Black women call for more action to stop the attack on voting rights.

For Immediate Release May 15, 2017 Contact: Amy Lebowitz, Camino PR amy@caminopr.com / 212-255-2575 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 […]

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Black women denounce new Voting Commission

For Immediate Release May 12, 2017 Contact: Loretta Kane (917-410-7242 or loretta@caminopr.com) Statement from In Our Own Voice   WASHINGTON, D.C. — Yesterday, the White House announced the creation of a commission to investigate voter fraud, spurred by Trump’s unfounded claims of voting irregularities during the 2016 elections. Marcela Howell, Founder and Executive Director of […]

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Reproductive Justice Advocates Urge Senate Judiciary Panel to Block Confirmation of U.S. Supreme Court Nominee Neil Gorsuch

For Immediate Release: March 15, 2017 For Interviews Contact: michelle@blackrj.org Washington, D.C. — In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda, the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH), and National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF), along with 43 reproductive justice organizations, sent a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee urging them […]

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Resisting Hate Is An American Value

Marcela Howell, Executive Director, In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda Next week, two things will happen. On January 16, we will celebrate the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. and his vision of equality and activism. Then four days later, on January 20, we will see Donald J. Trump become the […]

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The Reintroduction of the EACH Woman Act, A Show of Strength and Unity

For Immediate Release: January 31, 2017 Contact: michelle@blackrj.org Washington, D.C.–Today In Our Own Voice applauds the leadership and commitment of Representatives Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), along with 102 other members of Congress, for reintroducing the Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance (EACH Woman) Act. With the reintroduction they have made […]

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Step Forward: Opening the Dialogue on Sexual Violence and Black Girls

By Nourbese Flint In a classroom at Gardena High School, just outside of Los Angeles, a group of young Black women and women of color stand in a row and listen to a prompt: “If you don’t think young men respect you, step forward.” Each of the young women takes a step. “If you’ve ever […]

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Black Women and Abortion — New Data Tells an Old Story

A new analysis from the Guttmacher Institute shows that more than half of women denied coverage for abortion under the Hyde Amendment are women of color. Other recent data show that while black women comprise only 14.9 percent of women of reproductive age, we make up 27.6 percent of abortion patients. The reasons for these disparities are complex, […]

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Hyde Amendment is bad policy (and unpopular too!)

In statements quoted in Anti-abortion group pressuring Kaine, Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, perpetuates harmful myths about the Hyde Amendment, an annual budget policy rider that denies insurance coverage for abortion to women who receive their health care coverage from the government. It’s time to get the facts straight. The reality is, […]

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Women Win: U.S. Supreme Court Decision in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt

June 27 2016 Today the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed a woman’s constitutional right to make her own decisions about her health, family and future— no matter where she lives. By striking down the Texas law, HB2, the Court kept current clinics open in Texas, and set a precedent so that more clinics can open or reopen […]

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Congressional Caucus on Black Women and Girls Testimony on Reproductive Justice

April 28, 2016 I want to thank Representatives Bonnie Watson-Coleman, Robin Kelly and Yvette Clarke and the Congressional Caucus on Black Women and Girls. My name is Marcela Howell and I am the founder and executive director for In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda In Our Own Voice was created in […]

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Written Testimony from Black Women Reproductive Justice Organizations

House Judicial Subcommittee on Constitution and Civil Justice Hearing on H.R. 4924 Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act (PRENDA) of 2016 Written Testimony from Black Women Reproductive Justice Organizations April 14, 2016 We write to you in one voice on behalf of Reproductive Justice for Black women, immigrant women, young women and low-income women. We, the undersigned organizations, […]

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In Our Own Voice on Celebrating the 43rd Anniversary of Roe v. Wade

Statement by Marcela Howell, Founder and Executive Director “As President Obama concluded his last State of the Union, his message to the American people was clear, if a little unconventional. He set low expectation of working with the conservative-controlled Congress in his remaining months. However, he set high expectation for the American people. He issued […]

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Clinic Violence is a Reproductive Justice Issue

January 21, 2016—Based on data recently released by the Feminist Majority Foundation, “harassment, intimidation, and threats against abortion providers have nearly doubled, with the percentage of clinics impacted increasing from 26.6% in 2010 to 51.9% in 2014.” In Our Own Voice joined Congresswoman Donna Edwards (D-MD) and several other state and national advocates at the […]

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Black Women’s Organizations File U.S. Supreme Court Brief in Support of Abortion Rights in Texas

PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Michelle Batchelor, 202-749-8366, michelle@blackrj.org (January 5, 2016) Twelve Black women’s Reproductive Justice organizations, led by In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda, filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court case Whole Woman’s Health, et al., v. Kirk Cole, Commissioner of the Texas Department of […]

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Let’s Help Children of Color Breathe Easier

By Janette Robinson Flint, executive director of Black Women for Wellness Cross-posted in LA Sentinel, November 20, 2015 When breathing is easy, we can think, create, and live fuller lives. But for many communities in Los Angeles, breathing is easier said than done. There are days where I look out the window, and can’t see […]

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U.S. Supreme Court to Review Texas Law to Shut Down Clinics

PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Marcela Howell, 202-841-3292, marcela@blackrj.org (November 13, 2015) – The U.S. Supreme Court, today, agreed to review a Texas law designed to shut down clinics that provide safe, legal abortion services. The case, Whole Woman’s Health v. Cole, was brought by Center for Reproductive Rights on behalf of a coalition […]

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Black Women, Always at the Forefront of Change

In 2012, a higher percentage of Black women voted than any other group. We played a pivotal role in President Obama’s re-election, and we are responsible for the margin of victory for many successful candidates and in the defeat of anti-abortion initiatives. Yet it took nearly seven years in office for President Obama to finally […]

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Black Reproductive Justice Activists Convene for a National Strategy Summit in Washington, DC

In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda convened more than 40 Black women Reproductive Justice leaders from around the country for the first annual Strategic Communications for Policy Change Summit in Washington, DC, September 25-29, 2015. Summit participants engaged in intense discussion, education and strategic planning for five days; resulting in a […]

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Black Reproductive Justice Activists Convene for a National Strategy Summit

Black Reproductive Justice Activists Convene for a National Strategy Summit in Washington, DC (Washington, DC) – More than 40 Black women Reproductive Justice activists will gather in Washington, DC at the fhi360 Conference Center, 1825 Connecticut Avenue NW from September 25-29 for five days of strategic planning as part of the first Annual Strategic Communications […]

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Abortion Access and Contraceptive Equity: A Matter of Reproductive Health, Rights, and Justice

by Dr. Krystal Redman, SPARK Executive Director August 17, 2015 As we work progressively in the fight towards social and economic equality, we must continue to include the argument of; sexual and reproductive justice in order to takes steps towards achieving complete contraceptive equity, which includes access to safe and affordable abortion services. Contraceptive Equity […]

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Black Women Matter More than Just Our Deaths

by Janette Robinson Flint I am deeply hurt, enraged and gravely concerned by the onslaught of violence against Black women and girls. The latest offense happened on Monday, July 13, when Sandra Bland, a 28 year-old woman who was pulled over for a minor traffic violation, was found dead in her Texas jail cell. The […]

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National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda Applauds the Introduction of the EACH Woman Act

In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda thanks Representatives Barbara Lee (D-CA), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Diana DeGette (D-CO) and Louise Slaughter (D-NY), and more than 60 Members of Congress for taking leadership by introducing the Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance (EACH Woman) Act. This bill ensures health coverage for […]

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The Irony of Choice as Roe turns 42

Here we go again. This week, on the 42nd anniversary of Roe v Wade, U.S. House Republican leadership will send a bill to the floor for vote that is meant to restrict a woman’s right to safe, legal abortion care. HR. 7 flies in the face of the reality that federal insurance coverage of abortion […]

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Michael Brown Could Be My Son

I woke up on Thanksgiving morning angry—very, very angry. Thanksgiving day is supposed to be a time to gather with family members, hug our children and laugh with our siblings. It is supposed to be a time to give thanks for all our blessings.

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Vote Like Your Health Depends On It

The 2014 midterm elections are tomorrow. Either through early voting, absentee ballots or at polling places on November 4, citizens across the country will cast votes for candidates who will have the state, local or federal constitutional power to make policies that could affect all of our lives. Interestingly, this election cycle has a record […]

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