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Statement of In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda President & CEO Marcela Howell
WASHINGTON — In response to the grand jury indictment in the Breonna Taylor case, In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda President and CEO Marcela Howell issued the following statement:
“Breonna Taylor was killed in her own bed by police. Despite being a dedicated public servant, an EMT risking her life on the frontlines of the pandemic, Ms. Taylor was gunned down at home after police kicked in her door looking for someone who didn’t even live in her apartment.
“Breonna Taylor’s fate and the subsequent decision not to prosecute her killers to the fullest extent of the law remind us that, no matter what, Black women are at risk of police violence and systemic racism every day, all day and all night. We face the sting of racism at work, in school, on the streets and in our own homes. We cannot escape it, nor deny racism its too-often deadly toll. We most certainly cannot count on the criminal justice system to value our lives or deliver justice for the Black lives taken by police.
“It’s time to stop the oppression by disrupting the systems that thrive on the backs of Black women and people. It’s time to end business as usual until police violence is stopped. We not only want police officers to be held accountable, we want to live our lives in peace. Federal, state and local governments must take immediate steps to dismantle the criminal justice system and build new systems that prevent crime by investing in communities.
“Black women are leading the movement to dismantle systemic racism and to stop police violence. The white male patriarchy must heed our call for justice and peace — and we must and will continue to disrupt their power. The real fallout from today’s miscarriage of justice will not be in the streets of Louisville tonight, it will be at the polls on Election Day, when Black voters hold elected officials accountable. To elected officials, we say, ‘if you want our votes, protect our rights and respect our lives.’”
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 leaders at the national, regional and state levels in our ongoing fight to secure Reproductive Justice for Black women, femmes, queer, trans and gender non-conforming people and youth. Our 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.