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Press Release

Black women condemn Supreme Court birth control decision

Statement by In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda President Marcela Howell on June Medical Services, LLC v. Gee

WASHINGTON — Today the U.S. Supreme Court issues a ruling on Little Sisters of the Poor v. Pennsylvania (consolidated with Trump v. Pennsylvania) upholding the Trump-Pence administration’s rules that would allow virtually any employer or university to declare itself exempt from the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that healthcare plans cover birth control without out-of-pocket costs. In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda CEO and President Marcela Howell issued the following statement:

“The Supreme Court’s 7-2 decision to restrict access to essential health care mandated by the Affordable Care Act, especially in the midst of a public health crisis, is a disgrace. Black women, who already face enormous barriers to healthcare will be disparately impacted by this grave injustice.

“This ruling solidifies those barriers by allowing employers to impose their religious beliefs on their employees — which is the antithesis of religious freedom and an affront to the basic human right to make our own medical decisions. Everyone deserves access to quality, affordable healthcare, including coverage for birth control and comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services, no matter where they work. No other types of medical care require obtaining your boss’s sign-off to ensure coverage or provide loopholes for employers to opt-out. Yet conservative politicians and judges continue to impose restrictions on reproductive healthcare that women need.

“While we are outraged over today’s egregious ruling in this case, Black women remain strong and continue to fight against these attacks on our most basic human right to reproductive autonomy. Just as we continue to stand up against the simultaneous mass assaults against Black bodies, families and communities by police violence, COVID-19 and the Black maternal mortality crisis, we continue to fight this blatant discrimination cloaked in ‘religious freedom.”


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.

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