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Black women denounce latest U.S. Supreme Court attack on the Voting Rights Act

Statement from In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda

WASHINGTON — Today, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision in the combined cases, Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee and Arizona Republican Party v. Democratic National Committee, further eroding the Voting Rights Act. Marcela Howell, president and CEO of In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda, issued the following statement in response:

“Once again, a conservative Court has signaled to racists, intent on denying Black people our right to vote, that Jim Crow is alive and well in the hearts of the conservative justices. The 5-4, 2013 U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Shelby County v. Holder seriously weakened the Voting Rights Act. An even more conservative high court, today, decimated what was left. But we are not surprised by this wholesale disenfranchisement of Black voters by this Court. Afterall, as a young attorney in the Justice Department, John Roberts, now the Chief Justice, authored numerous memos opposing critical provisions of the Voting Rights Act. Conservative lawmakers across the country are pulling out all the stops to prevent people of color — especially Black people — from exercising our right to vote. The justices have emboldened those White Supremacists lawmakers with today’s decision. But they will not have the last word.

“Even before today’s decision, Black voting rights were already precarious. Yet, Black people turned out in droves to vote in 2020, led in large part by Black women, who organized our communities to  successfully “make a plan to vote.” The result was an overwhelming victory that kicked enemies of human rights out of the White House and Congress. We did that despite overwhelming barriers and explicit threats to keep us from voting.

“Black women are also leading the charge to restore our voting rights. We demand that Congress immediately pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Act. We are organizing every voter to hold their elected representatives accountable to demand immediate action to pass this legislation. Stopping the attacks on our voting rights is integral to dismantling systemic racism and sexism. America’s reckoning with racism is here — with Black women at the helm.

“This month, In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda, Interfaith Voices for Reproductive Justice, and SisterLove, Inc. announced the release of the Black Reproductive Justice Policy Agenda, in collaboration with more than 30 Black women’s organizations and Reproductive Justice activists. The agenda offers proactive policy solutions to address issues at the intersections of race, gender, class, sexual orientation, and gender identity — including legislation and policies to restore full voting rights to people of color. We will continue our national campaign to pass this agenda and will not rest until we have equality and justice for all.”


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.

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