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Black women denounce racist Senate

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

WASHINGTON — This week, the U.S. Senate failed to pass voting rights legislation due to Senate rules that allow the minority to block bills. Marcela Howell, president and CEO of In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda, issued the following statement:

“Joe Manchin and Krysten Sinema are more interested in protecting the minority party than they are in protecting minority voters. This week, they joined Mitch McConnell and the Republican minority, who are more interested in maintaining their power as politicians than they are in the constitutional power of American citizens to vote for their leaders. Their refusal to support even a modest change in the Senate’s Jim Crow rules placed them on the wrong side of history in our fight to once again defend our most fundamental — and consequential — right. In doing so, Manchin and Sinema stand with a long line of racist U.S. senators, like Theodore Bilbo, Strom Thurmond, Jesse Helms and others, who repeatedly used their official power to trample the rights of Black people and all people of color.

“The failure to pass the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act once again demonstrates the structural racism of the Senate — whether Democrats or Republicans are in charge. It is long past time to change both the Senate’s rules and structure.

“Senators Manchin and Sinema have given clear signals that they are willing to undermine the voting rights of people of color. We will not forget that they turned their backs when our very democracy was on the line.”


In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda is a national reproductive justice organization focused on lifting 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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