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Statement from In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda Founder and President Marcela Howell
WASHINGTON — The extreme Texas abortion ban took effect, following the U.S. Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision, late last night, to leave the law in place while the legal battle continues. The law effectively bans abortion after six weeks of pregnancy. Although the law clearly violates Roe v. Wade, the Court’s decision leaves the legal challenge to the law’s constitutionality in limbo until someone is actually sued under its provisions. In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda Founder and President Marcela Howell issued the following statement in response:
“The U.S. Supreme Court’s failure to block the ban on abortions after six weeks is irresponsible and will endanger the lives and restrict the rights of all women and pregnant people — most especially Black women and women of color. Black women already face barriers to accessing reproductive health care, often causing delays in obtaining abortion care until the second trimester. The result of this law is to make abortion unavailable in Texas after the sixth week of pregnancy — forcing pregnant people, if they have the money and means, to travel out of state to access the care they need.
“Alarmingly, this law deputizes ordinary individuals to sue anybody who doesn’t abide by the new ban or who ‘aids and abets’ anyone who flouts the plainly unconstitutional law. Texas is anointing a posse of anti-abortion vigilantes to harass women and anyone who supports them in their right to obtain abortion care, including their doctor, family members and friends.
“Make no mistake; the abortion ban is not about the state’s commitment to ‘life’ — it’s about controlling women’s lives and violating our bodily autonomy.
“The enemies of reproductive rights and health in the Texas state legislature — and the U.S. Supreme Court — have made it clear that they will stop at nothing to restrict our human rights. We call on Congress to uphold the Constitution and pass laws that will protect the rights of women to the full range of reproductive health care, including abortion.
“As Black women, we will continue the fight to ensure that every pregnant person has the resources to make decisions about their own body, without government interference. We will not stop until Reproductive Justice is the law of the land in every state, including Texas.”
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 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.