Statement by In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda Vice President of…
Statement of In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda President & CEO Marcela Howell
WASHINGTON — Yesterday, President Biden announced his revised Build Back Better plan. In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda President and CEO Marcela Howell issued the following statement in response:
“Black women, femmes, girls and gender-expansive individuals will benefit greatly from the Build Back Better plan before Congress. The bill contains key advances that will support Black families and communities, including the biggest expansion of affordable health care coverage in a decade. The framework outlined by the president will reduce health insurance premiums for more than 9 million people, by extending the expanded Premium Tax Credit. It also will deliver health care coverage to up to 4 million uninsured people, in states that have locked them out of Medicaid. Older people will have expanded access to affordable health care through an expansion of Medicare.
“The president’s plan also will offer vital support to working families, with universal and free preschool for all 3- and 4-year-old children. That’s the largest expansion of universal and free education since states and communities across the country established public high school 100 years ago.
“Of particular importance to Black pregnant people are the provisions to support maternal and infant health, with increased funding for perinatal health collaboratives and perinatal nursing workforce supports. The bill provides a comprehensive approach to addressing some of the most pressing needs and experiences of Black pregnant people and their babies.
“To be clear, many important programs and provisions were stripped from the bill, including federal paid leave and free community college, among others. While we denounce those cuts, the current bill is still worthy of passage.
“This country was built on the underpinnings of racism and white male supremacy. To build back better, we need to rebuild a new, stronger foundation based on equality and justice. The proposed legislation takes decisive steps in that direction. Now is the time for Congress to act in support of Black women, femmes, girls, and gender-expansive people and our communities, by passing the president’s Build Back Better plan and supporting the Black Reproductive Justice Policy Agenda.”
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-expansive 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.