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Statement from In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda President and CEO Marcela Howell
WASHINGTON — Rep. Ayanna Pressley and Sen. Tammy Duckworth introduced the “Support Through Loss Act” — a first-of-its-kind legislation to provide support to those who experience a pregnancy loss, unsuccessful fertility treatment and failed adoption arrangement. If passed, the bill will provide access to resources, workforce supports and patient centered care. In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda President and CEO Marcela Howell issued the following statement in support of the legislation:
“The ‘Support Through Loss Act’ will provide essential services and care for those who have lost a pregnancy to assist with the physical and mental toll that this private trauma brings. Currently, individuals and families do not have the time they need to grieve and heal. In addition to the lack of resources for individuals experiencing pregnancy loss, there is a lack of public awareness and accurate information for those experiencing it. This bill will address these problems with $45 million annual funding for federal research into pregnancy loss. The bill will also require employers to provide at least three days of paid leave for workers to address health needs following a pregnancy loss, an unsuccessful assisted reproductive technology procedure, failed adoption arrangement, failed surrogacy arrangement, or a medical diagnosis or event that impacts pregnancy or fertility.
“This support is especially important for Black women, femmes, girls and gender-expansive individuals who already bear a significant burden of poor health outcomes resulting from racial inequities and structural barriers that often prevent these same communities from accessing basic medical and mental health care. Environmental racism, including the lack of access to safe water and exposure to toxic chemicals often experienced by communities of color, increases the risks of numerous health concerns, including miscarriage.
“The Black Reproductive Justice Policy Agenda was developed to support legislative action that directly impacts the lives of Black women, femmes, girls, and gender-expansive individuals; this bill is an example of that vision. In Our Own Voice applauds Rep. Ayanna Pressley and Sen. Tammy Duckworth for their leadership in championing the health and wellbeing of pregnant people and their families. We call on the House and the Senate to take immediate action to pass the ‘Support Through Loss Act’ now.”
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.