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Black women leaders denounce HHS attack on Californian’s access to abortion care

Statement by In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda and Black Women for Wellness

Today, the Department of Health and Human Services threatened to withhold federal funding from California if the state does not remove its requirement that private health insurance plans include abortion coverage. Marcela Howell, founder and president of In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda, and Jan Robinson Flint, executive director of Black Women for Wellness, issued the following statement:

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Black women denounce high court’s decision to let Kentucky abortion restriction stand

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

Earlier this week, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a challenge to a Kentucky law that forces doctors to describe ultrasound images and play fetal heartbeat sounds to patients seeking abortion. Marcela Howell, founder and president of In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda, issued the following statement in response:

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Black Women Demand Supreme Court Protect Abortion Rights in Louisana

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Racine Tucker-Hamilton, In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda
202.545.7660 or 301.922.8417

In response to the United States Supreme Court’s decision to grant certiorari in the June Medical Services, LLC v. Gee case, which challenges Louisiana’s admitting privileges law and, if allowed to take effect, would leave only ONE doctor to provide abortion care in the entire state, In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda Founder and President, Marcela Howell and Women With A Vision Executive Director Deon Haywood, issued the following statement:

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The Reintroduction of the EACH Woman Act, A Show of Strength and Unity

For Immediate Release: January 31, 2017
Contact: michelle@blackrj.org

Washington, D.C.–Today In Our Own Voice applauds the leadership and commitment of Representatives Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), along with 102 other members of Congress, for reintroducing the Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance (EACH Woman) Act. With the reintroduction they have made it clear that we will not go back, we will be bold and we will end Hyde so that all families have the opportunity to thrive.

Marcela Howell, Founder and Executive Director for In Our Own Voice: NationalBlack Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda, had this to say:

“The EACH Woman Act ensures that all women, regardless of insurance, income or zip code, are able to make the life decisions that are best for themselves and their families. The bill removes the barriers that perpetuate stigma, shame and fear about abortion.

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Black Women and Abortion — New Data Tells an Old Story

new analysis from the Guttmacher Institute shows that more than half of women denied coverage for abortion under the Hyde Amendment are women of color. Other recent data show that while black women comprise only 14.9 percent of women of reproductive age, we make up 27.6 percent of abortion patients.

The reasons for these disparities are complex, and rooted in centuries of oppression. With the Supreme Court having ruled on the most significant abortion rights case in recent history, Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, and the Hyde Amendment back in the news, it’s critical to understand the barriers to reproductive health that black women still face. 

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Hyde Amendment is bad policy (and unpopular too!)

In statements quoted in Anti-abortion group pressuring Kaine, Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, perpetuates harmful myths about the Hyde Amendment, an annual budget policy rider that denies insurance coverage for abortion to women who receive their health care coverage from the government.

It’s time to get the facts straight. The reality is, voters oppose the 40-year-old policy. A poll from Hart Research Associates shows 86 percent of voters agree that “however we feel about abortion, politicians should not be allowed to deny a woman’s health coverage because she is poor.” People of all ages and political stripes share this view: 90 percent of voters ages 18 to 34, 84 percent of voters 65 and over, 79 percent of Republicans, and 94 percent of Democrats all agree.

Voters are not fooled and won’t be misled into supporting policies that threaten women’s health. Building on the momentum of the recent 5-3 Supreme Court decision in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, women of color of all ages are mobilizing across the country to take down the harshest remaining barrier to abortion access, namely the Hyde Amendment, and our movement is growing every day. 

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