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In this current moment of health, socio-economic, and political crisis, the Agenda offers a comprehensive guide for policymakers on centering and improving outcomes for Black women, girls, and gender-expansive people.
Washington, D.C.—Today, In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda released its 2023 Black Reproductive Justice Policy Agenda. A collaboration between Interfaith Voices for Reproductive Justice, SisterLove, Inc., and more than 50 organizations and advocates, the Agenda offers concrete policy solutions across intersecting issues that impact Black women, girls, and gender-expansive people, grounded in a human rights and Black feminist theory framework.
These organizations originally came together in 2021 to develop the first Black Reproductive Justice Policy Agenda, providing a strategic and candid compilation of key issues and policy recommendations representing their collective vision of Reproductive Justice. This timely update, released days before the nation marks one year since the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision struck a devastating blow against civil and human rights, is a call to action for Congress, the Administration, and state legislators to center the communities most impacted. The theme of this year’s Agenda is: Re-Imagining Policy: In Pursuit of Black Reproductive Justice.
With the maternal health crisis continuing to disproportionately impact Black women and birthing people; blatant homophobic attacks and the passage of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation that will impede the ability of Black, queer folks to live freely; medically-baseless attempts to restrict abortion care; and the rise of state-sanctioned violence against Black communities, the Agenda is a critically-needed policy roadmap grounded in Reproductive Justice. It addresses the right to health care, dignified birth, and access to abortion; equity in housing and education; fair employment and clean water; and the full range of social, economic, political, and cultural supports needed for Black women and families to thrive.
“Nearly three decades after the founding of the Reproductive Justice movement, Black women, girls, and gender-expansive people are still calling for proactive policies and a health system that advances their unique concerns including tremendous health inequities like higher rates of maternal mortality, chronic disease, sexual and intimate partner violence, and lack of access to the full range of timely reproductive health care ,” said Regina Davis Moss, PhD, MPH, MCHES, President & CEO of In Our Own Voice. “That must change urgently. Our Black Reproductive Justice Policy Agenda centers the intersectional impact of race and gender and offers solutions for us to be able to live free from oppression. Reproductive Justice is a public health issue, and we call on our elected officials to champion these recommendations to break down institutional racism so we have full control of our reproductive destinies.”
The Agenda discusses policy solutions and endorses key legislation about:
- Health equity, care, and access, including:
- Maternal health and pregnancy care; access to abortion care; comprehensive sexual health education; contraceptive equity; chronic health conditions; behavioral and mental health
- Social justice, community justice, and safety, including:
- Voting rights; police violence; gender-based violence; economic justice; education justice; LGBTQIA+ liberation; environmental justice; housing justice
- Religion and reproductive justice, and the role faith and spirituality have played in countering efforts to control Black women, girls, and gender-expansive people’s sexuality and bodily autonomy
“Now more than ever, we need to use a collective framework grounded in human rights and Black Feminist theory, and that acknowledges the interconnectedness of the issues we navigate,” said Toni M. Bond, a founding mother of Reproductive Justice and Co-Founder, President and CEO of Interfaith Voices for Reproductive Justice. “Black women of faith and spirituality have always been in the fight for Reproductive Justice. The policy ideas we endorse in this agenda are proof of how we can center that intersectionality, alongside race, sexuality, and class, in pursuit of a world where all Black women, girls, and gender-expansive people can thrive.”
“Black women, girls, and gender-expansive people are often the backbone of our families, our movements, our economy, our democracy. Yet, they face continued and perpetual state, local, and federal attacks on their civil and human rights,” said Founder and President of SisterLove, Inc. Dázon Dixon Diallo. “The change we envision needs to be boldly reimagined, and this Agenda is a roadmap for policymakers to do just that.”