Statement by In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda President and CEO…
More than 30 Black women’s organizations and advocates present proactive Reproductive Justice policy solutions
WASHINGTON — Today, In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda, Interfaith Voices for Reproductive Justice, and SisterLove, Inc. announced the release of the Black Reproductive Justice Policy Agenda, an innovative, proactive policy agenda created in collaboration with more than 30 Black women’s organizations and Reproductive Justice activists. The agenda offers proactive policy solutions to address issues at the intersections of race, gender, class, sexual orientation and gender identity within the situational impacts of economics, politics and culture that make up the lived experiences of Black women, femmes, girls and gender-expansive individuals in the U.S.
“Too often, policies are formulated and written into law without a full understanding of how those policies may impact the everyday life of real people,” said In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda President and CEO Marcela Howell. “This Black policy agenda presents proactive solutions grounded in a human rights framework and Black feminist theory, which we believe provides a clearer view of the needs of Black communities.”
As Black Reproductive Justice advocates, the authors approach policy work rooted in the human right to control one’s own body, sexuality, gender, work, sexual pleasure and reproduction — as well as the belief that this right can only be achieved when all women, femmes, girls and gender-expansive individuals have the complete economic, social and political power and resources to make healthy decisions in all areas of their lives, including their bodies, families and communities. Twenty-six years after the founding of the Reproductive Justice movement, too many people in the U.S. still bear the brunt of health disparities, economic inequality, and challenges in accessing vital health care services.
“When Black women organize, we find solutions, take action, solve problems and change things for everyone,” said SisterLove, Inc, Founder and President Dázon Dixon Diallo. “We are at a critical time and our lawmakers must understand they cannot ignore the needs, voices and collective power of Black women and girls. We have ensured that the agenda offers policy solutions for the best outcomes for our sexual and reproductive health and wellbeing through the lens of justice. Our lives matter enough to demand nothing less.”
The Black Reproductive Justice Policy Agenda addresses the need for systemic change to truly make the U. S. a place where all people can live and thrive. The agenda covers a wide range of issues, including Black maternal health, economic and environmental justice issues, guaranteed minimum basic income, abortion access, voting rights and mental health care.
“The impact of the Black Reproductive Justice Policy Agenda for Black women, girls and gender-expansive people is its intersectionality,” said Interfaith Voices for Reproductive Justice President, CEO and Cofounder Charity L. Woods Barnes. “It reflects our lived experiences and addresses a myriad of issues that impact our lives on a daily basis. The agenda helps chart a policy-based course toward achieving reproductive justice that affirms one’s bodily autonomy and moral authority.”
The Black Reproductive Justice Policy Agenda includes legislation that has already been introduced in Congress, such as the Momnibus, HEAL, Fair Wage, Equal Pay and REACH Acts, as well as addressing policies that cover other aspects of the lives of Black women, femmes, girls and gender-expansive individuals. The agenda is the most comprehensive policy vision for Black communities to date.
Members of Congress are joining advocates in calling for immediate action to embrace a vision for the future that will dismantle the racism and sexism Black women, femmes, girls and gender-expansive individuals face.
“My lived experience has shown me the intersection of abortion rights, structural racism and the denial of Black women’s bodily autonomy,” said U.S. Rep. Nikema Williams. “The Black Reproductive Justice Policy Agenda proposes bold and innovative solutions that focus on the daily lives of Black women and non-binary individuals. I am proud to support the Black Reproductive Justice Policy Agenda because when we uplift and support Black women, we uplift all communities.”
To view the full agenda, click here.
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.