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An Ohio grand jury has decided NOT to indict Brittany Watts – a Black woman who miscarried a non-viable fetus at home after care was twice delayed because of the state’s current abortion law. In response, Dr. Regina Davis Moss, In Our Own Voice President and CEO, released the following statement:
“We’re relieved to learn of the Trumbull County grand jury’s decision in Ohio not to indict Brittany Watts. There never should have been a case against her to begin with. What happened to Brittany Watts is a grave example of how Black women and their bodies face legal threats simply for existing. Her story is one that is becoming alarmingly common: in states with abortion restrictions, Black women, girls, and gender-expansive people are being surveilled, arrested, prosecuted and punished for pregnancy loss.
No one’s pregnancy should ever be criminalized. Brittany’s painful story, which should have never even been made public, reveals what so many Black women have to contend with in the medical system. Abortion restrictions directly lead to inadequate reproductive health care, resulting in traumatic pregnancy and birth experiences.
Black women deserve to receive timely, comprehensive medical care for a miscarriage without facing criminalization, and we will always fight for our rights to equitable and accessible health care, bodily autonomy, and reproductive agency. We are firmly committed to shaping a world where we have the power to decide the future of our bodies.”
In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda is a national-state partnership focused on lifting up the voices of Black women leaders at the national and regional levels in our fight to secure Reproductive Justice for all women, femmes, and girls. Our eight strategic partners are 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.