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Philadelphia Reps. Morgan Cephas and Christopher Rabb speak at briefing on the state of Black women’s rights

October 30, 2017
Contact: Alexa Mauzy-Lewis, Camino PR / 212-255-2575

New Voices for Reproductive Justice hosts Philadelphia reproductive justice report briefing in partnership with In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda

PHILADELPHIA- Friday, the Philadelphia office of New Voices for Reproductive Justice hosted a policy briefing on the new In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda report. The report, “Our Bodies, Our Lives, Our Voices: The State of Black Women & Reproductive Justice,” exposes how Black women’s rights are often marginalized by political parties and offers an action plan and policy recommendations. Joined by Philadelphia state Reps. Morgan Cephas (D-192) and Rep. Christopher Rabb (D-200), advocates discussed key policy issues on the national Black women’s reproductive justice agenda and the national and statewide issues that impact the health outcomes of Black women and girls.

The report combines comprehensive data with the firsthand accounts of the lived experiences of Black women. It also examines the post-2016 elections criticism of “identity politics” that advocates an economic equality message focused on class to the exclusion of race and gender – and focuses on concrete actions to take to address disparities.

“We held listening sessions with Black women across the country,” said Marcela Howell, founder and executive director of In Our Own Voice. “This report documents the real-life barriers to reproductive health that Black women face and examines the impact of these barriers on our lives.”

At the end of the briefing, Howell outlined an agenda for action stemming from the report. The action agenda includes prioritizing voter engagement and GOTV efforts; collaborating with local advocates to develop and support policy change that promotes reproductive justice; investing in Black women leaders, financially and otherwise; building coordinated responses to injustice across movements, organizations, communities and systems; and above all, calling for Black women to tell the stories of their lived experiences and leadership.

Marcela Howell, founder and executive director, In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda, is available for comment on the briefing. Members of the media, please contact Alexa Mauzy-Lewis ( or 212-255-2575) to coordinate an interview.

New Voices for Reproductive Justice is a Human Rights organization dedicated to the health and well-being of Block women and girls and women of color in Pennsylvania and Ohio. Since 2004, New Voices has served 50,000+ women of color through leadership development, community organizing, policy advocacy and culture change. Our priority issue areas are Reproductive Justice, LGBTQ Rights, Health Care Access, Ending Gender-Based and State Violence, Incarceration, Environmental Justice and Integrated Voter Engagement.

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.

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