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As the country commemorates what could be the last anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade, Black women remain focused on pushing forward. A coalition of Black women-led organizations and supporters published an advertisement in the New York Times calling abortion a “reproductive justice issue for Black families and communities.”

The National Birth Equity Collaborative, Black Mamas Matter Alliance, Sister Song, Black Women’s Health Imperative, and In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda collaborated in the letter and call to action. With the fate of abortion access resting in the hands of the U.S. Supreme Court, Black organizers reaffirm the broader issues and support building an “anti-racist and gender-inclusive model of health care.”

“On this 49th and potentially LAST anniversary of Roe v. Wade, we demand systemic change that is grounded in reproductive justice and promotes an anti-racist and gender-inclusive model of health care,” tweeted the National Birth Equity Collaborative.  

The groups have three primary goals:  

– Increase funding and support to Black Reproductive Justice organizations working to ensure equitable access to safe and legal abortion, healthcare, and other services in our communities 

– The establishment of a White House Office of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Wellbeing that can push forward a federal strategy for promoting equitable sexual and reproductive health and wellbeing, and 

– The incorporation of reproductive justice values into foreign policy, which includes ratifying human rights treaties that protect sexual and reproductive health and rights. 

Letter signors include a mixture of Congressional representatives, leaders of reproductive justice organizations, celebrities and influencers, academics and public health experts. It represents a commitment to fighting for rights and bodily autonomy beyond any court decision.

“Today marks the 49th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court case which guaranteed abortion as a legal right in the U.S., and we’ll be honest y’all – we’re tired of talking about Roe,” the Yellowhammer Fund posted on Instagram. “We’re tired of having to accept the bare minimum when it comes to our most basic and essential health care rights. We in the pro-abortion movement are always saying ‘Roe is the floor, not the ceiling.’”

The current movement builds on the work of 16 Black women leaders in 1989 who launched a movement for reproductive freedom and released a six-page brochure outlining several principles of freedom and self-determination.

“This freedom—to choose and to exercise our choices—is what we’ve fought and died for,” read the brochure. “There have always been those who have stood in the way of our exercising our rights, who tried to restrict our choices. There probably always will be. But we who have been oppressed should not be swayed in our opposition to tyranny, of any kind, especially attempts to take away our reproductive freedom.” 

Five years later, Black women would carve out the reproductive justice framing ahead of the International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo. The group called Women of African Descent for Reproductive Justice met in Chicago. Based on a human rights framework, reproductive justice refers to the “human right to maintain personal bodily autonomy, have children, not have children, and parent the children we have in safe and sustainable communities.” (Check out this reading list from Black Women Radicals). 

“Roe must be protected, but legality alone has never been enough — help us fight to #LiberateAbortion and for policies that let all people know that they are trusted to make their own pregnancy decisions #AbortionIsEssential,” tweeted the Atlanta-based Feminist Women’s Health Center. 

Last year, reproductive justice groups used the anniversary of Roe to reset the national understanding of the fight for abortion rights. Protecting legal abortion is essential, but Roe has always been the floor. 

Also, Abortion restrictions increase disparities in Black women’s health and exacerbate maternal well-being. Now more than ever, it is imperative that Black women and pregnant people, along with their families, have the right to choose how and when they will exist. 

3. The Yellowhammer Fund

5. Mississippi In Action

6. Urge – United For Reproductive & Gender Equity

7. Sister Song

8. In Our Own Voice

9. The Afiya Center

Continue reading Black And Brown Led Reproductive Rights Groups Are Leading The Way To Change 

Black And Brown Led Reproductive Rights Groups Are Leading The Way To Change

Source: Bloomberg / Getty

On Oct.2, thousands of women took to the streets of Washington, D.C., for the 5th Women’s March. This year, the organization shifted its focus to abortion justice and reproductive rights issues. One of over 650 events nationwide, an estimated 5,000 attendees met at Freedom Plaza on Saturday morning. Some rallygoers kicked off the event with a “Faith Gathering,” CBS noted. The march then proceeded to the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court at around 1:30 p.m. Women of all races joined together during the momentous occasion. Some marchers held signs bearing bold statements in support of abortion rights. One women’s sign read, “I had a safe, legal abortion thanks to Roe v. Wade,” while another woman held a poster with the words “Abortion Is A Women’s Rights” written in bold letters. Marches were also held in major cities, including Austin, Texas; Jackson, Mississippi; Phoenix and Washington Square Park in New York City. Read: Abortion Justice Marches Leverage National Network In Support Of State And Local Organizing The Women’s March comes just one month after the state of Texas greenlit a controversial 6-week abortion ban that now gives private citizens the right to sue anyone who assists a pregnant individual seeking to have an abortion within the outlawed timeframe. The bill referred to as SB.8 could also punish abortion facilities and even healthcare officials who don’t comply with the controversial piece of legislation’s stringent protocols. Several Black and Brown-led abortion organizations helped orchestrate this year’s massive event, including Sistahs Helping Every Woman Rise and Organize of Missippi (SHERo). Michelle Colon, the founder of SHERo, said she hoped to push the medical biases that Black and Brown women often face when seeking reproductive health to the forefront of this year’s rally. “When we go to the doctor, there’s coercion, disrespect, devaluing,” Colon said in an interview with Jezebel. “So there’s a lot of obstacles for Black and brown women [when going] to the doctor, period. [We] have a history in the medical healthcare system when it used to be, [doctors] didn’t want to provide us with care or they wanted us to be guinea pigs in their experiments. They’ve allowed us to die,” she said candidly. Colon added that she hopes this year’s event will shine a light on the Supreme Court’s upcoming hearing where the future of the historic Roe v. Wade landmark case could potentially be overturned. “We are at a standpoint where if the Supreme Court upholds the ban out of Mississippi, we are going to lose Roe in the south,” Colon warned, noting that anyone seeking an abortion in Mississippi would have to seek healthcare guidance elsewhere. Similarly, the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice was present at this year’s event. The group, based in Virginia, Texas, New York, and Florida, aims to fight for the reproductive rights of undocumented people being affected by SB. 8 in Texas. “We organize in the Rio Grande Valley, specifically,” Margie Del Castillo, the national of field and advocacy, added to Jezebel. “There’s a lot of Border Patrol interaction and checkpoints along the Rio Grande Valley. So when you think about our members, a lot of who are undocumented in that area, if they were to try to access care, a lot of times that’s difficult, because of the addition of the Border Patrol.” Despite challenges, Castillo said she’s optimistic about the future, noting that a “historic mobilization for abortion, access, and justice” has been spearheaded by a large number of BIPOC population, and she’s right. Let’s look at a few more Black and Brown-led reproductive rights initiatives that are fighting for change.  

 

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Black And Brown Led Reproductive Rights Groups Are Leading The Way To Change

Source: Bloomberg / Getty

On Oct.2, thousands of women took to the streets of Washington, D.C., for the 5th Women’s March. This year, the organization shifted its focus to abortion justice and reproductive rights issues. One of over 650 events nationwide, an estimated 5,000 attendees met at Freedom Plaza on Saturday morning. Some rallygoers kicked off the event with a “Faith Gathering,” CBS noted. The march then proceeded to the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court at around 1:30 p.m. Women of all races joined together during the momentous occasion. Some marchers held signs bearing bold statements in support of abortion rights. One women’s sign read, “I had a safe, legal abortion thanks to Roe v. Wade,” while another woman held a poster with the words “Abortion Is A Women’s Rights” written in bold letters. Marches were also held in major cities, including Austin, Texas; Jackson, Mississippi; Phoenix and Washington Square Park in New York City. Read: Abortion Justice Marches Leverage National Network In Support Of State And Local Organizing The Women’s March comes just one month after the state of Texas greenlit a controversial 6-week abortion ban that now gives private citizens the right to sue anyone who assists a pregnant individual seeking to have an abortion within the outlawed timeframe. The bill referred to as SB.8 could also punish abortion facilities and even healthcare officials who don’t comply with the controversial piece of legislation’s stringent protocols. Several Black and Brown-led abortion organizations helped orchestrate this year’s massive event, including Sistahs Helping Every Woman Rise and Organize of Missippi (SHERo). Michelle Colon, the founder of SHERo, said she hoped to push the medical biases that Black and Brown women often face when seeking reproductive health to the forefront of this year’s rally. “When we go to the doctor, there’s coercion, disrespect, devaluing,” Colon said in an interview with Jezebel. “So there’s a lot of obstacles for Black and brown women [when going] to the doctor, period. [We] have a history in the medical healthcare system when it used to be, [doctors] didn’t want to provide us with care or they wanted us to be guinea pigs in their experiments. They’ve allowed us to die,” she said candidly. Colon added that she hopes this year’s event will shine a light on the Supreme Court’s upcoming hearing where the future of the historic Roe v. Wade landmark case could potentially be overturned. “We are at a standpoint where if the Supreme Court upholds the ban out of Mississippi, we are going to lose Roe in the south,” Colon warned, noting that anyone seeking an abortion in Mississippi would have to seek healthcare guidance elsewhere. Similarly, the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice was present at this year’s event. The group, based in Virginia, Texas, New York, and Florida, aims to fight for the reproductive rights of undocumented people being affected by SB. 8 in Texas. “We organize in the Rio Grande Valley, specifically,” Margie Del Castillo, the national of field and advocacy, added to Jezebel. “There’s a lot of Border Patrol interaction and checkpoints along the Rio Grande Valley. So when you think about our members, a lot of who are undocumented in that area, if they were to try to access care, a lot of times that’s difficult, because of the addition of the Border Patrol.” Despite challenges, Castillo said she’s optimistic about the future, noting that a “historic mobilization for abortion, access, and justice” has been spearheaded by a large number of BIPOC population, and she’s right. Let’s look at a few more Black and Brown-led reproductive rights initiatives that are fighting for change.  

This content was originally published here.

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