In Our Own Voice: Black Women on Abortion, Contraception and Reproductive Justice
From Marcela Howell
WASHINGTON, DC – A week before the 42nd anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court decision, Roe v. Wade, the leaders of five Black women’s reproductive justice organizations will discuss the impact that abortion rights and contraceptive access have on the lives of Black women and their families at a policy briefing in the Holeman Lounge at the National Press Club on Thursday, Jan. 15 at 9 a.m. (continental breakfast at 8:30 a.m.)
Last fall, the five organizations – Black Women for Wellness (Calif.), Black Women’s Health Imperative (D.C.), New Voices Pittsburgh (Pa.), SisterLove (Ga.) and SPARK Reproductive Justice Now (Ga.), in partnership with Communications Consortium Media Center – launched a national policy initiative – In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda.
“This new national initiative represents a proactive step in defining and implementing our vision of Reproductive Justice,” said Marcela Howell, strategic director of the initiative. “In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda is an opportunity to lift up the voices of Black women as spokespeople on reproductive health issues – speaking our own truths to the media, to our policymakers, to our communities, and to our allies”
Among the presenters at the policy briefing are Dr. Willie Parker, board member of Physicians for Reproductive Health, Reverend Alethea Smith-Withers, board chair of Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, and Cynthia Greenlee, historian and reproductive justice activist.
As a national structure, the initiative will focus on three key policy issues – abortion rights and access, contraceptive equity and comprehensive sex education. As a Reproductive Justice initiative, the groups will focus these issues from a human rights perspective, incorporating the intersections of race, gender, class, sexual orientation and gender identity with the situational impacts of economics, politics and culture that make up the lived experiences of black women in this country.