Black women are 3 to 4 times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes. Black women make 63 cents for every dollar a white man makes. And the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has meant that Black women and their families face a greater risk of financial insecurity—"as breadwinners, they are overrepresented among workers losing their jobs and as essential workers they are risking their health and safety for minimum wage."
The Agenda includes legislation that has already been introduced in Congress such as the Momnibus, HEAL, Fair Wage, Equal Pay, and REACH Acts. This innovative, first-of-its-kind policy document was written with the contribution of more than 30 Black women’s organizations and RJ advocates and covers a myriad of issues, from economic justice and environmental justice, to health equity, and voting rights.
To date, 47 states have introduced legislation restricting Black voting rights. We know that Black women’s votes were responsible for putting Joe Biden and Kamala Harris into the White House in 2020 and moving more progressives into the House of Representatives in 2018. The attacks on the voting rights of Black women are dangerous but will not deter us from voting in the future.
On June 29, we briefed elected officials in the House of Representative and the Senate on the important policy recommendations in the Black Reproductive Justice Policy Agenda. Based on our collective understanding of community need, we included 25 RJ policy issues and legislative remedies we believe are critical to better improve the wellbeing of Black communities. The Agenda also includes federal legislation we support that has been introduced, but not yet passed plus additional solutions we will work with Congress to introduce in the coming months. Some members of Congress are already showing their support and ready to join us in this fight.
“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.”
Due to centuries of oppression and harm from systemic racism, there are many longstanding issues and considerations that need to be addressed to ensure that Black women, femmes, girls, and gender-expansive people and their families not just live a good, healthy life BUT thrive. We believe the Black RJ Policy Agenda is a great place to start.
Please join us in this fight. Click here to contact your member of Congress to tell them that you support the Black Reproductive Justice Policy Agenda. To watch a video of a recent briefing on the Agenda visit our YouTube channel. Be sure to follow us on social media at @blackwomensrj to keep up with upcoming events, action alerts, and other ways you can get involved.
President & CEO
In Our Own Voice: National Black Women's Reproductive Justice Agenda