WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 2, 2018) — The Black Women’s Health Imperative (BWHI) joins with the growing voices that have expressed concern over President Trump’s nominees following Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy’s announcement to retire from the nation’s highest court.
Kennedy throughout his career provided the decisive vote on many landmark cases including Roe v Wade. President Trump has stated in the past that he will use this case as a litmus test when choosing Supreme Court nominees and is expected to choose a candidate in favor of efforts to roll back a woman’s right to legal abortion.
This is particularly troublesome for Black women who already face multiple barriers to accessing quality and affordable healthcare. Many Black women continue to struggle to afford birth control that best meets their needs, the lack of which leads to higher rates of unintended pregnancies. As a result, Black women have significantly higher abortion rates than whites and Hispanics. Moreover, those who are unable to access abortion care are more likely to be thrown into persistent poverty.
BWHI opposes any Supreme Court nominee who would overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade decision and criminalize abortion. If Roe is overturned, women will involuntarily carry unwanted pregnancies to term because the law forces them to do so.
Many Americans do not want to return to the days when a woman had to risk her health or even her life to terminate a pregnancy. Black women and all women of color deserve access to safe abortion and the autonomy to decide.
As we approach the 2018 elections, it is incumbent upon us to understand what is at stake for Black women. In recent years, the Supreme Court’s conservative majority has been chipping away at voting rights. That’s why we are releasing in late Summer 2018, The BWHI Legislative Agenda: Black Women Vote: The 2018 National Health Policy Agenda. We plan to provide voters with this tool as a way to assess candidates for office at all levels on issues that are important to Black women, such as protecting an individual’s right to make personal decisions about reproductive health.
“As a nonprofit, we can’t tell you how to vote, but we can surely say here are the issues, here’s your political candidate’s position and share our national legislative agenda on Black women’s health to empower you to hold your candidate accountable. We want to do everything that we can do to have our value as Black women at the table,” said Linda Goler Blount.
BWHI urges the president and the Congress to appoint a nominee who will respect the Constitution, the fundamental right to legal abortion as settled law and the autonomy to decide.
About the Black Women’s Health Imperative
The Black Women’s Health Imperative identifies the most pressing health issues that affect the nation’s 21 million Black women and girls and invest in the best of the best strategies, partners, and organizations that share our goal: ensuring Black women live longer, healthier, more prosperous lives.
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