Fighting for reproductive freedom is intrinsically connected to fighting for racial justice.
The right to raise children, or not raise children, without the fear of violence against them or yourself is a fundamental freedom. We actively witness and work against reproductive oppression when we tackle disparities in abortion care, birth control access, birthing care, and sexual health education. The same systems which keep access to abortion limited to a few perpetuate violence against Black, Brown, and Native communities and families.
Black Lives Matter. George Floyd should still be alive. Breonna Taylor should still be alive. Ahmaud Arbery should still be alive. Tony McDade should still be alive.
Every body deserves the freedom to live free from violence, free from discrimination, and free from fear. Many of us who are not Black will never know what that feels like, but we don’t need to intimately experience pain and trauma to know it is evil and wrong and to fight against it. Right now, we must follow the lead of Black voices and center solutions from Black leaders and organizations.
Today, NARAL Pro-Choice Washington is standing in solidarity with a movement that protests the systemic racism of police brutality. Until our Black neighbors are free from state-sanctioned violence, discrimination, and fear, there is no freedom for any of us.
We all must do our part to dismantle systemic racism. One action we are taking today is supporting our partners leading reproductive justice. Today I am asking you to join us in contributing to our partner, SURGE Reproductive Justice, a black-led organization making change in our state. SURGE envisions a world where all communities are free from reproductive oppression, racism, and violence. Match our gift by giving at www.surgereprojustice.org.
Barriers to reproductive health care disproportionately impact communities of color and especially Black communities. For centuries, Black women & families have faced reproductive oppression:
- The Hyde Amendment prohibits federal funds from being used to provide abortion care for women on Medicaid, disproportionately impacting Black communities.
- Throughout the past century, Eugenics Boards forcibly sterilized thousands of Black women without their consent.
- Black women are three to four times more likely to experience complications during pregnancy and childbirth than White women.
This work is the work of a lifetime. We must work every day to unlearn and fight against systems of structural racism. NARAL Pro-Choice Washington will continue to follow the lead of Black leaders, communities, and organizations to do our part. It starts with our commitment to dismantling the culture of white supremacy and championing anti-racist policies, so we can affirm the dignity of every human being.