A new study has found that the majority of Black men and women believe in a woman’s right to choose and want women to have access to abortion care and contraception. These attitudes are broadly shared across age, gender, income, political ideology and religion.
85 percent of those who participated in the study, conducted by In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda, believe that Black women should be trusted to make their own reproductive choices. 71 percent believe abortion should be available in their communities. 86 percent see contraception as part of a woman’s basic health care, ad 94 percent want publicly funded contraception to be made available for low-income people.
“Overwhelmingly, black Americans support a woman’s right to determine for herself when she will have children,” said Dázon Dixon Diallo, the founder and CEO of reproductive justice nonprofit SisterLove. “We are being faced with an assault against that critical belief that exists in the black community.”
African-American women face different health risks than white women, partially due to lack of access to care. Because of this, diseases such as breast and cervical cancers are less likely to be found early, when they are most treatable. Because many clinics that provide abortions also offer screenings for cancers and STDs, African American women are disproportionately affected as new state-level restrictions cause these clinics to shutter.
In Our Own Voice applauded the introduction of the EACH Woman Act on July 8 in their report, a bill that would make insurance coverage for abortion available to all women, especially low-income women. “The EACH Woman Act puts the power back in the hands of Black women, in varying financial and life situations, and gives options that are best suited for their families’ needs,” said Michelle Batchelor, the National Director for In Our Own Voice in their press release.
Media Resources: Ms. Magazine 7/9/15; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 3/1/12; Feminist Newswire 7/8/15