ATLANTA (August 5) — Earlier this week, Kansas voters rejected a proposed constitutional amendment that would have removed the right to abortion from the Kansas Constitution. For the sake of Black women’s physical, mental, and financial well-being, it’s imperative that constituents in states with upcoming referendums — including Kentucky, Michigan, and Colorado — vote to uphold abortion rights, too.
“Many people are shocked at the outcome in Kansas, but we at the Black Women’s Health Imperative are not surprised. As reproductive justice organizers, we know that smart, consistent, and insistent organizing means we can and will win. This win simply affirms what we’ve known for a long time: people support a woman’s right to make the most important decisions for her body,” said Breya Johnson, Reproductive Justice leader at the Black Women’s Health Imperative. “Black women, girls, and gender non-conforming people in conservative states like Kansas deserved this win. We celebrate the tremendous organizing that went into this moment. This win should inspire us all — especially those of us in red and purple states — to keep pushing to protect abortion access.”
This vote was particularly important to Black women living in Kansas. The maternal mortality rate for Black women in Kansas is more than three times higher than that of white women. By rejecting a change to the state constitution that would have allowed legislators to ban abortion, the voters of Kansas have helped ensure that more Black women will not die in childbirth.
Despite this encouraging vote, there is still much work to be done to secure the bodily autonomy of Black women nationwide. In red Kentucky, voters will soon consider a constitutional amendment that would strip the constitutional right to an abortion in the state. In purple Michigan, voters will likely be asked to decide whether to enshrine abortion rights in the state constitution this November. And in Colorado, another purple state, an anti-choice group is fighting to include a measure on the November ballot that would equate abortion to murder.
“We urge any voter in these states who values a woman’s right to bodily autonomy to take action to affirm abortion access, just as voters did this week in Kansas,” said Johnson. “The Black Women’s Health Imperative will continue to do everything we can to ensure that Black women are able to access safe reproductive health services, no matter their income level or geographic location.”
About the Black Women’s Health Imperative:
The Black Women’s Health Imperative is the first and only national non-profit organization created for and by Black women dedicated to improving the health and wellness of our nation’s 21 million Black women and girls — physically, emotionally, and financially. Our core mission is advancing health equity and social justice for Black women, across their lifespan, through policy, advocacy, education, research, and leadership development
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