WASHINGTON — As the end of Black History Month approaches, the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee is condemning state Republicans for their relentless crusade against the health and safety of Black women. Across the country, state Republicans are pushing to restrict and ban abortion, refusing to expand Medicaid, and failing to address rising maternal mortality rates – all of which have a disproportionately negative effect on Black women.
“It’s high time for the so-called pro-life movement to be known for what it really is: anti-Black,” said DLCC President Jessica Post. “State Republicans hide behind religion and pseudoscience when the truth is that attacks on abortion access and reproductive health are rooted in white supremacy. Democrats know that racial justice hinges on reproductive justice and that’s why they are fighting to protect the right to an abortion and expand Medicaid to ensure the health and well-being of Black women across the country.”
Attacks on Abortion:
- If Roe is overturned or gutted, 26 states in the country are expected to ban abortion because of newly-passed restrictions by Republican-controlled legislatures or pre-existing bans that would go into effect.
- Recently, Republican-controlled chambers and state legislatures, including the Arizona Senate, West Virginia House of Delegates, and the Florida House of Representatives, have begun pursuing extreme 15-week abortion bans mirroring the Mississippi law before the Supreme Court. These bills fall far short of the standard set by Roe v. Wade that is supported by the majority of the American people.
- Restricting or banning abortion disproportionately affects Black women who are more likely to need an abortion due to having limited access to health care, a lack of effective birth control choices, and inadequate sex education. These women also have less disposable income, lack the ability to take off sufficient time from work and find child care, and have unreliable access to transportation to receive an abortion.
- Cementing the fact that the anti-abortion movement is indeed anti-Black: an anti-abortion group in West Virginia sent a KKK graphic to Delegate Danielle Walker, the only Black woman serving in the West Virginia Legislature who also introduced legislation to roll back the state’s abortion restrictions.
Refusal to Expand Medicaid:
- Although states can save hundreds of millions of dollars in health care costs and increase state revenue and local job growth, 12 Republican-controlled states have still refused to expand Medicaid, leaving 4.4 million Americans without much-needed care.
- Expanding Medicaid has proven to reduce racial disparities in health coverage, access, and outcomes.
- Medicaid is an essential source of reproductive health coverage, ensuring that low-income women have access to family planning, pregnancy care, STD and STI testing and treatment, and other reproductive health services.
- Nearly 1 in 3 Black women are insured through Medicaid, meaning an attack on Medicaid or failure to expand Medicaid is an attack on Black women’s reproductive health.
- Black women are over three times more likely than white women to die in pregnancy in the United States. Expanding Medicaid has been proven to significantly lower maternal deaths with the largest reduction among Black women.