Black Women’s Health Imperative releases statement as attacks on black women’s body autonomy erupt during Women’s History Month.

Wyoming governor abortion pill ban and Texas Assessing a possible decision to revoke an FDA-approved abortion pill

ATLANTA, March 19, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Today, the Black Women’s Health Imperative issued the following statement in response to attacks on medical abortion in Wyoming And Texas.

Black women’s health imperative (PRNewsphoto/Black women’s health imperative)

We knew this was coming. We knew that with Roe’s downfall, the attacks on our agency, our access, and ultimately our physical autonomy had only just begun. We knew that they would take care of another important part of women’s health care – medical abortion. And now we really know exactly what political leaders in certain states in America really think about the rights of black women, in fact all womensaid Dr. Ifeoma C. UdohExecutive Vice President of Policy, Advocacy & Science at the Black Women’s Health Imperative.

The facts are undeniable: Medication-related abortions are safe. Medical abortions became the preferred method of terminating a pregnancy The United States even before the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. calf, the law that protected abortion rights for 50 years. Today, a combination of the drugs mifepristone and misoprostol that can be taken at home is the most common form of medical abortion in the United States.

This was an alarming end to week three of Women’s History Month. In seemingly coordinated anti-abortion fury, on Friday night Wyoming governor Mark Gordon banned abortion pills in his state and passed a separate measure restricting abortion without his signature into law. That cooled the hopeful news North Dakota the day before, when the North Dakota Supreme Court ruled that a state ban on abortion will remain blocked while a court case over its constitutionality continues. A day earlier, Trump appointed the Texas judge Matthew Kacsmaryk heard arguments about whether mifepristone could be sold in the US. His pending judgment could limit access to the drug nationwide — potentially criminalizing its use by women and providers across the country.

Mifepristone has been considered safe by the FDA for 20 years. It can be taken at home, is used in more than half of abortions in the US, and also treats other diseases and conditions. But a lawsuit filed by an anti-abortion group Texas argues that the drug’s safety has never been properly studied. The pills are already banned in 13 states with blanket bans on all forms of abortion treatment, and 15 states have restricted access to abortion treatment pills. For the first time, a federal judge is being asked to essentially reverse the approval of a drug with a long history of safety and efficacy that has been used safely by more than 5.6 million people since receiving FDA approval.

This ruling is especially important for black women who live there Texas. According to a 2022 Texas Grandstand

Article, At least 50,000 Texans are aborted each year, with black Texans consistently having the highest abortion rates. As of 2020, black women made up 30% of all legal abortions In Texas. (Find here: Texas abortion statistics)

Carrying a child is not without risks. The Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Review Committee report estimates that up to 90% of maternal deaths could have been avoided (see: Texas Tribune article December 2022).

Major medical complications from pregnancy and childbirth also increased significantly between 2018 and 2020, rising from 58.2 to 72.7 cases per 10,000 deliveries Texas.

Black women were twice as likely to die of pregnancy-related causes as white women and four times as likely as Hispanic women. Safe abortion treatment is often the only way to save a woman’s life.

“All women — regardless of race or ethnicity — are now being forced to acknowledge that we exist in a political and legal environment that willfully and openly disregards the body autonomy of women, and black women in particular. These legal maneuvers are becoming synonymous with what the American public recognizes as hallmarks of contemporary democratic collapse. Human rights are both questioned and challenged nationally,‘ added Dr. Udoh added.

Despite this challenging week, the Black Women’s Health Imperative will continue to actively promote access to safe reproductive health services. We firmly believe in the right to privacy and health equity – that means the right to access safe abortion care.

The Black Women’s Health Imperative will continue to educate those we serve of their rights, encourage voter registration and civic engagement at all levels – especially the judiciary – to ensure our needs are voiced and represented. Above all, we will continue our efforts to achieve a reality in which all women have the full right to quality and dignified care.

About the Black Women’s Health Order:
The Black Women’s Health Imperative is the first and only national nonprofit founded for and by Black women and dedicated to improving the health and well-being of our nation’s 21 million Black women and girls—physically, emotionally and financially. Our core mission is to advance health equity and social justice for Black women throughout their lifespans through policy, advocacy, education, research and leadership development.

For media inquiries:
[email protected]
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Black Women’s Health Imperative releases statement as attacks on black women’s body autonomy erupt during Women’s History Month.

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