The vice president of government affairs for Our Own Voice, National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice, said at a protest on Tuesday at the U.S. Supreme Court that banning or restricting abortion is a throwback to “breeding” black slaves.
“Black women coined the term reproductive justice 25 years ago,” Jessica Pickney said, adding that the goal of getting that justice was to “dismantle reproductive oppression.”
“Reproduction oppression looks like forced breeding of enslaved black women,” Pickney said.
The protest, organized by pro-abortion and left-wing organizations like Planned Parenthood, NARAL, the Women’s March, and MoveOn.org was in response to several states recently crafting and passing legislation to protect the unborn and, eventually, sending a court battle over abortion back to the high court where the 1973 Roe v. Wade made abortion on demand the law of the land.
Although, pushing back against abortion on demand is nothing new, according to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who said when he spoke at the protest that there are some 300 restrictions in place around the country.
Like many of the speakers, Pickney referred to protecting “bodily autonomy” and said she and other protesters are “putting our lives on the line to fight for the rights we know we deserve.”
Pickney said abortion bans are an attack on “reproductive justice” and called heartbeat laws that prohibit abortion after a heartbeat can be detected “unethical.”
“It is no coincidence that the parts of this country with the worst maternal maternity rates, the highest incidence of voter suppression and overall troublesome health outcomes for black women are the same states that wish to eliminate our access to abortion care,” Pickney said.
Pickney also called the Hyde Amendment, the 1976 legislation that prohibits federally funding of abortion and requires congressional reauthorization, “overtly oppressive.”
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