5 Black Politicians Fighting for Reproductive Rights
Last year, Roe v. Wade — the protected United States’ right to have an abortion — was overthrown.
Many people saw this as a huge backward step for reproductive rights. It encouraged many to fight back, including some leading politicians across the country. Some of the most influential and prominent politicians in this pro-choice movement have been Black women.
Here are some of the examples of the inspiring Black female politicians battling to win back reproductive rights for women.
Cori Bush previously worked as a triage nurse and pastor before becoming a representative for Missouri. As a member of ‘The Squad,’ she has helped campaign for many progressive left-wing policies including police reform, canceling student debt and protecting abortion rights. The mother of two previously had an abortion following a rape at the age of 19, and has called medical abortion a “lifeline.” Her state of Missouri was the first to ban abortion following the overturning of Roe vs. Wade, and she has been fighting hard to reverse this, as well as financially helping people in Missouri access abortion in other states.
Also a member of ‘The Squad’, Ayanna Pressley is another politician who supports many progressive liberal policies in the U.S., ranging from decriminalizing sex work to providing Medicare access to all pregnant women. The Massachusetts representative has dedicated much of the last year to defending abortion rights in the U.S., sponsoring a bill to repeal the Hyde Amendment and introducing the Abortion Justice Act. She is co-chair of Abortion Access Task Force.
North Carolina representative Alma Adams was one of several lawmakers arrested during a 2022 abortion right protest. The 77-year old congresswoman has been very vocal about her pro-choice views and commented that the recent Republican ban on abortion “dehumanizes women by taking away their bodily autonomy.” Although abortion has remained legal in North Carolina, the state currently has tight restrictions, which Alma Adams has been campaigning to loosen up in order to increase access.
Letitita James is the current attorney general of New York State. She has played a leading part in battling many social issues within her state, helping to introduce the Safe Housing Act to improve living conditions of rental accommodation while previously serving on the council district in Brooklyn. A year ago, she bravely opened up about her own abortion story, and she has since played a prominent part in defending abortion rights within New York. Her experience as a lawyer has proved vital in helping to influence New York lawmakers to protect abortion rights, as well as recently filing a lawsuit against a militant anti-abortion group within her state.
Ohio representative Emilia Sykes is another prominent politician who has been campaigning for abortion rights. This year, she introduced legislation to crack down on anti-abortion misinformation being spread by some crisis pregnancy centers. Groups such as NARAL Pro-choice America have previously endorsed her for her continued support of women’s reproductive rights within Ohio.