Voting and Reproductive Rights Groups Look to Congress to Protect Constitutional Rights: “Reproductive Justice Should Guide Policy Making”

Black women stand at the intersection of suffrage and reproductive justice,” said Melanie L. Campbell, President and CEO of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation and host of the Black Women’s Roundtable. “It is no coincidence that we are currently standing on the steps of the United States Supreme Court in solidarity to demand that our rights be protected. “(Twitter)

It is no coincidence that abortion and the right to vote are under unprecedented attacks in state houses across the country: in 2021, more than 561 restrictions on abortion were introduced in 47 US states. During the same period, 400 restrictive voting rights bills were introduced in 49 states.

On Wednesday, September 15, a coalition of social justice organizations gathered outside the Supreme Court to make that connection and call for action to protect the constitutional right to vote, equality and privacy.

Gathered on the marches, the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, the Black Women’s Roundtable and the National Council of Negro Women brought together more than 40 national organizations for civil rights, reproductive rights, women’s rights, labor and justice social, including the Feminist Majority Foundation (publisher of M / s.), to partner with Black Women Leaders & Allies Call to Action in support of voting rights and reproductive justice. In a united voice, they collectively called for passage of the John Lewis Advancement of Voting Rights Act and for Congress to act quickly to protect reproductive rights under attack in Texas and across the country.

Fatima Goss Graves, CEO of the National Women’s Law Center, called on Congress to take action to defend our access and right to abortion and to the ballot, because “a healthy and participatory democracy is our greatest shield against these attacks on our collective freedom ”.

“It’s no coincidence that the same politicians trying to recreate the gender roles of the 1950s are also trying to recreate
the voting restrictions of the 1950s, ”said Fatima Goss Graves, President and CEO of the National Women’s Law Center. “It is incumbent on Congress to take immediate and swift action to defend our access to abortion and the ballot. “(Twitter)

“Our right to vote is inextricably linked to our freedom of reproduction. Without equal access to the vote, we cannot protect reproductive freedom and access to abortion, ”said Jordan Brooks, Executive Director of United State of Women.

Advocates say the right to vote is essential to preserve all other constitutional rights, and that restricting one puts all the others at risk. Jennifer Tucker, Senior Policy Advisor at the ERA Coalition, said: “Our democracy is under siege because a radical minority is afraid that the country’s changing demographics will end the right they expect. His comment took on new meaning, given that Capitol Hill police officers were on high alert – just three days later, a far-right rally was due to take place at the United States Capitol, a protest against the arrests and detention of insurgents accused of having participated on January 6.

“Keep your state-sanctioned energy consumption laws away from our black, brown and native bodies,” said Ebonie Riley of the National Action Network.

As Ellie Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority Foundation, said: “We need broad voting rights law so that we don’t limit the right to vote.

Obstruction of the Senate hinders progress, said Smeal, “an emblem of undemocratic dysfunction,” Jennifer Weiss-Wolf wrote in Mrs., this makes it “almost impossible for our elected leaders in Congress to advance the will of the people.” Lawyers called for reform or abolition of filibuster; in her speech, Smeal called at a minimum for a filibuster exception when voting on issues related to women’s constitutional rights, including voting rights, abortion rights and the gender equality amendment. rights, which would prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex.

In addition, the coalition also on Wednesday called on the Supreme Court to take swift action and suspend the Texas abortion law, and on the Senate to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Amendment Act and the For the People Act, which were both adopted in the Loger.

Although these bills did not advance in the Senate, a compromise bill The free vote law was introduced by a group of Democratic senators led by Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) And Joe Manchin (DW.V.). The bill includes automatic voter registration, access to ballots for formerly incarcerated people, 15 days of early voting, establishment of election day as a national holiday, universal absentee voting, disclosure mandatory black money and more. If passed, it would be “the most significant anti-corruption and voting rights bill passed in over half a century,” according to the Brennan Center.

Until then, advocates are also looking to the Senate to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA), a federal law that would codify Roe vs. Wade. In a landmark vote, the WHPA passed the House last week and garnered public support from the White House.

As Tucker said, “Equality comes when the principles of reproductive justice guide our policies. “

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