Rep. Watson Coleman Introduces Resolution Recognizing the Importance of Intersectionality for Abortion Access
Washington, D.C. (June 23, 2023) – Today, co-chair and co-founder of the Congressional Caucus on Black Women and Girls, Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12), introduced a resolution that acknowledges the importance of intersectionality for abortion access.
The resolution recognizes that women of lower socioeconomic standing and women of racial and ethnic minority status are at the highest risk when abortion is restricted.
Expanding access to our most vulnerable populations must be a top priority as we respond to the fallout from last year’s decision (in Dobbs v. Jackson) to overturn Roe V. Wade. The country has yet again failed to recognize that these kinds of decisions affect those who live in our underserved populations significantly more than others.
The resolution reads, in part, “Black women are almost three times more likely than white women to die from childbirth… The risk of dying in childbirth is 14 times higher than the risk of dying from a safe abortion.”
“Restricting access to abortion services is an attack on the lives of minority women,” said Watson Coleman. “This is not just a reproductive justice issue. It is an economic justice issue. It is a racial justice issue. A country that infringes on the right of poor and minority women to control their own reproduction while also offering some of the least generous assistance in the industrialized world to new families is intolerably cruel.”
“The findings generated by our Trust Black women study highlight the importance of enacting policies that reduce structural barriers to sexual and reproductive health (SRH) coverage and service availability, said Terri-Ann Thompson, Senior Research Scientist at Ibis Reproductive Health. “Following the worst year for abortion rights in almost half a century, it is imperative that policymakers work to address structural inequities, which disproportionately impact people of color and cause multifaceted and long-lasting harm to pregnant people and families across the country.”
The resolution would also find that the House of Representatives acknowledges that surgical and medication abortions are safe and any developments in science that affect abortion care should be reviewed by scientific and medical experts and calls upon the Federal Government to protect the right to abortion across the country.
The Resolution is endorsed by the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Ibis Reproductive Health, Guttmacher Institute, Center for Reproductive Rights, In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda, National Partnership for Women and Families, the National Birth Equity Collaborative, and the Center for Reproductive Rights.
The resolution is cosponsored by Caucus on Black Women and Girls Co-Chairs Yvette Clarke (NY-09) and Robin Kelly (IL-02).
The resolution can be read in its entirety here.