NCNW Releases Position Statement on Reproductive Justice
NCNW is committed to ensuring women have access to critical reproductive health care in an era where the judicial system is being weaponized to diminish and/or eliminate a woman’s right to maintain bodily autonomy. In response to the increasingly hostile environment regarding women’s reproductive autonomy, the National Executive Board of NCNW voted on and approved the following position statement on June 16, 2023:
“Freedom is the foundational tenet of American citizenship. For centuries, despite enslavement and Jim Crow atrocities, we have endeavored to achieve our treasured freedoms to worship, marry, learn, travel and express contrasting views.
“Among these sacred civil rights, NCNW believes passionately in the sacred freedom of every woman to make decisions about her own body. In 1989, and in collaboration with Black women leaders, our own visionary president, Dr. Dorothy I. Height, released: African American Women are for Reproductive Freedom.” This public stance, and the passage of the NCNW resolution on women’s reproductive health during the December 2022 Convention, solidified our commitment to protecting Black women’s agency and accountability over their lives and continue to be core values for our membership.
“NCNW rejects and will resist efforts to deny, reduce or extinguish these freedoms, whether by legislators, courts, extremist activists, or economic circumstances. We do not presume to dictate how women choose to manage their health, or the health of their families, and neither should any other person or system of oppression. We stand firmly for the proposition that the government should not have the power to invade the sanctity of a woman’s conscience. Our determination to protect a woman’s right to choose from among the full range of safe and effective health care options is consistent with public policy, the beliefs of most Americans, and aligns with the liberation traditions of the Black experience. Any system that doubts or seeks to control the judgment or capacity of women of African descent will be met with peaceful resistance.”
ABOUT National Council of Negro Women
NCNW is an “organization of organizations,” comprised of 330 campus and community-based sections and 32 national women’s organizations that enlightens, inspires, and connects more than 2,000,000 women and men. Its mission is to lead, advocate for, and empower women of African descent, their families, and communities. It was founded in 1935 by Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, an influential educator and activist, and for more than fifty years, the iconic Dr. Dorothy Height was president of NCNW.
Today, the NCNW programs are grounded on a foundation of critical concerns known as “Four for the Future.” It promotes education with a special focus on: science, technology, engineering, and math (STEAM); encourages entrepreneurship, financial literacy, and economic stability; educates women about good health and HIV/AIDS, and promotes civic engagement and advocates for sound public policy and social justice.
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