Abortion rights advocates protest, Black Women, State Abortion Bans

New Report Says State Abortion Bans Threaten Nearly 7M Black Women In Nation

According to the report, 57% of Black women between the ages of 15 and 49 live in states with active or planned abortion bans.

A new report from the National Partnership for Women & Families (NPWF) and In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda has unveiled that nearly 7 million of the nation’s 11.8 million Black women of childbearing age find themselves residing in states that have instituted abortion restrictions or have plans to do so.

According to the findings, 57% of Black women between the ages of 15 and 49 reside in one of the 26 states that have either enacted bans or pose threats to abortion access, a situation that has intensified in the two years following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. Strikingly, over 58% of these Black women are already mothers. Research published in the National Library of Medicine indicates that mothers who lack access to abortion care are negatively impacted when it comes to economic security and development of existing children.

NPWF’s report says that 2.7 million of the Black women of reproductive age inhabiting these restrictive states are grappling with economic insecurity, while 1.4 million are employed in service jobs that are less likely to furnish benefits such as paid sick leave and flexible scheduling. This cohort encompasses Black women who identify as disabled, multiracial, veteransb and immigrants. Jocelyn Frye, the president of NPWF, said that Black women in these states are “overwhelmingly” burdened with apprehensions about their physical and economic well-being. “In addition to abortion bans, they’re also concerned about things like…cost of living, racial justice, which are directly tied to the abortion bans,” Frye said, according to NBC News.

As a consequence of abortion bans, hospitals have shuttered their maternity wings entirely and providers have been forced to modify terms regarding pregnancy care. Numerous providers have been compelled to depart states with abortion bans and residents avoiding training in those areas. The inequity in insurance coverage for Black women further exacerbates the detrimental effects of restricted access to abortion and maternal healthcare. Approximately one-third of Black women rely on Medicaid, which severely limits coverage for abortion services, permitting it only in highly exceptional circumstances. For those residing in states with abortion bans, they may be barred from utilizing their Medicaid coverage even in those narrow permissible cases.

A noteworthy statistic reveals that Black women in Florida (960,500), Texas (over 1 million), and Georgia (948,800) account for 44% of Black women living in states with abortion bans, and a staggering one-quarter of all Black women of childbearing age nationwide. Compounding the issue, all three of these states grapple with above-average maternal mortality rates and lack provisions for paid family and medical leave. BLACK ENTERPRISE recently noted that Black women have prioritized the topic of abortion as one of the key issues in the 2024 presidential election. 

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