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In Honor of Black History Month

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In honor of Black History Month, we'd like to share a fantastic article about the history of women's reproductive freedom in the African-American community. Strong Families Logo.png

This piece by Cynthia Greenlee-Dunnell, who is also a board member of NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina Foundation, is from the "Strong Families" series:

"In the 1960s and early 1970s, the first generation of black women elected to statewide office put reforming abortion laws on the legislative agenda--even in red states. In 1967, Dr. Dorothy Brown of Tennessee--a surgeon who ran back and forth between the hospital and General Assembly--introduced an unsuccessful bill to allow abortion in cases of rape and incest. While that initiative ultimately cost Brown her seat, Missouri Rep. DeVerne Calloway was elected in 1962, also co-sponsored a failed abortion reform but held office until 1982. Georgia's Rep. Grace Towns Hamilton also pushed measures to legalize abortions in the first trimester in 1970 and 1971.

Their voices echo today in the efforts of black women state legislators such as Virginia Delegate Charniele Herring, who led the charge against her state's proposal to require unnecessary 'transvaginal' ultrasounds before abortion. They also echo in the grassroots mobilization of historically black colleges in Mississippi, whose students' votes helped defeat the state's dangerously sweeping personhood amendment in 2011. And they echo in the work of black abortion providers who challenge new abortion restrictions and serve in remote and underserved locations."

You can check out the rest of this fantastic piece at the "Strong Families" Reproductive Justice Blog.

We know that the variety of women's reproductive-health needs is vast and diverse. And by working together, we can achieve our common goal of ensuring that all women, of any color or any culture, have access to safe and affordable reproductive-health care.

Happy Black History Month from NARAL Pro-Choice America.

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