The Struggle For Black Women's Reproductive Freedom

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PushBlack
September 4, 2019

Slaveowners once forced enslaved people to reproduce - even making men rape their own family members - to save money.

But that wasn’t the last time Black women would be kept from having control over their own bodies and reproduction.

Throughout the 20th century, thousands of Black women went to doctors for routine treatment, but instead were permanently sterilized - having their “tubes tied” - without their consent. Over 3,000 women in North Carolina alone were sterilized.

Today, Black women’s reproductive rights are still curtailed. Fake “pregnancy centers” put up misleading billboards in Black neighborhoods and pose as medical facilities. Instead, they’re not staffed by doctors, and give women misinformation about pregnancy, birth control, and abortion. 

This kind of medical mistreatment and misinformation is linked to the fact that Black women are much more likely to die in childbirth!

Pregnant Black women who have accidents - like falling down stairs, getting in a car accident, or even being SHOT by an assailant - can be charged with MANSLAUGHTER for “endangering their fetus.” Even having a miscarriage can get a woman JAILED. 

Reproductive justice is about more than abortion. But anti-abortion laws, mostly in states with higher Black populations, often criminalize things like miscarriage as well. 

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