No matter what happens on Election Day, we know that Black women will turn out in force. Despite gerrymandering, voter intimidation, unfair voter ID laws and purging African Americans and other people of color from the voting rolls, I believe Black voters — especially Black women — will cast ballots in unprecedented numbers. That turnout will be because of Reproductive Justice (RJ) — not the overturn of Roe but, rather, the overall attack on Black women’s and birthing people’s human and civil rights is on the ballot.
If you’re uncertain about how to be an RJ voter here are 3 ways to ensure your success at the polls.
1. Make a voting plan. Do your research before you go to the polls. Make sure you understand where candidates stand on Reproductive Justice issues such as abortion access, voting rights, housing, education, health care, clean water, etc. You can learn more about RJ issues by reading our Black RJ Policy Agenda.
2. Know your rights. Whether you’re voting by mail, in person, or by dropping off your ballot you have rights. As Black women and communities face mounting attacks on our reproductive rights, we are also facing extreme attacks on our voting rights — including the threat of violent voter intimidation. That is why Black women’s organizations and advocacy groups have been making an unprecedented investment to turn out Black voters, by engaging and educating Black women through our I AM A RJ VOTER campaign. We have billboards in seven states and have reached more than 800,000 Black women voters by mail If you have questions about your voter registration status visit blackwomen.vote or call 866-OUR-VOTE.
3. Share your voting story. After you cast your ballot let your friends and family members know why you are a Reproductive Justice voter. Share your story on social media or in person. Reproductive Justice voters support legal abortion, but we are not single-issue voters we also support clean water, fair housing, healthcare access, and more.
On Election Day, Black women will be voting for candidates who address all our issues — not just reproductive rights. I invite every Black voter to join Black women in being Reproductive Justice voters. That is the only way that we will turn the tide of anti-Black oppression and reclaim our civil and human rights. Your vote is your power.
Marcela Howell is president and CEO of In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda.