May 24, 2024

More than half of all Black women across the United States have little to no access to abortions, according to a joint report released Wednesday by two reproductive rights organizations.

Since the reversal of Roe v. Wade in 2022, more than 6.7 million Black women, or 57 percent of Black women between the ages of 15 and 49, have had their abortion access taken away. They live across 26 states—predominantly in the South—that have banned or are likely to ban the medical procedure, according to data collected by the National Partnership for Women & Families, or NPWF, and the National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda.

But abortion access is about more than a single reproductive choice. More than 58 percent of the Black women who live in these states are already mothers, and research shows that mothers who are left with no other option than to raise another child face increased economic insecurity that challenges the development of their existing children.

NPWF president Jocelyn Frye told NBC News that Black women in those states are “overwhelmingly” concerned about the ramifications that the bans will have.

“In addition to abortion bans, they’re also concerned about things like economic opportunity and cost of living, racial justice, which are directly tied to the abortion bans,” Frye told the outlet.

Restricted abortion access also exacerbates the Black maternal health crisis. Black women are three times more likely to die during childbirth than any other race due to a lack of access to high-quality maternal health care, fueled by systemic racism and discrimination.

“Part of the history around these issues is that too often the experiences of women of color, specifically Black women, but Latinas, Native women, AAPI women, were ignored,” Regina Davis Moss, president of the National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda, told NBC. “The assumption was that what works for white women works for everybody.”

“I want us to move away from a ‘they’ mentality and move towards a ‘we,’ because that’s how we’re going to solve these issues,” Davis Moss said.