LMPV Testimony | HB22-1279 Reproductive Health Equity Act (RHEA)

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My name is Rev. Dr. Dawn Duval, and I am one of the Co-Founders of Soul 2 Soul Sisters where we organize for Black Women’s Health, Healing and Liberation here on Cheyenne, Arapahoe, and Ute Land also known as Denver, Colorado. I now serve as the Executive Director and I’m testifying on behalf of Soul 2 Soul Sisters to urge you to support House Bill 1279. 

At Soul 2 Soul Sisters we hold abortions as sacred, holy decisions because we honor Black women, Black nonbinary and trans folks autonomy and agency to make the best decision for themselves without shame or systematic oppression. This bill will protect our communities access to abortion and help us use our resources for other liberatory praxis instead of constantly defying abortion bans. It is essential our state leaders protect our access to abortion and continue to make colorado a safe space for not only our residents, but for our neighboring states that have refused to hold abortions as sacred. Whether it’s provided by a clinic or safely and effectively self-managed on our own with the support of our community, it must be protected. Black Women deserve to be supported in all decisions we make about our health. 

By ensuring that people can exercise sovereignty over their bodies, this bill will protect our communities from future attacks on our rights. And whenever our rights are attacked, it’s marginalized communities that experience the worst of the consequences. Black Women know this all too well, which is why we have spent centuries fighting for the basic right to control our bodies, be able to plan our futures, and live safe and healthy lives.

For too long, Black communities have experienced the brunt of reproductive oppression in this country. We need reproductive health equity now, and we urge you to support House Bill 1279 as a way to protect the health of Black communities. Thank you for your time.

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