Thank you, Madame Chair. My name is Victoria Dadet, and I’m the Let My People Vote Coordinator for Soul 2 Soul Sisters where we organize for Black Women’s Healing and Liberation here in Denver. I’m testifying on behalf of our Let My People Vote program to urge you to vote no on both HB1047 and HB1079.
Abortion bans are racist. They disproportionately harm communities of color, especially Black communities. Many anti-abortion proponents hold anti-Black racism at the core of their work – from accusing Black women and birthing people of genocide as we enter clinics, to co-opting Black Lives Matter language, to pushing a revisionist history of slavery abolition that compares their work to the Underground Railroad, even going so far as to compare abortion to slavery itself. By not passing these bills, we will show the anti-abortion movement that we will not tolerate them encroaching on our bodily autonomy – something that is crucial for Black Women who have been fighting for agency and autonomy over our bodies and lives in the United States for centuries.
The decision to access abortion is a sacred, holy decision among the individual, their doctor, Divine, ancestors, and chosen beloveds. Whether it’s provided by a clinic or safely self-managed on our own with the support of our community, it must be protected. The current pandemic exacerbates existing barriers to abortion care and, as we face a healthcare pandemic that is disproportionately impacting Black communities, we should be focusing on expanding access to healthcare services, not limiting services or putting up more barriers. Black communities deserve to be supported in all decisions we make about our health. Our communities need the full range of reproductive healthcare services to live safe and healthy lives, and we urge you to vote no on House Bill 1047 and 1079 for the health and safety of Black communities. Thank you for your time.