The Voices and Experiences of Black Women in Tennessee and Mississippi
In December 2019, In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda conducted a survey of Black women across the South about their experiences related to parenting, decision-making, and abortion access. Along with our partner organization SisterReach, on June 25, 2020, we co-hosted a webinar sharing the survey results from Black women in Tennessee and Mississippi. We also heard from prominent Black women leaders from both states on how we can better understand the lives and views of Black women in the South on issues related to Reproductive Justice.
In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda commissioned the polling firm of Perry/Undem to survey Black women and men in 9 states on issues dealing with reproductive health, rights and justice. The polling data shows overwhelming support for reproductive health and rights policies, including abortion access, contraception and sex education.
- 80%+ believe that a woman’s ability to control whether or when she has children is an important part of financial stability for herself and her family.
- In almost every state, 80%+ agree that woman should have the right to make her own decision on abortion.
- A majority also agree that abortion should remain legal even if church leaders disagree (65% in Texas to 78% in CA and OH).
- A majority (79% to 86%) also agrees we should trust Black women to make decisions that are best for themselves and their families.
- Large majorities would support a loved one who had an abortion – more than half would give “a lot of” support.
- Very strong majorities want abortion care to be:
- Respectful of her decision (77% to 86% across the nine states)
- Affordable (85% to 89%)
- Directed by a doctor instead of a politician (92% to 97%)
On Sex Education
- 90%+ want birth control included (a few points higher than abstinence)
- 81%-87% want pregnancy options, including abortion
- Majorities want sexual orientation – between 64% and 79%
- Support for gender identity is nearly identical to sexual orientation – 64% to 76%
On Contraceptive Access
- 80%+ consider birth control part of basic health care coverage
- 80% agree that every woman should have full range of pregnancy care
- About 90% agrees with access through insurance even if her boss disagrees