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Advocates fear abortion bans' impact on Black women

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Posted at 6:42 AM, Jul 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-11 06:42:55-04

(LEX 18) — Advocates on both sides of the abortion debate are anxiously awaiting a Jefferson Circuit judge's decision whether to grant an injunction sought by two abortion clinics to block Kentucky's existing abortion bans.

Judge Mitch Perry issued a temporary restraining order last month that blocked Kentucky's anti-abortion "trigger law," which took effect after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.

The issue returned to Perry's courtroom last week for the injunction hearing. If granted, abortion will remain legal while the case is litigated.

Advocates for abortion rights say healthcare for women is on the line, especially for those in marginalized communities.

"I believe there's a long hidden history of the ways that reproductive freedom has been denied," said Jackie McGranahan, a policy strategist with the ACLU of Kentucky. "Especially to Black women."

McGranahan became the ACLU of Kentucky's first Reproductive Freedom Project field organizer when she joined the organization in June 2019.

"I'm flabbergasted that we're continuing to push forward abortion restrictions and not to put into play other resources to make maternal health safer," McGranahan said.

Black women are three times more likely than white women to die from pregnancy-related complications, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"Becoming pregnant can very often be dangerous," noted McGranahan.

In a CNN story, McGranahan and four other Black women detailed their personal experiences with abortion.

"I got pregnant and it was very scary," McGranahan told LEX 18. "We were broke. We didn't know what to do. We were having trouble feeding the kids we had."

McGranahan said she does not regret having an abortion, but she does regret not talking about it, telling LEX18 that she had felt shame at the time.

She said sharing her story, as a Black woman, is a way to reclaim her power.