For Immediate Release: Tuesday, May 25, 2021
Washington, DC — Today, the U.S. Senate voted to confirm Kristen Clarke, a longtime civil rights leader, to head the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division.
NARAL Pro-Choice America Chief Campaigns and Advocacy Officer Christian LoBue released the following statement in response:
“We applaud the historic confirmation of Kristen Clarke as the first woman ever to lead the Civil Rights Division and the first Black woman to hold the post. Clarke is a champion for civil rights and justice. Her qualifications, leadership, and commitment to protecting and fighting for our fundamental rights are clear. Despite a myriad of Republican attacks in an attempt to block her confirmation, we look forward to Clarke’s leadership in this role and working together to safeguard our constitutional rights—including the right to abortion—in this critical post.”
In an attempt to tank Kristen Clarke’s confirmation, Republican politicians launched a racist smear campaign using tactics similar to those they employed to attack several other women of color nominated by President Biden. These attacks against Clarke are part of the Right’s desperate attempt to thwart progress and advance their larger agenda of power and control.
As state lawmakers continue to ramp up their attacks on reproductive freedom, trans rights, and the freedom to vote, it is more urgent than ever to have Clarke’s prior civil rights experience and expertise in the Department of Justice. As assistant attorney general for civil rights, Clarke can play a crucial role in addressing issues like criminal justice reform, voting rights, and reproductive freedom.
The Justice Department can play a key role in protecting and advancing reproductive freedom by:
- Demonstrating a commitment to core constitutional protections, including the legal right to abortion
- Combating violence and discrimination against reproductive healthcare providers, patients, and staff
- Enforcing federal civil rights and nondiscrimination laws that have a serious impact on the lives and legal rights of women; people with low incomes; Black, Indigenous, people of color; LGBTQ individuals; young people; immigrants; and other people who are marginalized
- Enforcing federal laws that have a significant impact on reproductive and civil rights, including Title VII, Title IX, the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, and the Affordable Care Act
For over 50 years, NARAL Pro-Choice America and its network of state affiliates and chapters have fought to protect and advance reproductive freedom—including access to abortion, contraception, and paid family leave—for every body. NARAL is powered by its more than 2.5 million members from every state and congressional district in the country, representing the 7 in 10 Americans who believe every person should have the freedom to make the best decision for themselves about if, when, and how to raise a family.