For Immediate Release: Saturday, May 21, 2022
Washington, DC — In a recent interview with Politico, Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy (LA) dismissed high maternal mortality rates in his home state of Louisiana, suggesting that the numbers are only higher than elsewhere because the state is home to more Black women.
NARAL Pro-Choice America President Mini Timmaraju released the following statement in response:
“Senator Cassidy’s comments are not only ignorant and racist, they ignore the role that anti-choice Republicans’ policies have played in exacerbating the very real maternal mortality crisis in our country which disproportionately impacts Black communities and other communities of color. These issues are deeply interconnected, but Sen. Cassidy dismissed systemic racism’s effect on maternal mortality as well as the harm of abortion bans.
The anti-choice movement and its political allies have been rooted in white supremacy from the beginning and it’s clear that these bad actors in the extremist GOP could not care less about our freedoms and families and must be held accountable.”
Karen Finney, Vice Chair of NARAL Pro-Choice America’s Board of Directors released the following statement in response:
“Shamefully, as a physician and policymaker, Senator Cassidy should know that the Black maternal mortality crisis in his state and across our country is fueled by systemic racism, bias, and barriers to a full range of women’s healthcare services. Senator Cassidy’s comments are an example of an extremist GOP that no longer fears saying the quiet part out loud and illustrate why Black women and all women, not anti-choice politicians, must have the right to decide whether or not to continue a pregnancy and must have access to the care and services we need to support us.”
For over 50 years, NARAL Pro-Choice America has fought to protect and advance reproductive freedom at the federal and state levels—including access to abortion care, birth control, pregnancy and post-partum care, 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 8 in 10 Americans who support legal abortion.